Raw Material: A TV Pilot

It’s been quiet, I know.  Life suddenly became hectic, and that’s okay.  The juggling struggle has been very real, however, and some balls get dropped, for the time being.

So while I work on memorizing a 100+ script to perform, I’ve put together a very raw form of the pilot I worked on.  It hasn’t had a read through, or even a skimmed edit.  It’s the pure material.  I wanted you to see where it starts.  What I do with it now?  I have no idea.  Perhaps I’ll finish out the six episode arc I wrote up for this project, and perhaps I’ll compile it, and even sell it as a readable screenplay.  Who knows.  It’s a side project in any case, as my paranormal fantasy has sprung to life again in my head, and the sequel to my book, really needs to be told.

I hope you enjoy it.  (PS. I’d totally cast myself as Jadeia.)

EP.1 – The Last Earther

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What I Learned

It was fast.  It was dirty.  And it is nothing like what professional, or those seeking to break into the industry, go through to perfect their pilots and scripts for submission.  Much like writing a novel, it doesn’t happen in a couple weeks.  There are revisions.  Edits.  Re-writes and you haven’t even gotten to the pitch, the query, or design work.  To expect a sell-worthy pilot script in only a few weeks is, frankly, crazy.  And impossible.

BUT.

I do have a working draft that I am proud of, even if I know there is so much more I’d like to add, play with, and explore.

It was intense, writing scenes, brief scenes as the idea was to keep each act of the pilot episode within 11 pages for a simple 30 minute pilot.  While I’d never wish to script a 30 minute show (I prefer hour formats even as a viewer), it does teach you a lot about editing, and getting down to the important moments in storytelling.  There is no waxing poetic when you have 11 pages.  There is no lingering to ink out all the emotions possible.  There is no showing off.  It’s dirty, and it’s in your face.  It is a lesson I hope to translate into novel format.

Now… what to do with this little creation?  I don’t know.  I certainly don’t expect to try and put it out there as a pilot to sell.  It’s an interesting story, sure, one that is at the heart of my geeky love, but even I don’t see it as a good episodic show.  Or even a film.  So perhaps I’ll end up posting it.  Perhaps I’ll end up adapting it into a traditional novel.  It’ll live on somehow, I know that, and will certainly be one of the more interesting learning experiences.

So, in short, while I will be returning to working on my novels (I really ought to get going on those again), but I’ll say this: every writer should work in a different medium.  If you write scripts, while in the traditional format.  If you write poetry, try script writing.  If you write novels, try poetry.  Do something else, even if you know you’ll never do it again.  You’ll be surprised how it will inform your work.

No Easy Feat: Script Writing Update

Script Writing.  It’s hard.  Really hard.  I knew that going into this online course.  It is the reason I’ve stayed away from it for so long.  I give all the props in the world to the amazing writers who do it day in and day out on scripted television shows, and films.  There is nothing easy about it.  But it was a challenge that I wanted to tackle.

You’d think, as an actor, script writing would be the first thing I’d attempt.  Honestly, I toyed with it as a kid, but I never really stuck with it.  Why?  Because I loved performing the words more than I liked writing them.  Which is odd because I truly love writing prose, but in prose, you tell the whole story, actions and dialogue.  In script writing, you let the creative team and performers do that work for you.  It’s weird.

I’ll say this, though, it is allowing me to play in a sandbox that has been cluttering up my head and keeping me from writing my prose work.  Those characters now get to play, and get to be read by the people taking the course.  It’s pleasant, and I love the feedback, both good and bad.  And, frankly, it lets me play in space.  As in, outer space, which is my setting for my pilot script.

Of course, there is a character I’d love to play.  Of course I have actors cast in my head.  Why not?  It’s an exercise.

The challenge has been good for me so far.  I haven’t quite wanted to bang my head against the table.  While I’ve been frustrated with the aimlessness I’ve tackled this project with, I’m pleased with the story that is unfolding.  It’s hard, sticking to dialogue, trying to convey a story with only that, but I think, in the end, my prose work will be better for it.

New Quest: Script Writing.

You might not hear much from me.  My schedule is about to become jam-packed, and on top of it, I’ve added an exciting but certainly challenging new writing venture.  Through Coursera (I’ve taken several courses through them and love them), I’ve signed up for a script-writing class.

Usually, I stick to novels, short stories, the traditional format.  I don’t venture into script writing.  It’s foreign territory.  But this course is supposed to help create a pilot script for a tv series.  I say “supposed” because I’m not sure what the outcome of this experiment for me will be.  Script writing is a very different genre and requires a different set of skills.  It’s like Ballet vs Tap.  I use those because I’m a dancer and I can tell you for experience that while I can tap, I am not a tapper, but have been trained as a classical ballerina.  Reverse that, and I’m sure tappers will agree with me.

But I want to try.

And it’s only week one of the course, and I’ve created a very complicated, overly populated story.  I can’t help myself.  But it’s an experiment, a challenge.

As part of it, I’m going to post my work, after it has been completed through the course, here.

I may also blog my woes, challenges, and revelations.  I’m looking forward to it!

One-Shots and Fueling

In the early morning hours, you know them, they’re the ones were you roll over at 2am, open about ten apps and hope for sleep, I came up with an interesting idea…  One -shots.  I used to write them all the time.  I wrote fan-fic one-shots, original fic one-shots… anything.  There were a great way to get juices flowing, explore a character voice, and just simply: practice.  In fact, during that 2am desperate search for sleep, I realized I missed writing them.

I came up with an idea.  Mainly, I came up with the idea to keep my first novel’s world in my head.  I didn’t want to lose the world I had built in favor of the new one that seems to be taking over (ahem… Srebrov and my paranormal-fantasy).  I decided that one-shots, a great exercise, would really help my world-mushing problem.  Why not write one-shots in Faeree, Turned/Red‘s world?  Write from perspectives of characters never met in the novel, or explore bits of their early life?  It would be a fun way to further explore what I had created…

And why not share those experiments?  I’m all about transparency of the process… and encouraging others to do the same.  So this first one is up on Fictionpress.  Eventually, I hope to collect them into a small companion book, but for now, they’re available to read there.

I hope you enjoy!

World Painted Red: The Nanny
She was tasked with a simple job: steal the baby for the queen. But nothing with the Imperial Queen is ever that easy. A one-shot in the world of Faeree first introduced in E. Logan’s Turned/Red.

When Characters Speak Up

What happens when a character, who, when you originally wrote her, was one of the more elusive of the set, suddenly decides to speak up and demand her own story?  You try to tell her to stop, but end up giving in and allowed her to take over her own novella.  At least, this is how this reasoning goes when a little story-bug gets into your brain and won’t let go.

Not that I’m complaining.  Story-bugs are the best.  Really.  There’s passion, and imagination, and fire there.  It means that a character has a voice that demands to be heard, and usually, if you let yourself follow the story-bug, something interesting comes out of it.

Now, I’ll admit, it isn’t always a full-blown story.  I’ve had story-bugs think they are full novels but end up realizing they are just fabulous sub-plots to another tale.  They end up being important points in the over-all reach of the story in ways I didn’t expect.

The bunny looks so cute and concerned....: Then you have story-bugs that started out only as a sub-plot idea that somehow blooms into a bigger one.  That’s where I am currently.  Solene White, a character in my novel Turned/Red I wrote about earlier (here) was only ever supposed to be a sub-plot.  Having based her off of Snow White and a few well-talked about monarchs in history, I didn’t feel like I wanted to re-hash an over-told tale.  I was wrong.  Apparently.

In the original plotting of the story-arcs, she never received her own.  The “Cinderella” character would get one, the “Sleeping Beauty” character would get one, down the line even a “Dorothy” and “Tinkerbell” character would get one… but not “Snow White.”  That, however, was back when I was taking the story in a very fairy-tale re-telling route, before it turned on its head, pulled from the War of the Roses and my dystopian love and jumped the curve.  Happily.

But now Solene isn’t content to be in Red’s story.  She wants her own.  So does Mal.  So does Red’s mother.  These women have stories they want to tell.  Novellas.  Not fully grown tales, but mini-ones.  And while I spent this week trying, and failing, to focus efforts purely on my paranormal fantasy project, they were begging me to give.

So I did.  Novellas for everyone it seems.

Let’s Be Real: Balancing It All

I sat down this week to write up a blog post and you know what happened?  Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  I stared at the wall for a while, binged This Is Us (which I’m in love with, and it’s not even something I usually watch on TV), and found myself all over my local zoo’s website (I love penguins for some reason).  Usually, this ADD sort of thinking produces something, but not this week.  Could it be burn out from an amazing production week/run of a performance?  Could it be I’m using it all up in drafting my Wonder Woman outfit for con?  Or because I hit this weird, but good-weird spot in my recent novel and I’m busy working it out?  Or maybe it is all of those things.

Maybe I needed to talk about how to balance being an indy (independent) writer, performer, seamstress, pin up girl, AND working a regular-if-only-it-was-full-time job.  That’s the reality a lot of us face as we start out trying to carve a little spot for ourselves.  So few of us get to sit down and write, or perform, full-time.  I’d love to do both.  That’s my goal, a completely reach-able with LOTS of hard work goal, but one filled with the ever persistent balance problem.  I have to feed myself, therefore, I had to make money by working.  I’m committed to events, which require my sewing skills.  I have to make sure my soul hasn’t gone crazy, so I work on finding the next fabulous show to perform in.  It’s a lot.  On top of the need to write down these stories bubbling in my head.  It’s not wonder people thing us, artists are a little off-beat.

As spring rolls around, I realize that I will have less and less time to write.  It’ll be about chiseling moments of time in order to do so… and to be honest, that’s difficult for me.  I get ideas, need to try them out, and end up side-tracked.  It’s the ENFP life at its purest.  It’s brilliant but I have to remember to keep at it.

I, also, have to remember, that I’m not failing if I’m not writing every day.  Not if I’m composing in my head, thinking about it, then I’m not failing.  And yes, I repeat that to myself every time I beat myself up over it… and I do it every time.  I remind myself that everyone works differently.  Some have to write every day.  Some don’t.  Some binge.  Some trickle.  Some plan chapters a week/word count a week.  Some don’t.

But balance, that’s what I need.  I need to make sure I am feeding all of my artistic outlets.  And take the time to regenerate those juices.  It also means, to me, giving in to my artistic impulses when they occur.  And that just because it isn’t happening at that moment, or even a day or two done the road, doesn’t mean it won’t suddenly happen again.

Patience.  It’s a virtue, or something.  I’m not very good at it, but I’m trying.

And I pose this question: how do you balance it all?  I’d love to swap tips, stories, etc.  You an always learn from someone else.  Always.