Saturday, February 16, 2013

I want a do over.

I want my week back.

The last seven days went something like this ...

Some sort of freeway monster ate my license plate between Orlando and Jacksonville, causing a lovely (and expensive) visit to the DMV. I was visited by a lovely influenza virus and her date, Mr. Respiratory Infection (he's a bacteria; it's a problem with their parents, but they're working it out). Of course, that kept me home from work and sent me on a lovely (and expensive) trip to the doctor. Fortunately, my neighbors decided to keep me entertained while I was trapped in bed with the constant hammering and drilling of a construction project. We end that with the kitchen sink drain pipe exploding. Ok, it didn't explode. That's hyperbole. It vomited. No, really; right after I used the churned stuff up in the disposall, a hole ripped open in the pipe depositing what looked like cat vomit all over the place.

Let's just say, it was a terrible week for writing. Hope I can start getting caught up as my strength comes back.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

At least I'm in the hunt!

I forgot to mention that on Feb 1 the BlueCat Screenplay Competition announced that one of my scripts had moved forward to the quarterfinalist round. Some honesty is important here -- usually, the scripts that make it through the first round in a contest tend to be the ones that were actually formatted correctly. I know that everyone always wants to think it's because of their amazing talent, but a lot of garbage gets submitted to these things. The readers often have to wade through hundreds of submissions that don't follow the rules of screenwriting.

So, making it to the next round just means my script is at least mediocre and that my Final Draft program is working correctly. If you'd like some numbers, the contest had 3391 submissions with about 10% moving on to the next round (341 scripts).

The nicest thing about BlueCat is that you get feedback on your entry as part of the entry fee. I think that I, and a lot of writers, really view it as a cheap way to get your script read and get some notes, with the contest being a bonus. They do offer a much more in-depth analysis, but being the poor scribe that I am, it's not something I can really afford.

The competition has a page count cut-off. Of course, my screenplay was far past that, mainly due to the nature of my script's genre and my poor skills. So, I was forced to do the ol' chop chop to make the submission requirement. The fastest place was to cut the majority of the denouement. I still believe it's an important part of the script, but you can get the gist of where the future is leading my characters without it. Of course, what was one of the main complaints in the critique I received? The reader thought the ending was too abrupt and cheated the viewer. Well, sir -- I agree! At least it shows that the reader REALLY did read the script.

The screenplay I submitted was Gaia 4: The Last City, my anime/space opera homage. There is really nothing along the lines of Macross or Lensman coming out of American cinema these days, although I really feel that there is a hunger for that sort of story. The script is also based on a novel I'm working on, although it's slow going. Hopefully, I'll have an update on that sometime soon.

If you wanted to check out all the quarterfinalists, you can do so here.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Reach out to the truth ...

It's not any secret that I'm a huge fan of games, of both the video and board varieties. Part of the reason I love games is that some tell you a story and some allow you create your own. It's the same reason I love movies and books. It's all about the tale it tells and the characters involved.

One of my favorite games of all time is Persona 4. I bring it up because, not only was a new version of the game recently released for the Sony Vita, the animated series is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. I love the characters, the concept, and the arc of the story. The tale is unique, yet also familiar; it's iconoclastic, but also archetypal. That's not to say it is the deepest and most profound story ever told; it's not. I just find it highly enjoyable.

The core concept that really draws me in is the idea that, at some point, you must face another you -- the you that contains all the beliefs, desires, and motivations that you dislike about yourself. By facing this other part of you and accepting it, you gain power. Now, accepting doesn't mean that you would continue with a destructive behavior, rather that by finally acknowledging that the behavior is really you, you're given the ability to overcome it and change yourself. However, the first step is accepting you as you are.

It's a powerful message. If you get a chance, check it out!