Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dec Dare Day 2 - Visceral to Verbal

Day 2 - 1519 Words on Harsh Climate
Running Total: 2786 Words.

2786 / 30000 words. 9% done!

I was going to update you on the eBook Experiment, but I don't remember what I was going to say. (Progress is slow. Must write more. Something like that. I'll be more specific later.)

So instead I'm going to talk about what I'm excited about. Adapting this screenplay. It's cool.

Writing a screenplay is kind of like writing with manacles on. You have one point of view - objective. When you depict a character you have to put the words in their heads on mute. That is, they are thinking, they are reacting, you know their motivations, but it's visceral - not verbal. But you, as the writer are verbal, and you have to restrain yourself to think only visually. (Okay, you can think in terms of sound too.)

There is one advantage, you do get to tell a few things directly so that the reader knows what the actor might be doing. (You don't do that too much or you'll annoy the actors, but your readers at first will not be actors, and the actors can black it out if they want - so you do get to just outright "tell" something if it's important.) But mostly you are going so straight to "show" that you skip words altogether in your head when you write it. You start to think in gestures and sounds only.

So as I adapt this to fiction form, I find myself holding back when I get to reactions. "Show don't tell!... Oh, wait, it's okay if the audience knows he's thinking about this. Never mind, go ahead and say it."

In the meantime, I did a cover when I took a break. I found the perfect picture at Fotalia, and did a little Photoshop magic. The colors are garish - which is good actually - you want a thriller to have garish colors.... Okay I really picked that blue because it really looks cold, and that yellow because it's the only color that seems to stand out against the blue (especially at tiny thumbnail size). Still looking for the perfect font that gives that brittle feeling of ice while also being blocky like an action thriller.

The story is about two runaway teenagers who run out of gas on a freezing night, and they seek shelter in a remote cabin - which just happens to be the hideout of a gang of vicious kidnappers, who don't know they're there at first. However, the cold is as big an enemy as the bad guys, and it keeps everybody trapped together. Call it "Die Hard in a cabin."

I think this story is not going to take long. The question is whether I will speed up or slow down - tomorrow is the long day at the Day Job. We'll see, won't we?

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