hradzka: (cameron screw you)
I realized what was bugging me about the draft as it existed. The basic premise involves the people who own property on Crystal Lake, and go untouched while Jason slaughters everybody else who comes to visit the place. What kind of culpability issues are involved? Do they even care what's happening? And if not, why not? Does Crystal Lake exude some kind of corrupting effect? So it really started out as an anti-Friday the 13th story, because instead of following nubile teens, I followed a nice old lady who wanted some nice lake property that was for sale *remarkably* cheap. And it was working pretty well. The problem came once the nubile teens showed up. I wanted to develop them a little, give each of them a plotline, and I also wanted the kills to be F13-worthy. All of this meant time away from the main thing I wanted to explore, and time away from my main character, who was the most interesting one, even if she wasn't typical F13 material. It just turned into a typical "pretty people get slaughtered" movie, and while those are fun, I didn't enjoy it as much as I had the earlier stuff. So now I'm trying to get back to that.

The good news is that since I've got it mostly written, I've already figured out what the sequence of events is. So now I just have to transfer the focus more to my main character's POV of events, which means that all but a few of the characters get a lot less screen time. This isn't a huge loss, for the most part, but one of the victims wound up really surprising me, and I'd hate to lose her part. So that'll take some rethinking.

Ah, well, it's all in fun, anyway!
hradzka: (cameron screw you)
Evening writing is still going well. Up to eighty pages, so only twenty to go. Parts I like, other parts don't do much for me -- annoyingly, the bits I like the most are the bits that are *least* like a FRIDAY THE 13th movie. I think the kills are pretty good, but I think my major character is the best one, and unfortunately the nature of a FRIDAY THE 13th story dictates that she's much less the focus after a certain point. It might be that the gimmick simply can't be readily reconciled with a traditional FRIDAY THE 13TH story. I guess I'll see after it's finished.

I do think some of my other characters come off pretty well, and I do like how the "Final Girl" bit comes out. So if it's a failure, it's a failure with some interesting bits.

I think that's a difference between my younger self and me today: ten or twelve years ago, I was convinced that everything I wrote was absolutely great, even if it was really shit. Now, I fully realize that I am capable of writing shit, but it's not traumatic; if my writing fails, I can still see the result as interesting, or at least educational. Not that I wouldn't prefer to write great stuff all the time, but if I fail, it's not horrible. This applies to other people's writing, too; I don't get offended by bad work as much anymore, because often as I learn things about what works and what doesn't, and that's interesting in its own right. The right kind of crap offers its own sort of pleasure.
hradzka: (snoop)
The novel is in limbo for the time being -- having, as I do, actual *work* -- but my evening writing hours are being spent on the Friday the 13th fan script. I'm shooting for a hundred pages, and I'm about halfway through at this point. Verily, bodies are falling. It's surprisingly fun to write, though I'm not sure if the result will work out, as it's a very different take from the previous films and the recent remake. (For one thing, it's Undead!Jason, rather than Hillbilly!Jason, because that's the Jason Voorhees *I* grew up with, dammit.) I think the pacing of the kills, in particular, may require some reworking -- rather than a pure "Jason slaughters nubile teens" approach, I'm making it in some respects more of a psychological thriller, which is a real departure. Not that Jason isn't slaughtering nubile teens; he totally is, left and right, but a large part of it is about how people, one person in particular, deal with Jason's slaughtering nubile teens left and right. Basically, I'm taking a standard Friday the 13th scenario and dropping a big character actor part into the middle of it. But that means that there's more time before kills, and more time between kills, at least early on, which may not play all that well in a Friday the 13th story. Have to take these things into consideration, you know.

The big accomplishment today: I've written in my friends Denise and Ash, cruelly depicted them as sex-crazed morons, and had them gruesomely killed by Jason. It's a tribute to the depth of their love. Really.
hradzka: (han)
Now that the whole thing's posted, here's some behind-the-scenes commentary on "Don't Gimme That Old Time Religion" (Part One, Part Two).

Here's how the process worked. At the time, STAR TREK accepted scripts over the transom, unagented. This made them pretty much unique in town. You sent in your script and a release form; if they liked it, they would contact you and ask if you wanted to pitch stories at them. (If they *really* liked it, they bought your script, but that almost never happened.) A pitch is basically a meeting where you briefly describe the stories you want to tell, and they say if they like 'em or not. Trek would do pitch sessions over the phone or in person, depending on the writer's location.

I was in LA at the time... )
hradzka: (han)
Here's the conclusion of my VOYAGER spec, as submitted to Trek in 1999. As mentioned in the previous post, the whole script exceeded LJ's appetite, so I've posted it in two chunks. Part one is here. Commentary is forthcoming (probably tonight or tomorrow morning).

Acts Four and Five. )
hradzka: (han)
During a recent discussion of STAR TREK: VOYAGER, I mentioned that during the show's run I'd written a spec script that the Trek folks had liked enough to give me a couple of pitch sessions. [livejournal.com profile] iamza was curious about what kind of stories I'd have pitched them, considering that I thought the series had (to put it mildly) several drawbacks. It's actually pretty interesting to try to write to the strengths of something that you see as mired in its weaknesses. After I've posted the whole thing, I'll do another post with a little commentary and background info. LJ barfed when I tried to post it in one piece, so I'll break it at the close of Act Three. Tomorrow, I'll post Acts Four and Five.

The script is called "Don't Gimme That Old-Time Religion," which I freely admit is a lousy title -- but while it's clunky, it's a little memorable, and that's what I was going for. So here's my STAR TREK: VOYAGER spec, circa 1999. )

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The collected poems from my descent into madness year spent writing daily poems are now available from Lulu as the cheapest 330-page book they would let me make ($16.20). If that's too pricey, you can also get it from Lulu as a free download, or just click on the "a poem every day" tag to read them here. But if you did buy one, that'd be awesome.

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