Monday, March 20, 2006

Things on my Make a To-Do List

It's another Monday morning and time to review the things I have to tackle this week, the things I want to tackle this week and thinks that'll probably end up getting nudged onwards for another week. I know, I know, carpe diem and all that crap, but temptation bites hard and ambition is low some days. Anyways, lets examine the list, shall we?

Things I Must Do This Week:

Write and submit the outline of my Interactive Entertainment proposal, the first piece of assessed work on the Writing for Interactive module of my MA Screenwriting course. Spent several hours scouring the web for competitor products last night, distilling hints and tips from the last six weeks of group sessions with tutor Mark Grindle about what he expects in the outline, and generally getting geared up for this task;

Research and write a 1-page proposal for a 95,000 word novel. That's the opportunity that fell into my lap last week moments after I decided 2006 was my Year of Non-Fiction. This could be an exciting opportunity, but I need to find a framing device, some parameters for the setting [both grographically and in terms of time] and narrow down the thrust of the story's themes and tone. Themes and tone - not something I ever gave much thought to before starting the MA.

Write and email a ten-minute script for my Script Development Module at college, so it can be analysed in class this coming week. Can't decide whether to take a first pass at the story I proposed in my outline document last week, or if I want to revive the story concept that helped get me on the course in the first place. The latter is an idea that came to me in a dream one night [yes, that really does happen], but like a lot of dreams it has a warped internal logic. Plus, I've no idea what the premise of my story is, indicating it may need more thought...

Prepare notes and comments for the Staff Student Liaison Committee meeting on Thursday at Napier University. I've somehow become student rep for the part-time screenwriters, so have been gathering feedback from my fellow part-timers on the course. Guess I should probably iron a shirt too, or at least wash one that doesn't crease [or, better still, need ironing].

Things I Want to Do This Week:

Earning some money would be good. I currently have no outstanding invoices, meaning I've been paid for all my recent work. There is the promise of money in my future, but I need to do some paying work soon, otherwise the bank account will look rather forlorn sooner rather than later. Probably the quickest method of achieving this relates to my next task...

Resume writing my Fiends in Stalingrad comic strip. I wrote the first two episodes last year, back when it was planned as six episodes of eight pages each. A chance of format at the Megazine means the serial will now appear as eight episodes of six pages each. New editor Matt Smith kindly gave me the opportunity to edit two pages each from the first two episodes, and they're much tighter as a result. But I now need to find more plot for the extra two episodes the story has gained. It's written in a modular style, meaning each episode needs to stand alone while also advancing an overall plot arc. With issues of the Megazine being published four weeks apart, discrete vignettes work better than a fast-flowing single narrative.

Still waiting on feedback about my radio play, but that could come this week and I'm eager to learn how the producer-director thinks it can be improved. The endings's not quite there and scene 4 feels redundant at present, so that's two obvious things that need fixing. But I'll be interested to discover what other areas I need to improve. Editing somebody else's work is so much easier than editing your own.

Things I'd Like To Do This Week:

I feel the ground has lain fallow on my Warhammer proposal for too long, it's time I got that project going again. The situation isn't as pronounced on my historical murder mystery pitch for radio, but again I need to give that a fresh nudge.

Other Things:

Not sure how much I'll need to do my way of tweaks on my Inspector Morse reference tome; got a couple of short stories for which I need to get creative; still waiting on final contracts for a non-fiction project; and a bunch of other stuff.

Right now, some fresh coffee is needed - and then some bloody work!

PS: Snaps to scribe Lee Thompson for a comment on my last posting. Go check out his blog at where Lee's got a fistful of links to websites with various TV screenplays available to read and/or download.

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