December 2nd

Not dead, only resting...

(Quick explanation - most of my summer was taken up with staying close to my family as my mother went through the end stage of a terminal illness, which is a long-winded way of saying "dying". Months after that have been spent simultaneously trying to recover from same and working a job that crushed my soul. I'm unemployed at the moment - although I have high hopes that that is about to change - and thus have had some time - finally - to knock some of the rust off my brain.)

I spent a large chunk of November working on On the Edge, primarily because I want to take a screenwriting class at the local junior college next semester, but as I really don't want to have to sit through the basic course again (I took it at SFSU), I want to have a complete treatment ready to go, with which I could justify signing up for the advanced course - which is actually in the same classroom as the entry-level students, but the advanced students have the express goal of bashing out a complete feature, not the first act.

Naturally, the treatment froze at exactly the same point it has in the past. But I have made some changes to the characters and the story-so-far and discovered a lot. For a start, I've identified the questions I have to answer in order to make the story engaging and interesting. For instance:

  • Why give a damn about Patricia? Despite ongoing tweaks to her character, she's still coming across as unsympathetic and, frankly, who's going to care about a rich, talented surgeon having a bad day?
    • Immediate solutions to above: tweak either the "rich", the "talented" or the "bad day" part. Will probably tweak the first and the third elements, but I can't let go of Trish being just a touch brilliant. I don't like my darlings to be dumb.
  • What has Patricia got to lose? At the moment, there's no real threat to the things she considers valuable.
    • Solutions: threaten her control - real, deep visceral control, I mean. Threaten her practice. Which leads directly to...
  • How can Michael be the source of said threat, where he is at the moment - a detective on the NYPD. If he's not a threat, either adjust matters so that he can be, or else get rid of him because he's not much of a bloody antagonist if he's not a threat, is he?

And lots more like that. But those, above, are the really important questions. If I can answer those, I'll have a viable story on my hands, I think - otherwise it's going to remain the zombie screenplay for the rest of my life.

Maybe I'll just sign up for the 'basic' class and dust off my Gattaca Meets 1984 - But It Isn't Equilibrium, Damn It story idea and see if that can survive the light of day. If money wasn't so tight, I'd sign up for this class, regardless of readiness, take it credit/no-credit (it's not like I'm working towards another BA) and just see what happens. But money is tight and I don't want to drop nearly $100 for a class that isn't going to work out.

(Tangent, last time I went through the junior college system - granted, this was in the early 1990s - the same class would have cost me $18. Sigh.)

In other news, my 007 fanfic popped into my head this morning, looking forlorn and unloved. I took a look at my previous notes and realized that, heck, it's ready to write. Sure, I haven't figured out some aspects in the climax, but I have got a beginning, middle and end, which is the minimum requirement for me to get going on a draft. So, I might start bashing that out, for the sheer fun of it. For whatever reason, the idea is singing for me at the moment, and after such a long dry spell, I shouldn't let such moments go to waste. If I don't want to lose the habit of writing creatively, then I kinda need to focus on writing a little more often!

But now, I have to go to a job interview. Dratted real life gets in the way of hobbies once again!