Anyway, "Morte" is complete and mounted on Wattpad and clicking below will let you read it there.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I read a Variety article yesterday and discovered my terminology is passé. It seems the term “miniseries” is old-fashioned – said so right there in the article in so many words. And so my efforts to write a miniseries must be repurposed so that the product is “event television.” I like the term “limited series,” but there are restraints on applying that term to anything over five episodes.
Fortunately the repurposing took only a few minutes – that is to say, while the descriptor has changed, the storytelling remains the same.
The real challenge has been to figure out how best to get to the end of episode eight of “Andy.” For the first three episodes, “Andy,” “Send a Boy . . ,” and “Half-Truths,” I have written each episode in a linear fashion. That means as the interwoven storylines play out, I’ve written part of Andy’s story and then shifted to telling the next step in Seth’s story and so on.
I’ve cut my teeth on feature films and it has been a struggle to feel the flow of each character’s story writing in such a choppy manner. For episode four (working title either “Half-Lies,” or “The Sixth Day”) I mean to try a different approach.
For example, I have already excerpted every one of Billy’s scenes in the first three episodes and compiled them in a teleplay I have titled “Andy Composite – Billy.” When I print that out, and I do get different insights reading on paper than I do reading onscreen, I can read and follow Billy’s story without the interruptions. I mean to write the rest of Billy’s story in that composite document and then switch to “Andy Composite – Pamela” and do the same thing for her story. Ditto all the other main characters.
I will create the teleplay for the fourth episode by assembling the already-written scenes in a sequence that makes “The Sixth Day” a viable tale that stands on its own. I will post again to let you know if that turns out to be easier or harder.
I am looking forward to writing the fourth episode because there are some really good story elements that are set up and will pay off in the 50 to 60 pages I’m about to write. It’s always nice to cross a threshold and have a new world to explore.
What a fabulous day yesterday with my wife and second-born son. One obscenely sweet pastry for breakfast, which my wife shared with me. (We do that seldom because I'm a 5:00 AM morning person and she is a night-prowler) Then a brewery tour and lunch at the Lagunitas brewery on the near-southside of Chicago.
Took a couple brief rambles over the stories of Eileen's father, John A. (Jack) Comer and of my dad, Christian H. Walvoord. Proof positive that two men can be very different from each other and both of them wonderfully good men and good fathers.