Monday, August 1, 2011

Hell and Screenplays and Camp Monsters

When the subject of weather is introduced into a conversation, people assume that it's because there's nothing else to talk about, that you are just exchanging pleasantries with someone you don't know very well to pass the time. Not so for us Kansans. Weather is an event. An ongoing drama. I honestly never get bored talking about Kansas weather even with my best friends and family.

And right now Kansas is HOT. Hot even for me, and I love summer. I hate to use a cliche, but it really feels like what I'd imagine hell to be like if there was such a place.

Due to the "excessive heat warning," and the "dangerous heat index" I have been spending a lot of time indoors - because tells me that outdoor exposure should be limited - so I have had lots of time for input/output. Mostly input.

I devoured a great deal of Doctor Who over the weekend. Yes, I'm still on that. But. I spent as much time watching special features as I did actual episodes, and I've learned something about myself. I've entertained the idea before, but I'm beginning to think that I might be better suited for screenwriting than for novel writing. Not only do I seem to write at the pace of a 45 minute television show, but I also focus a great deal on dialog and tend to neglect setting and description. And I suck at writing action scenes. My action scenes beg to be choreographed by a professional on a production team.

But the aspect that intrigues me the most about screenwriting is the collaborative nature of it. Sure, the writers do have to spend their private time actually writing the script, but based on all of the behind the scenes stuff I watched, the production team and the other writers all get together to go over a script to work out scenes and tweak it. And then they all get together with the actors for a read-through. All of the writers have to work out with the head writer where the overall story is going. Can you imagine some of those meetings? All of those ideas flying around? My idea of the perfect job. I thrive in collaborative settings like that.

All of that being said, I'm quite sure that I actually have no idea what I'm talking about. I have researched all of the ins and outs of novel writing and book publishing, and even self publishing online, but I have no idea how one begins a career as a screenwriter and what the job itself is actually like. I am going to have to look into this.

In other, completely unrelated news (although still slightly related since it still has to do with writing): I've actually committed to doing Camp Nanowrimo this month. I started my story and everything! I'm exploring the urban fantasy genre I've been wanting to write. I have no earthly idea where I'm going with it, but I'm taking the "write what you know" advice. It takes place in Lawrence, and I'm taking a lot of real life and twisting it a bit. Easy, laid back, familiar, and something I'd enjoy reading as much as I hope to enjoy writing it. Here's the synopsis I offhandedly came up with for the Nanowrimo website:

A lonely woman, trapped between adulthood and childhood, moves to a new city to be closer to her sister - her only remaining family - after they lose their mother. As she explores the new city, she finds that monsters are real, and one of them is after her sister.

I'm tentatively (with tongue in cheek) calling it The Monsters of Lawrence. The irony there being that I just finished a true crime book for book club called The Monster of Florence. Too clever?

So yeah. There it is. I'll keep you updated on how it goes.


  1. The sign across the street from my house said 107 when I came back from the grocery store. Either that's worth talking about, or we should make a point to never discuss it. I'm not sure which.

    Yay for Camp Nanowrimo! I've signed up, too! Wanna make potholders together? (And by potholders, I mean, we should meet for word sprints. Did you know Hastings has a coffee shop and wifi now? Sorry, Borders. I have a new love, now.)

  2. Let's definitely make potholders together. I'm all about trying the Hastings coffee shop! It's called the Hardback Cafe, right? Way cooler than the cafe at Borders that never really had a name. :)