Friday, November 18, 2005

Retooled once more

Slow progress this week, and not only because of my return to work and the inevitable psychic drain that results.

I’ve been putting in my daily two hours (well, alright, that’s a little white lie - but near enough, honest) but, even so, there’s little to show for it. At first I put this down to having, thus far, worked in very broad strokes. I had the grander arcs of my characters, settings and story figured out; who I wanted to move where - but filling in the finer detail was painstaking.

I considered today that, maybe - if I was having to force things, if the story wasn’t flowing from one inevitable event to another - maybe, my idea didn’t contain enough fuel to fire the intended number of hours. The reason I wasn’t coming up with the goods was that every other scene I was visualising was, basically, filler. If I cut all the crap I had probably enough material for a spooky, exciting, adventure story, that could hit - at most - two hours.

So I needed to reconsider. Again. Focus. Distill.

An insight into my thought processes:

I was originally inspired to write a story about a man who refused to partake of violence, having to prove himself to a community that had become obsessed with war.

Eventually, I had my man pitted against an enemy that could not be destroyed by violent means - a great force of non-being that only grows stronger as events become bloodier, more destructive and insane.

So how do you defeat that? The very first image that came to my mind when planning this whole thing, years and years ago, was that of the lost land of Lyonesse, rising from the sea-bed. Through my hero’s actions, a huge act of psychic healing would end the war and cure the world and banish the will to destruction, creating a society of light.

Et cetera, et cetera.

Meh to that. A denouement of that magnitude couldn’t possibly be considered “earned” in four hours. It would simply be a lame deus ex machina. No, that couldn’t be done at all in four hours.

I would have to do it in two.

Because what if a part of England that had been lost for millennia, came back? That’s not an ending. That’s how you start. With a war so repulsively excessive the Earth itself begins to puke its guts out. The membrane separating the Britain that’s lived in from the one that’s dreamt of begins to thin. A young man - first a warrior, then a shaman - tasked to hold back a growing darkness, attempts to do so from his newly acquired stronghold of Lyonesse. And World War One continues to rage.

My idea wasn’t for a mini-series. It was a pilot, and hopefully a bloody exciting one at that.

I certainly feel fired up. I’ll get right on it.

Category: Writing

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