Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A step in the right direction

I'm very happy that my family friendly fantasy THE BANDIT HERO and my anime inspired space opera GAIA 4 have moved ahead in the Story Pros screenwriting competition. That being said, it's the quarterfinals - so, it doesn't hold a lot of weight unless they continue forward. After all, who remembers the guy that came in 4th in the 50yd dash in the Olympics? A win would be really nice as I begin the crazy quest for representation.

Living in Florida, I really need someone in Hollywood with both the knowledge and experience to sell my writing. It's just the way of the world. I have to admit, I would love to be able to write full-time one day, I have dozens of ideas for both books and screenplays that I'd like to work on. Working a full-time job really makes it hard to work on more than one project at a time.

Enough griping - it's going to be an interesting summer with all the contests going on. Here's hoping I actually get some writing done as I feverishly wait for the results.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wisdom from High School

Ah, the Internet ... sometimes I really do believe that this connectedness is a mirage. In reality, we are far more disconnected from people than we ever were. On a major blog today, I saw a writer trolling the readers. He'd written a contentious piece the previous week, which I have no issues with. However, he decided to write a follow-up to disparage all those that disagreed with him.

This I have a problem with ...

So, I wrote my own little response, and I'm going to share it here, because I think it is valid outside the context of this one event:

When I was in high school, I was EIC of the high school paper. I learned an awful lot doing that job, primarily because I had a great teacher. She knew classical literature and journalistic beats equally. Along with my other duties, I was responsible for a regular editorial.

For one issue, I wrote something that ended up being a bit contentious and created a lot of controversy. We actually got a lot of letters to the editor on the piece, which is almost unheard of in a high school. I suggested I write up a follow-up editorial to answer some of the criticisms and clarify my points.

I'll never forget what she said. I had my shot -- if I didn't communicate what I needed to, if I needed to clarify, if I had to answer critics, then my editorial failed. If it can't stand on it's own, it's rubbish. If it can -- then no further response is warranted. She continued: I had a platform, the paper -- it was mine. Any further response would be like bullying people. Not only do I get to choose the letters to respond to, but I'd be using my position to make other people look wrong, because I could cherry pick the response.

No, I'd had my say, now it was time to let others take it up.

If the original piece had accomplished what it supposed to, this response wouldn't be necessary. Furthermore, the writer seems like a whiner responding to such unimportant elements of the reaction. Did he not have confidence in the original essay? Was his pride wounded that people didn't just accept his opinion?

When you put your writing out there, you must accept the slings and arrows along with any praise. Don't be a baby when people disagree.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Yes, I'm obsessed with Nova ...

I have had a somewhat productive week. I submitted a rewrite proposal to a studio, and, while I am not confident I will get the job, I approached the topic from a total rewrite perpective. So, I may end up doing more with the story. I've become quite fond of the characters.

I also submitted a couple more screenplays to a competition. Screenplay contests are weird beasts, as you're not really in competition with the other screenplays. Your opponent is whoever reads your script. It is quite possible that everyone involved would love the project -- except the one person who reads it first. It's a crazily subjective thing. So, while its fun to try, you can't put too much weight on the outcome. However, a positive placing could really provide some nice returns and coverage.

Marvel also revealed the return of the Guardians of the Galaxy this week ... Including Star-Lord. For those who aren't aware, he was last seen battling Thanos alongside Nova in a pocket universe. That means Nova Prime aka Richard Rider should also be alive.

The problem is Marvel is fixated on creating a new Spider-man light version of Nova set on Earth. I'm fine with both existing - the Nova Corps, after all, normally has many members. But, Rich is one of the few Marvel characters that hasn't ever seen a significant retcon. He has a relatively linear line of growth as a character. His connections through the Marvel cosmic arena make him an awesome human point of view out in the alien wilds. Here's hoping that Marel comes to their senses and does this right.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mine's not gilded! No fair!

I find it quite difficult holding down full-time employment while attempting to write. It's not simply the time and exhaustion factor (though both are significant), it's the stress of being responsible not just for yourself, but others. My job doesn't just support me; other's rely on my income.

After awhile, it begins to feel like a prison, but not one from which you can ever be released. It's the drowning feeling of being caught in a trap, swept by tides not under your control. The pen garners the weight of Sisyphus' boulder - you can start, but never finish.

In our society, I think this feeling of being stuck is rising among all ages. No one wants to feel like they're in a cage.

It's funny, I'm working on a proposal right now that has a pair of characters facing a similar conflict. For them, it's about having chosen duty over dreams. It's a choice that begins to wear at them. Of course, duty is important. The selfishness of just seeking your dreams without regard to anyone or anything else is pretty self-indulgent. Still, hopes and dreams are what makes the prison bearable, right?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Well, THAT didn't work ...

I sat down today, wrote out a proposal, drew up some character summaries, finished about 90% of the series bible ... so far, so good. I dug into the script, and - yeah, it didn't work at all. It was just so boring. Not what I wanted at all.

I suppose it isn't unusual for this sort of thing to occur, it's just a bit disheartening. However, it's not back to the drawing board. I really like the concept, so I just have to work out the structure a bit more. Gotta toss the script, though.

I just want to get this one right -- it's a really interesting opportunity!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

One TV show? Psssh ... Try three!

So, Amazon Studios has announced that they are now accepting TV series for consideration on their development slate, both comedies and kid's shows. Well, half-hour comedy - not gonna happen. Yeah, I've got some great concepts, but I'm just not that funny; humors is hard! In my scripts and prose, I get off some really funny scenes, I'm proud to say. However, being consistantely funny writing a sitcom ... Whew, I don't think I could.

Now, shows for kids - that's more my style. I actually have three concepts I'm willing to throw at this. I envision one as animated, one live action (think iCarly, Victorious, Wizards of Waverly Place), and one preschool that could be a mix or include puppets.

Having ideas is great --- but, that means I have to write up three sample scripts and a brief bible for each show. THAT is a lot of work. However, I want to get on the ground floor here. At this point, my main goal is to get enough work, accolades, etc to entice a manager to take a chance on me. Optioning a TV show would be an amazing step.

I'm thankful that Amazon is giving neophytes like myself a chance to break into the business. The day I can't submit to Amazon Studios anymore because I'm represented, guild member will be a success for me and Amazon.