NaNoWriMo: Point of No Return

NaNoWriMo: Point of No Return

This weeks’ update will only be a brief one.

Why?

Because right now, it’s 11:42 PM on Sunday, November 15th. We have now hit the halfway point of NaNoWriMo 2015.

It’s all downhill from here, right?

I’ve spent the better part of this past weekend hiding out in my garage pecking away on this keyboard and staring at this monitor. I don’t think I can last much longer.

I’m looking at my list of things I need to get done and wondering what I’ve accomplished this month.

There have been phone calls, emails, and text messages between me and my writing partner. There have been meetings with people who are “in-the-know” with the Hollywood television industry. We are pushing forward on the pilot, and at the same time working on the outline of a story that will hopefully span multiple seasons. When, and if, this show gets picked up, it can’t be a story that runs out of steam after a few episodes, and then spends the rest of its time struggling.

I’m looking at you, 24 Season One.

Seriously, go re-watch it. Episode 12 sees the story being wrapped up neatly, if not a little too prematurely. And then the next 12 episodes are just a mishmash of unexplained amnesia, mountain lions, and Dennis Hopper doing the worst eastern European accent ever caught on film. Rumor has it, the showrunners weren’t confident the show would get renewed beyond it’s original 12 episode order. Because of this, they only mapped out those first episodes. When FOX decided to pick up the full 24 episodes, the writers had to scramble to come up with the rest of the season.

Oops. That is my worst nightmare.

I’ve also dug up my old box of index cards. These cards served as outlines for the stories I lost when my computer crashed. These have all been reentered into their corresponding Scrivener project files, and backed up, for good measure. Now, to just get back to writing out the stories so I can finish them.

So, now there are two weeks left in the month. It’s crunch time.

I have so much more to do.

I need to go to bed before I turn into this…

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Hey! You Look Famous. Read This!

Hey! You Look Famous. Read This!

I had an interesting day yesterday.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the projects that I’m working on is a TV show with my writing partner, Andrew, from Chicago.

We met three years ago through a mutual Facebook friend and hit it off immediately. Early on, we discovered that we both love writing. He’s a poetry man, and I’m more into prose.

Nine months ago, he came to me with a proposal.

He had a story in mind. He wanted to take this story and create a television show with it. He wanted help. For some strange reason, he wanted my help.

I was skeptical at first. I live in Southern California, about an hour north of Hollywood. The closer you get to the epicenter of the entertainment industry, the more people you run across with some idea for a story, some script they want to sell, or an unnatural desire to be rich and famous. I’ve heard some random ideas that will just make you shake your head and steer clear of a person.

As he started telling me more about this story, I realized that he had something special. I really wanted to be a part of this project.

I wasn’t exactly sure how much help I’d be able to offer though. My qualifications for developing a television show is nothing more than watching TV and yelling at it for some glaring plot hole or bonehead decision a character makes. I had never written a script. And, to this day, I consider dialogue to be one of my biggest weaknesses. I figured a script was just people talking back and forth, right?

I have no idea what process professional writers go through to develop TV show. Neither does he. So we just talked about it. Every once in a while we’d chat about cool scenes we’d like to see, different character ideas, different shows that we love to watch that would become an inspiration for us. We spent time on the phone, on Skype, talking through emails, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts.

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but things started getting serious. A story was starting to form. Characters were developing. Plot twists were being planned. It started to look like we actually have something.

As he continued to developed the story, I started writing.

Last week, Andrew moved to LA and we decided to meet in person for the first time. That was yesterday. We were going to go over whatever we had at the moment and refine it. So for the first time, I printed out the unfinished script as it stood.

Now, this is a feeling that is new to me. Up until now, most of my work has been on the computer screen. I’ve written numerous things, but for now they remain just 0’s and 1’s in a computer.

Although it’s nowhere near complete, having a good portion of the pilot script printed and resting in my hands is a high that I will chase forever.

It hit me.

This is real.

We’ve devoted months of our lives to something and we actually have something to show for it.

I’m seriously getting excited.

I don’t know what is going to happen with this project. Whether it will crash and burn, or if someone will see that special something that we see in it remains to be seen. All I know is this is the closest I’ve ever come to actually writing and completing something that I’m very proud of.

As far as I’m concerned, this has been a highly educational experience, and something that I’m realizing that I want to continue.

We are now officially Hollywood stereotypes. I can’t wait to try to figure out a way to slip some famous person a script. I don’t care if it doesn’t work. I just want to be able to say that I did it. Once.

So please wish us luck, or for the breaking of our legs, whatever the custom is.

Why would you want someone to break their leg anyway? Whatever…

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to dive back into my shame pile