Monday, April 30, 2012

Script Frenzy 2012 Victory Lap: My Muse Takes a Rest

I won Script Frenzy with 120 pages. My muse decided it was enough. "Feed me more tropes!" she cried. "I'm hungry!" I had no choice but to give my muse her wish. And so I stopped at 120 pages. However, that doesn't mean I'm done, just that my muse is tired of working on scripts. So off to TV Tropes I went, hunting for wild ideas or combinations of ideas.

I think I'll consider this my victory lap.

Meanwhile, I'm back to reading poetry. After those middle weeks of intense immersion in Modernist poetry, I now find that many novels I previously considered just literary fiction, or New Wave or cyberpunk science fiction, read like prose poetry, even Surrealist poetry. Also, I'm watching more art films, starting with Chris Marker's seminal New Wave film La Jetée with its still-image storytelling, and the early experimental film it languidly riffs on, Dziga Vertov's The Man with a Movie Camera. Watching La Jetée, I found myself strongly reminded of the French science-fiction comics I so loved back in the '90s. The film was released in 1962. I realized with a shock that I was witnessing the origin of all French science fiction unfolding on my soon-to-be-replaced television set. I was equally unaware that the first act of Spanner Chapter 15 was being born at the same time: I'm writing it in script form first, as a cinematic montage; it was originally inspired by the wordless calm-before-the-storm montage sequences in Mamoru Oshii anime (I'm even calling it "The Calm Before the Storm" in homage to Oshii), but Oshii borrowed the technique from Marker. In the booklet that comes with the La Jetée/Sans Soleil DVD, Marker reveals in an interview that he is very impressed with the new breed of American TV series; he specifically mentions Deadwood, Firefly, and The Wire. Since JulNoWriMo 2010, my approach to Spanner has been to write it as the novelization of one of these new-breed shows. My purpose for this year's Script Frenzy was to adapt it back into a no longer hypothetical show.

I'm not done adapting, of course. I'm only giving my muse a rest. But for May and June, I'll be writing the TV script and the novelization together. I'll also correct the scripts I wrote for last year's Script Frenzy project, the first three Spanner episodes, now that their novelizations are complete and almost ready to publish. Next year I might finally get to that visual novel. But by next April I want to get all 23 episodes of the first season scripted, novelized, and complete. Meanwhile, instead of AugNoWriMo, I may be doing WeSeWriMo instead — Web Series Writing Month. And I might just do it with a reboot of Spanner Book 2...

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