Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Underground Guy moves forward...

I got the first 60 pages of UG in solid form. I'm sure there will still need to be some smoothing over, but it works, so far. I'm working on cleaning up my style a I don't need so many commas or ellipses.  My writing seems a bit archaic and somewhat chatty instead of direct, which I don't really mind. I want it to seem like I'm verbally telling the story around a campfire.

But I've begun to wonder if that really works for a book. In a script it doesn't matter. All the audience sees is what's on the screen. A stage play can benefit from that sort of style, since they're far more dialogue-dependent and breaking the 4th wall to address the audience in the telling of the story has been done so often as to be a cliched device, now. But in a book aimed at adults?

I once thought of doing one of my scripts as a graphic novel just to see what would happen once it was visualized in a way other than words. I figured KAZN, with its Russian lead character who speaks as little as possible, would work perfectly.

But it turned into a glorified storyboard with little dialogue balloons...which worked fine for my purposes but could seem a bit tedious to aficionados of the format, I just don't have the training or patience to do work like Dave Gibbons or Moebius...and theirs is the work I'd aspire to.
And yet...that would give me complete freedom...and writing style would be secondary to visual style...

Alfred Hitchcock Class -- part 1

I did these in reverse posting order so they appear in the right order on my blog. A quick, simple class in how to make a movie like Hitchcock. Short and sweet.

Alfred Hitchcock Class -- part 2

Alfred Hitchcock Class -- part 3

Who says porn stars are dumb?

These guys are gay porn stars and what they say makes sense. It's all been said before, but I appreciate anyone who's still saying it...especially (shallowness alert) when they look like this...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Almost back to normal...

After a rough 9 day trip that was anything but a vacation, I'm home and well-napped and ready to get back to writing my next project. I'd taken Underground Guy and Carli's Kills with me to work on...and barely got a decent outline done for UG. That was on the trip down to Florida; from then on I was too beat at the end of the day to even think about thinking.

UG has begun to work its way through my brain, now. I'd beefed up one character -- Dev's sister-in-law, Caitlyn (I wonder if I should change her name so no one thinks of the former Mr. Jenner?) -- and she's begun to work within the story more. Turns out she's the only woman Dev has any real respect for since she takes excellent care of his brother, Colin. She also knows how to work around people to get things done, and since Dev's in a mess of his own making she can help him get out of it in a way that works for everyone.

I see her as someone like Kate Jackson, who was in Dark Shadows as well as Charlie's Angels and came across as the smart one. Able to handle herself and with a healthy dose of common sense.

The story's getting deeper, as usual with me. It's not just about Devlin facing who and what he is after he jumps Reg; it's about the whole family dynamic between brothers and their father, a violent man whom Dev both hated and wanted to be loved by. I have no idea how far that concept goes, yet, but I'm refusing to rule out anything.

And I do mean anything.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Here comes gay marriage...and divorce...

I'm not a great believer in marriage -- my parents had 9 between them -- but I do believe in people being treated equally under the law. Now the Supremes have said that's the law of the land. Which is good. It destroys the premise of one of my stories, but I don't care.

What's about to follow is the fun part -- getting the states opposing letting gay men and women marry to follow the law. A lot of them won't until forced to. Many are the same states that refused to desegregate their schools until federal marshals made them. and they still fought it tooth and nail into the 70s. Now the redneck scum will have a real focus for their hate...and don't you think they won't spout it.

To me, homophobia is not built on being deep in the closet or having true religious beliefs. Racists have shown clearly that racism is based mostly on a need to feel superior to another group of people, be they black, brown or Asian. Same for religious intolerance; it's not built on anything but the need to control others and force them to live by your standards, be you Christian, Muslim or Jew. Homophobia is simply about blaming someone else for your screw-ups.

Too many people in this world desperately need to have someone they can despise and accuse of being the reason for everything that's gone wrong. And I'm not exaggerating. Katrina was blamed on gays, as was 9/11. And Hurricane Sandy. And the Northridge Earthquake of 1994. And the drought. And the fires and the floods. And the economic collapse. Now ministers are screaming that gays wanting to get married means God will smite us all, so hate them queers for the demise of your economic opportunities and the changes you don't like in our "once-perfect nation." Blame them, not yourselves for letting those scaremongers fill your heart with fear and hate and hide how they're helping the rich get richer off your backs. Far easier to say it's all the faggots' faults.

It's childish and absurd, but it's also controlling too damn many people to let slide.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Done with Florida...

I don't know why anyone wants to live there. The weather is hideously hot and humid and it's nothing but flat land and swamp. I guess if you like sunning on the beach it's great, but I'm more a hills, trees and streams kind of guy. Working in 95 degree heat with 95% humidity wears you out. I'm now en route to NYC to work through the weekend on a job that ought to be a bit more livable, so I can get my brain back to blogging, again.

On the trip down, I did pull together a solid out line for Underground Guy. And I've tried to work on Carli's Kills but something feels off about it. I can't figure out the best way to even start it let alone get the rhythm of the piece. I may need to rethink it from the beginning, because as of now it's just not coming together.

UG is still a bit off, too, but not nearly as much. I need to clarify Dev's arc and how it related to Tawfi's and Reg's stories. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Ready to go...

I'm taking Underground Guy and Carli's Kills with me to work on during this journey of jobs. I'll have some long plane rides and don't feel like paying $8 a day for WiFi on the plane. I also hate the idea of getting up at 4:30 am to catch a 6:40 flight to Fort Lauderdale. When're we going to get teleporters to make travel instantaneous?

I'm leaning toward working on UG because it's a book and it's in Word so I can make notes on it as I go. CK is in a PDF so everything on it's external, unless I feel like buying an advanced version of Adobe that lets me add notes to a PDF. I'm too cheap-assed for that.

Plus I've had some interesting ideas for UG, like bringing in Dev's sister-in-law to help him in some, I don't know yet. But he's get respect for her since she's able to handle his slightly brain-damaged brother, Colin.

The story so far -- Dev and his brother own a New York based lapel pin manufacturing business, inherited from their physically abusive father. Dev's in London seeing clients when he sees a man on the Piccadilly Underground that grabs his interest, so kidnaps and sexually assaults him...though not in the way one might think. Turns out the guy, Reg, is an undercover cop and Dev has inadvertently messed up an operation against a serial killer.

Of course the man who may have been the killer, Tawfi, was close by. Dev's arrested, ostensibly because of the kidnapping; the cops think he was helping the killer, but they can't link him to any of the deaths in any way. Dev senses something about the murders isn't right and tells the cops. They ignore him so he tries to make things right by finding out what really happened...and connects with a man who may be the killer. I've got maybe ⅓ of it written.

Thing is, CK is in first draft and, even though I'm planning a page 1 rewrite, would be the easiest to get done. And having Carli be as strong a lead as any guy, and willing to objectify men the same as men do women, is appealing. And I'd like to get the dynamic between her and Zeke down. But I can't do anything about it till I'm back to Buffalo.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

August 1st

I am not looking at anything to do with The Vanishing of Owen Taylor until then. It's the day after my birthday, and it's a Saturday, so I think I'm going to treat myself to a fine meal and some wine and celebrate a new beginning. Open myself to the reality that I will be in Buffalo for a long time to come and maybe work it into my writing in some way. Mine to Kill would work nicely here, with the major medical research going on and teaching hospitals. It wouldn't take much to change it, and then start sending it out. It's the closest script I have to being shot for under a million.

I've also connected with a man from Derry, N. Ireland. He lived through The Troubles and may be willing to help me with Place of Safety. I don't know if he's Catholic or Protestant, but I've let him know Brendan is just a boy who wants to live his life and cares nothing for religion or politics; to him they're two sides of the same coin, and both worthless. I have a bit when he's 12 years old, about to be 13, where he accuses a priest of wanting Catholics to be attacked because it would suit his ambitions. It doesn't go over well.

Anyway, in the next 6 weeks, I plan to finish a couple other projects, clearing my mind of OT so I can see it fresh. It's hard not reading the comments I've gotten, but I owe it to the story to be solid about this. I want it to be fantastic, not merely okay, and for that to happen I need space to rebuild my focus and find the best path to help the story sing.

It helps that I'm traveling, again, for the next 10 days. Jobs in Florida and New York City. I'd thought the latter had been postponed to after July 4th but's been decided the 2000+ books and dozens of pieces of framed artwork need to be gone ASAP so they can sell the apartment. So away I go, but it's gonna cost in air fare...and hotel, getting one at this late date; my usual NYC places are booked solid.

Ah well, at least it gets me out of the house.