Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Frenzied Finish

I am pleased to announce that I beat the Script Frenzy challenge late last week and have been using the remaining days to finish my script. I'm guesstimating that it will clock out at around 120 pages -- way too long as an average screenplay runs between 100-110. But not to worry. Editing will commence immediately following completion of the first draft.

I really like the script and think/hope kids will like it too. Lots of exciting action, a fun sci fi storyline, and some interesting kid characters that have a nice arc. What's not to like?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Children of Hurin - Mini Review

"Based on a manuscript left unfinished by JRR Tolkien, this book suffers greatly from any comparison to the master's fully completed works.

The story itself revolves around the consequences suffered by Hurin's family after he dares to defy the evil Morgoth (Sauron from LOTR's bigger and badder boss). Chock full of unlikeable characters and relentless tragedies, it is a heavy and frankly depressing book to wade through.

(Son) Christopher Tolkien states that he completed the manuscript "with a minimum of editorial presence" and "without distortion or invention." But therein lies a large part of the problem. The Children of Hurin has a choppy, incomplete feel and was sorely in need of some vigorous "invention" to make it read more like a fully developed novel and not merely an expanded outline.

Interesting in a dry academic sort of way, it lacks any of the humor, warmth, and inspirational qualities of The Hobbit or LOTR. In short, The Children of Hurin is a dull and bleak read -- of interest, I'm afraid, to none but the most extreme Tolkien fans."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Half-Frenzied

Reached page 55 today so I'm over half way to my goal of 100 pages by the end of the month. A screenplay certainly utilizes a different set of writing muscles than a novel -- much more dialogue than description, no internal monologues, present tense rather than past -- that sort of thing. In general, I'm finding it "easier" as long as I remember to keep the writing uncomplicated and to the point. No room in a screenplay for the kind of richly descriptive writing that you need to do in a novel. Economy is the watchword when writing for the silver screen.

That being said, it still has to be an entertaining enough read that the script readers will want to send it up the food chain. After all, what screenwriter doesn't dream of seeing his script produced?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Scripting Fool

Well, only two days into Script Frenzy and I find myself in the very pleasant position of being 16 pages into my script -- and liking it, too! It's called Timer and can best be described as a Family/Youth/Action/SciFi/Comedy. Yeah, that's what I'd call it. I think it might make a great middle grade novel so don't be surprised if that title shows up on my NaNo page in the fall. As I've mentioned before, I find that screenplays make great expanded outlines for novels as you've been able to work out a lot of the kinks already.