Sometimes I find it hard to justify writing fiction, because the real world is so much more intricate and intriguing than one person could ever imagine. In fact, it never ceases to amaze me.
At times like that I remind myself that writing fiction is not reconstructing truth through verisimilitude. Writing fiction is revealing Truth by looking beyond what’s obvious. This is not just the privilege, but the duty of anyone telling tales.
My biggest fear as a writer isn’t failing at this. It’s forgetting it.
New video time! In this Halloween short, the White Rabbit meets Alice for the first and last time. But don’t get ahead of yourself: the end is the beginning is the end.
While I wrote the screenplay for this, the fact is that this piece was a team effort by Wicked Window Productions. They gave me all the elements and I did what I do best: text back and forth with the director, throwing ideas at the wall, until we came up with a narrative that sounded good. Luckily, this took us all of 30 minutes, instead of the usual 14 hours spread over 10 days.
In any case, enjoy the very short film, which is only about a minute long. (Here’s a YouTube Link, in case you need it.) Oh, and before I forget: Happy Halloween.
This has been a tumultuous year, to say the least. With my new job, my work with Wicked Window Productions, my reading, watching (critically) too many movies, and life in general (including the death of two family members), I’ve hardly had time to (1) write on this site (though I post a large amount of stuff on Facebook) and (2) work on any novels. Mostly, that second one has more to do with my spending time writing screenplays and scripts than anything else.
That changes this November. Here’s my plan: Read more…
I’ve been busy these past few months learning about filmmaking, especially the writing side of things, but also about the audio recording/sound mixing side. Most of that learning came via Wicked Window Productions‘s latest film, Resurgence. This was presented at the 2013 Action Film Challenge. It’s about 15 minutes long, and received nominations for Best Actress, Best Villain, and Best Directing.
You can also read the full script here, including noting the differences between the film and the script (most of the differences had to deal with location changes and other limitations), as well as seeing the alternate version, WITHOUT the Joey character. And yes, the original name was Conversion. (NOTE: please excuse the hideous formatting. The program I was working with, Scripts Pro for the iPad, is great at a lot of things, but final drafts isn’t one of them. For that, I’ll use Final Draft.)
- I’m in the film as a security guard near the beginning (1m 49s). I later get killed next to a machine-gun toting stunt woman we nicknamed “Boot Camp Barbie.”
- I perform in the end credits, playing the violin parts.
I’ll likely write a post about the lessons learned here (such as spending all the time you need in pre-production, instead of trying to figure things out on filming days), but for now, please enjoy the film. I’ve even put a few bonus features after the fold: A joke commercial for Suave, outtakes, and pictures. Read more…
Over the past few years, I’ve made it a point to learn how to write scripts. Like with any new endeavor, my first tries weren’t anything to brag about. But, anything worth doing is worth doing badly until you can do it well, and while I still have a long way to go, I’m finally seeing some of the fruits of my labor. This 2 minute short film (commercial, really) represents my the first completed and released project. It was done with Wicked Window Productions, and it’s for a little internet radio station called NX Grind. (By the way, I’m actually IN the commercial, too, the dude in the green football jersey.)
If you like it please, please, please share it. The more views we can get on this, the better. Thanks for watching! And in case you can’t see the video, here’s the link to the YouTube page: http://youtu.be/VEoGXsPIimo.
A while back, I read the following in Neil Gaiman’s Journal, as he wrote about his impressions of the most recent Dr. Who episodes:
[T]here were bits of plot . . . that necessitated not just suspension of one’s disbelief but the surgical extraction of said disbelief before dangling it over a vat of bubbling acid in the hopes that it would shut up.
— Neil Gaiman, regarding a recent Dr. Who episode
It was a moment like that which finally tossed me over the edge and forced me to pursue the life of a fiction author, in the hopes that one day people would choose to read/watch/play my stories and not have to suffer a full-on suspensionofdisbeliefectomy.
Then again, I wonder whether disbelief can be used in order to enhance a story. Does it always detract?
I saw this on Tumblr recently and felt it had to be shared.
Rantings Ravings Dragon Tamings asked:
Dear Mr. Gaiman, I am following your advice on writing and well, writing. I’m even handwriting so as to stop myself from preemptive editing. However, every day it becomes more and more apparent to me that the book I have in my mind is way better than the one that’s coming out. I get the feeling that once I get around to editing the book, it will end up changing A LOT. Is this normal? Is it okay for the plot to undergo lots of changes later as well? Or should I just write a better first draft?
Neil Gaiman responded: Read more…
If you’ve been following this site for a while (a special thanks to the RSS readers who’ve not dumped me from their stream) you’ll have noticed that I recently started posting again. That’s because I finally feel like there’s something that needs to be said, that I want to share, that others might find useful. My absence, as you’ve no doubt guessed by the previous sentence, has been eventful. In that time I’ve accomplished a number of things, from continuing to improve my health to expanding my writing abilities to seeking and pursuing business opportunities.
All of this improvement and knowledge has come by that I’ve finally realized I am truly most passionate about: books, hence the recent (and continuing) theme of the posts here. But books aren’t the focus of this particular post. Rather, the focus is on my recent projects.
Here’s what’s been going on: Read more…
[I]f the question of perfection means wading through hell and back for some minuscule attempt to be better than you already are, because I love what I do, I see nothing wrong in that. I guess that’s what passion is about.
I’m currently reading Lee Sheldon’s Character Development and Storytelling for Games, and this passage hit me pretty hard.
If you can get to the point where your favorite game no longer entertains you, you will have taken a crucial step toward understanding how it worked its magic. It can be a sad moment and an exhilarating one all at the same time.
This wasn’t the first time I’d read this. Robert McKee makes it a point to pound this into your head in his book Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting. But it was the first that it hit really me in a way I’d never thought about. Read more…