Monday, September 26, 2011

Out of the Woods

Chapter: 25
Page Count: 300
Word Count: 162,000
Nemo's Bounty: 998,000 Commercial

"Yet for all the ferocity of wind and snow, what Moira simply couldn't have adequately prepared for, had she tried her absolute hardest, was the cold. It's a unique brand of cold, entirely foreign to Moira who'd over the years, grown accustomed, if not necessarily comfortable, to the unfeeling chill of dead space. This terrestrial cold is malignant, resentful and harrows something deep in Moira's psyche as she continues to slog to forward; the pervasive notion that, no matter her equipment or trappings, humanoids were never meant to dwell in this place. Fifteen minutes into the blizzard, her bones ache where they suddenly didn't before, the kerchief across her face annealed hard as stone from frozen moisture escaping her mouth and she's laughably past the point of shivering. The wound on her neck flares in memory of another such hopeless march through this planet's wilderness barely a month previously when she hears something."

No time to blog. Too busy writing.

Okay, fine. If you insist. In brief, though.

The past few weeks have been unreasonably, unfairly busy. To make a long story short, I'm finally, finally, FINALLY moving to Los Angeles. A little sooner than I would have liked, but the film I'm in, Pinching Penny, is having its premier early next month and Blockbuster Video Store, who's just picked it up as one of their few indie features this year, plans to shop the cast and main crew around to several locations and do signings and stuff. Thusly, I've been summoned out west and thought I might as well make a go of it.

In other yet related news, I've decided I'd like to have a finished first draft of my novel before I make the move, which is next Wednesday. As you can imagine, it's been a busy few weeks, particularly this most recent one - I don't think I've ever been this productive on anything in my entire life. Today, in fact, I churned out 4,400 some words in more or less one sitting. I'm a little exhausted, but if I crack 2,500 a day, I'll be done on the plane between here and LAX.

So, apologies to all 18.4 of you who are statistically reading this, but the next time you hear from me, I'll be in California. I'm, as Tom Waits would say, goin' out west.

Until then.
- T

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Three Days of Rake

Chapter: 22
Page Count: 287
Word Count: 143,900
Nemo's Bounty: 998,000 Commercial

"Up close and personal, the Pylon is more a landscape than a spaceship; a city skyline, a rocky canyon or a mountain range. An irregular teltriton terrain of contour fins, docking ridges, sensor arrays, command towers and, most notably, quadroturret broadside batteries, over three times the width, five times the height and thirty times the length of The Unconstant Lover, stretches dottible upon dottible onward, from bulging engine bank to distant point of prow, like a bumpy beige horizon."

You'll note the suspicious drop in my productivity. I'm inclined to blame this fucker. Or maybe these smug bastards.

Three days off work will hopefully prove useful to me when I start again tomorrow. I swear, if there's one of those hateful little chore lists awaiting me when I stumble out of bed at four p.m. tomorrow, they're gonna rename Thursday "Arsonday" in my honor.

In other news, I've been planning for my upcoming Los Angeles-based D&D game (tentatively titled "Mooncrash" and am pleased to announce that I've converted two new players to the game! Subsequently, we have one Female Gnome Warlord, one Male Half-Orc Barbarian, one Female Half-Orc Paladin and one Male Eladrin Rogue, all currently under construction, along with my campaign's Obsidian Portal page. More information likely to come.

Lastly, my adoring girlfriend recently surprised me with an extremely early birthday present (mostly an attempt to feed more input into my thirsty writing brain) - a subscription to Gamefly which, before you ask, is the Netflix of video games. I recently returned The Force Unleashed II (for the Wii) and had these thoughts:

The Force Unleashed II:
Beautiful, intuitive, rushed and pretty much devoid of interesting narrative, FU2 is a diverting enough installment in the series, but overall falls short of the original's real ingenuities. Hacking through foes with dual lightsabers is a fun addition, but the game itself, particularly its story, is ultimately unsatisfying, with absurdly simple missions (even on highest difficulty), wave after wave of repetitive enemies and a flat, monotone plot line that barely resolves, despite a pair of overall unnecessary cameos from franchise big-hitters Yoda and Boba Fett. Three of five.

Until later (and hopefully with fewer blisters)
- T

Monday, September 5, 2011

Things People Put In Screenplays

Chapter: 21
Page Count: 258
Word Count: 139,000
Nemo's Bounty: 998,000 Commercial

"'No - that's my point,' Nemo emphasizes with forceful gestures of the slushie. 'If there's one thing the Imperium Navy wants to fuck more than natural resources that don't belong to them, it's their targeting computers.' He shrugs violently, tossing icy green ooze against the bottom of the cup's lid. 'You take that away, these navy motherfuckers couldn't hit the broad side of Baz.'"

I have no intention of writing a self-help book. In fact, I have no intention of ever writing non-fiction - without dialogue and narrative, I lost my proverbial hard-on for it. That being said, in the dystopian fiction that I was forced to write a non-fiction self-help book, I'd entitle it "Things People Put In Screenplays."

I'm honestly often baffled at the seemingly careless manner in which screenwriters produce their craft. With the absurd gaps between produced screenplays, one would imagine a painstaking level of editing and polishing would occur on any individual draft, but that hardly seems the case. To this end, I'm starting an idle curiosity, a reoccurring feature of my Twitter and probably my blog, which I've taken to calling "Scenes I'll Never Write in Screenplays" or SINWIS. Upon viewing movies I typically like, I add another feature, most often a cliché of some degree whose inclusion in an otherwise lauded screenplay, baffles my mind. I won't give away the names of the film, but hopefully you'll recognize the threadbare tropes for what they are.

I've so far done three unofficially on Twitter, which I'll list here:
1. I'll never write a scene in a screenplay where a character inexplicably disappears after a vehicle passes between them and the camera.
2. I'll never write a classroom scene in a screenplay where a student appears inattentive but, when called upon, spouts the answer effortlessly.
3. I'll never write a scene in a screenplay where a ship's crew must hurl weighty, non-vital and often comical odds-and-ends overboard to save their vessel.

You can follow the series on my Twitter or keep looking for updates here.

In other news, I wrote 5,549 words this week. With two days off, even. I'll probably be taking at least one day off this coming week as well, to plot out the massive two-and-one-half chapter action climax. IN SPACE! I've also started reading a collection of Conan Doyle's Sherlock tales my girlfriend was gracious enough to give me. I've only read a handful of stories (A Study in Scarlet, A Scandal in Bohemia and The Hound of the Baskervilles) so I'm eager to better verse myself and thus far, with A Case of Identity and The Red-Headed League already taken in lieu, I'm glad I did.

Until later.