<![CDATA[Chicago Storyworks - Dirk's Blog]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 15:00:14 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[A Fun Challenge]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:55:24 GMThttp://chicagostoryworks.com/dirks-blog/a-fun-challenge          Wattpad has teamed up with Hulu, offering a contest in which authors submit 500-word short stories tied in with The Handmaids' Tale. This one had several days' gestation and with a little nudge from my subconscious overnight last night, this is what came out. The nifty thing is, it's so short you can read the entire story in the link I've pasted below. That said, if you choose to vote on it (and that would, I think, be helpful as this is a contest) it will be appreciated. OK, here goes.

          As Laurie Scheer would say, "Enjoy the read!"
<![CDATA[Episode Seven of Eight]]>Fri, 16 Jun 2017 20:20:01 GMThttp://chicagostoryworks.com/dirks-blog/episode-seven-of-eight          I'm gearing up for the Willamette Writer's conference in early August and want to have all eight novellas posted here on Chicago Storyworks before then. I'll post "Eilixir" after a few days but for now, here's "Resurrexit." If the titles seem suggestive, I am a Joseph Campbell/ Chris Vogler disciple. I also took to heart Blake Snyder's (of "Save the Cat" fame) comment several years back as I drove him to O'Hare. He was in the midst of evaluating the fifty movies he had chosen for "Save the Cat Goes to the Movies." He was waxing philosophical, gazing straight ahead out the windshield and said, "They're all the Christ story, Dirk." So, death, resurrection, salvation--as in "Morte," "Resurrect," and "Elixir."
          Without further ado, . . .

<![CDATA[A Whiff of Death]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 21:37:40 GMThttp://chicagostoryworks.com/dirks-blog/a-whiff-of-death     That's one of Blake Snyder's descriptors for the typical action late in a story structure. "Morte" is the sixth episode of the "Andy" series, and the sixth novella in what is now the completed novel - it's the eight novellas with their backs bound one next to the other.

     Anyway, "Morte" is complete and mounted on Wattpad and clicking below will let you read it there.
<![CDATA[A little something different]]>Thu, 19 Jan 2017 16:49:55 GMThttp://chicagostoryworks.com/dirks-blog/a-little-something-different        This isn't exactly Chicago Storyworks fare but I'm pretty proud of it. My wife and I went on a Canadian Rockies vacation last fall and I've cobbled together a travelogue of photos and video clips. That's cool or not but I also added a bunch of the music I've written over the years and am really happy to have it put to good use.
<![CDATA[The Tracking Board's Launch Pad manuscript Competition]]>Wed, 15 Jun 2016 19:19:39 GMThttp://chicagostoryworks.com/dirks-blog/the-tracking-boards-launch-pad-manuscript-competition​           Followed up today on a promotion from the Austin Film Festival supporting the Launch Pad manuscript competition, a part of the opportunities organized by The Tracking Board (which I suppose I’m supposed to identify with that little copyright logo). The hype for the contest is “Books are the new Spec Script,” and as you may have guessed by now, that’s singing a tune this choir member already knows.
            Two things I found most attractive are that 1) Scott Free has agreed to option at least one manuscript for potential adaptation to film or television, and 2) Energy Entertainment has promised to represent at least one writer and his/her entry. That’s Brooklyn Weaver who it seems deserves all the hype he gets as one of the most successful agents on the market.
            The writer is charged an additional fee for each of the add-ons but signing up for both the “guaranteed option prize” and the “guaranteed signing prize” does give your entry two more reads (plus the two reads guaranteed for the naked submission). So sometime over the next four months four different people are going to read, “The ruddy glow of the engine housing gradually fades to black. . .” – the opening line of ARC.
            Fingers crossed.]]>
<![CDATA["LIbre" up and available]]>Sat, 30 Jan 2016 19:07:18 GMThttp://chicagostoryworks.com/dirks-blog/libre-up-and-available          I really didn't think I'd finish mounting the "literary" version of this fifth episode by the end of the month, but I really have been fired up all week and lo and behold, here she is. It feels like my professional life is accelerating: Pat Dobie's wonderful editing incorporated into "Andy," Jeff Seymour's edit of "Send a Boy . . ." just a matter of weeks away, five episodes mounted on Wattpad and now about to begin on the teleplay for the sixth episode.
          I will put the link to "Libre" here in today's post and I've already added it to the Reads page.
<![CDATA[A Milestone]]>Tue, 12 Jan 2016 14:52:53 GMThttp://chicagostoryworks.com/dirks-blog/a-milestone            Finishing is a problem for some writers, even some good ones so it seems. Of the challenges I face in my storytelling, finishing is way down on my list. Even so, it’s always a good feeling to thump the manuscript down and declare, “Well, that’s done.”
           I’ve been reminding myself to post on this blog week after week since, let’s see, about mid-October. Blogging regularly is much more of a challenge for me than finishing my stories. That makes today a good day because here’s my post.
           I contracted with a freelance editor, a woman named Pat Dobie and she finished her part of our work at the end of November. I have been incorporating her edits and suggestions over the last six weeks and as of this morning, I thumped “Andy” down and declared, “Well, that’s done.”
            I am really happy with the services Pat delivered and would recommend her to anyone wanting a keen editorial eye and a good sense of story structure and mechanics. I think my voice and style survived the editing process and I’m convinced the manuscript is better for the changes.

            Not that it was easy . . .

            The next step is to seduce an agent or publisher with said manuscript. Allow me to quote from the top of the second page:
            “No challenge there,” he [Andy] says to the empty room, all the while calculating the incredible odds against that ideal outcome.
            Life is kinda fun sometimes.
<![CDATA[A Flawless Hero]]>Sun, 18 Oct 2015 13:29:51 GMThttp://chicagostoryworks.com/dirks-blog/a-flawless-hero          Screenwriting gurus are often quoted saying, "Your Hero need to have a flaw to make him(her) interesting. Nobody wants to watch somebody who's perfect." My usual snide answer to that is, "A lot of people are fans of the Christ story."
          Well yesterday I went to see "The Intern," was charmed by it - actually captivated by it - and realized after I got out of the theatre that Ben, the Robert De Niro character, has no flaw. He's old but at my age I don't consider that a flaw. In my opinion, Nancy Meyers has been turning her comedic eye on - I don't want to say serious topics and concepts, but at least meaningful issues.
          A whole lot of stories look at the threshold where a young man or woman has to give up childish ways and accept the mantle and responsibilities of adulthood. What about when you're allowed to lay down that mantle and you're asked to be carefree again? Ben chooses to go back to work (as a "senior intern") and he brings his world of experience to the challenge and hits a home run every time. Ben has a problem - he doesn't have a flaw.
           OK, blog posts are supposed to be short. Go see this movie. Throw out those constraining rules and don't be afraid to introduce a character who's got his shit completely together.
          Oh, and if you had Nancy Meyers' skill set, that would be helpful, too.]]>
<![CDATA[Stay Tuned for Updates]]>Wed, 07 Oct 2015 19:27:37 GMThttp://chicagostoryworks.com/dirks-blog/stay-tuned-for-updates            Our glorious summer in northern Illinois is coming to a close and a glorious autumn is easing itself upon us. With my wife retired, we travelled both stateside and in France while the weather was favorable. That was great but we’re home now and this site deserves the attention that’s been sidelined while we were away.

            And there’s lots to update. I have contracted two different freelance editors to help me get episodes one and two of “Andy” the TV series polished and ready for publication. One of those will happen in November and the other in March of 2016. Pretty excited about that. I am almost done mounting episode four “The Sixth Day” onto Wattpad. The readership has been a little slow in coming but the comments they have left have been most encouraging. I don’t know if it will come to pass or not, but I am considering filming the focus group scene from the “Andy” pilot. It’s a funny scene and it really nails what the whole Andy story is about. You can read the text for it here. I need a cover for “The Sixth Day” and I expect to contact Robin Ludwig and tap into her expertise to make an engaging visual to draw prospective readers in.

            Sorry to be so wordy – now to work on those projects and some new text for this site. Thanks for your attention.

<![CDATA[The Events will be Televised (or so we hope)]]>Mon, 20 Jul 2015 14:30:09 GMThttp://chicagostoryworks.com/dirks-blog/the-events-will-be-televised-or-so-we-hope            Seems I’m always surprised when the timeline I’ve set for myself proves inaccurate. Well, surprise me again!

            I am at long last assembling the parts of “The Sixth Day” and it has gone well despite being tardy. I have the storyline for Azura and Seth, as well as Will’s tale (aka Billy the Kid) and I’ve also increased Adrienne 86’s involvement in this fourth episode.

            The Willamette conference is really close now – not in actual number of calendar days but since we are driving to the East coast to visit my sister and brother-in-law over the next days, there’s only about six working days until Eileen and I fly to Portland (OR) for that wonderful pitching and networking event. It will be good for me both mentally and emotionally to have “The Sixth Day” wrapped up before our departure, so I have my work cut out for me.

            Pictures at eleven.