Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Do I go far enough?

I'm beginning to wonder if I really do take my stories all the way to their logical conclusion, like I thought I did. Thing is, I've always preferred the subtle to the overt and have been accused of being subtle to the point of obscurity...but with "The Lyons' Den" I pushed as far as I could with the characters of Daniel and Ace and Tad and Van, and I think it made the story fun even though it was rooted in Daniel's history of hurt. Maybe even made it funny, though that's something so subjective I couldn't begin to assume I've achieved that.

But thinking about it, I've realized in my books, I do head straight for the abyss...which worked with Curt in HTRASG and Antony in RIHC6 but I probably went off the cliff with PM and BC (even though I've gotten good reviews on all these novels). PM got too locked into the physical with Alec while BC may have become so locked in the emotional turmoil of Eric and Bobby, they became just Russian and depressing. I don't know.

But when it comes to my screenplays, I've realized I hold back too much, as if my pushing the envelope might be off-putting to the people who decide whether or not to make the script. I got close to pushing it in KAZN, where I told the story in such a non-linear fashion most readers couldn't follow it and would give it a pass, usually complaining about things not being in the script that were but that they didn't notice. And in BLOOD ANGEL, I let Gabrielle be fully evil and yet charming and desirable. But to mitigate that, I Tristan is nothing but damaged and a dog...when for the ending to really work, he needs to also have anger and vindictiveness mixed in with his pain, and I deny him those.

So now that I've done a rewrite of MINE TO KILL, I'm seeing where I'm holding back way too much for it to be truly, not holding back; just not following the path into the deepest darkness. Martha (the lead) is a woman of forty who both loves and hates her younger husband. Loves him because he's attractive and used to be kind to her; hates him because he cheats on her with anything female he sees and doesn't care that she knows. But throughout the script I keep trying to reveal her as sympathetic. Why? She throws away her life for a scumbag because he's good in bed. Why? I don't really indicate why...because I don't really know, yet.

But it's also a case of the husband, Alex, not being really dark enough to warrant her obsessions. Nor for Thomas, a young doctor who's the hero of the story, to sense he's worthy of hell. He's just a randy mutt of a man, and they're a dime a dozen. Is that where the imbalance comes from in the story? I've allowed cliches to overtake characterization?

Weird, I'm listening to some song wondering if there's life on Mars, but wasn't that a David Bowie song? It doesn't sound like his voice singing it and I'm not familiar enough with his oeuvre to say. But I noticed it...and it sort of feels like it relates to my confusion. make this even more confusing, what started me thinking I might be holding back too much was watching the last four episodes of Season Three of "The Big Bang Theory" and seeing how Sheldon is more than a man-child in need of protection; he's been viciously wounded by life, just as Leonard has been. I laugh at most of the show's jokes and situations, but I also see there is some serious pain underlying it...and it startles me. These guys were bullied by their parents, siblings and schoolmates, sometimes to where they could easily have killed themselves. It amazes me what the show's writers are able to get away with by cloaking that pain in comedy.

Like I'm trying to do with LD.

Oh, shit, my brain's crashing into a loop of WTF is going on here. I need to listen to some Enigma.

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