Thursday, July 09, 2015

Another way to tell the story

I'm trying something new, something that demands that I write in a manner more economical than any style in which I have written. (The previous sentence, for instance, is the longest I've written in two weeks.) Often writing fragments. Searching for a metaphor or simile that will convey 500 words or narration.

No, I'm not talking about Twitter.

I'm trying my hand at scriptwriting, working on a would-be pilot for a show featuring my US Border Patrol agent / single mom Peyton Cote. I turned in Destiny's Pawns (2016), the third title of my three-book contract. Technically, I'm between contracts (although I expect and hope to write more books in the series). I needed a breather anyway, and a good friend gave me a copy (legally) of Final Draft 9, the leading script-writing software. So I'm trying – and enjoying – a new form.

I've heard talk, through my agent, Julia Lord, of what a Peyton Cote TV series might look like. (No one asks her about film adaptations, always TV.) Previously, I'd not taken the idea seriously. (Upon first inquiry, I said to Julia, "...and the Boston Bruins are on line two…") But then I thought about my vision for a would-be TV series and how it differed from what I was hearing. So here we are: I'm trying to write a script – totally on spec – that shows my take on what a show might look like.

I was told by a Pulitzer Prize winner that there's no artistic reason for a novelist to write a script. No artistic reward whatsoever to be had. Got to say, after a couple weeks, I totally disagree. I'm having a ball reading scripts to see how it's done, writing in present tense, and developing characters using dialogue as the primary vehicle. (Anyone who's read my work, knows that's not far removed from my books anyway.) And the early feedback – from a veteran show runner who's currently developing two shows – has been positive.

So where does all of this lead? Who knows? But I'd like to have a pilot written, should someone approach my agent in the future. And any writing experience can only make me a better novelist.


Donis Casey said...

Good luck! When your future series is picked up for a fifth season, I'll be proud to say I knew you when.

John R. Corrigan (D.A. Keeley) said...

Ha! I'm just really having fun with the form -- trying to capture an entire character with one descriptor or metaphor. I.E. If you needed blood drawn she's the nurse you'd want drawing it. I had someone I consider an "expert in the field" read a partial. He said it didn't suck ... so I'll finish it.