Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Benadryl is evil

I took one last night to calm my allergies and I'm still messed up by it. Groggy. Nose trying to decide if it wants to bleed or not from being so dry. Throat like the Sahara. Mouth not willing to work right. Ugh. But it's that or not be able to sleep thanks to my mother using a broom to sweep the rug and stirring so much crap, the hell with it. I'm screwed no matter which way I go. When I get to Buffalo, I want NO CARPETS.

Busy day, too...and I have yet to wash my car, which brutally needs it.

RIHC6v2 is coming together. Last night I just let Antony lead the way and he's set it up to where he's going to betray Matt AND Jake for all the right reasons. Damn, he's getting to be fascinating, again, instead of just a pain in the butt. I like my characters to have conflicting sides that work together -- but as a kaleidoscope of black and white, never becoming that boring shade of gray so many "anti-heroes" color themselves with.

I wonder what would happen if one of my books was made into a Hollywood film? Would it even begin to work, once the screenwriter toned down the bad aspects or explained them away? I saw the film version of "Bonfire of the Vanities" after reading the book, and Tom Hanks was SO was Bruce Willis, really (a man who used to be an excellent actor)...but because the hero of the piece has to be sympathetic and he's a nice guy, in he went -- and no matter how hard he tried he couldn't ace the icy WASP aspect of his character. And so the venality of each character was shaved off to nothingness...and a vicious black satire of the lives of New York's rich and masterful became stupid and dull. And bombed at the box office, despite its so-called pedigree.

Now consider this -- "Gone With the Wind" is about a selfish bitch who chases after a married man for years and ruins the lives of three other men while clawing her way to wealth and infamy. Chasing her is a war profiteer who uses the Civil War to make himself rich, visits prostitutes regularly, buys his way out of a death sentence and bribes the bitch into marrying him. Neither Scarlett nor Rhett give an inch in their self-centered disdain for those filled with human decency and concern, yet they're still fascinating characters whose film is considered the epitome of Hollywood filmmaking. But you couldn't make that movie, today. The sharp edges of their characters would be sanded away by cowards in the VP offices beholden to the Syd Field school of screenwriting -- made even-handed, bland and safe.

Ah, the glories of writing novels. It's all on me and my characters -- no one else to blame if we screw up. No music cues to frame the emotional moments. No camera moves to clarify a character's situation. When I wrote my scripts, I could see and hear them, from the actors to the sets to the editing to the music. Now? Now I play it in my head and hope it's coming out on the page.

So -- what's Antony's music to me? I'm torn between Taiko Drums and a slow-building melody by Philip Glass. Could be it's both. That would fit the whole dichotomy.

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