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Directing Chops

The time has come to step back into directing. Truth be told, I’ve spent the past several years focused on writing and producing, so this is going to be fun.

The focus this month is simply to pick a scene from one of my previous works to direct. After reviewing several of my short works, I decided to go with the opening scene from “Soul Skin.” I chose this scene because it tells a complete story with a clear journey for the protagonist.

Over the next month, I will be posting weekly as I share the process of honing my directing chops.

The Holding South Adaptation

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working on an adaptation of my flash fiction story, “Alone.” I decided to take the basic elements and characters from that story and adapt them into a broader, potentially on-going, story in a comic book format. 

My fascination with the art of comic book and graphic novel writing hasn’t been a secret here, so I was overjoyed to dive into this process. 

“Holding South” takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where monsters threaten the survival of humans. At its center, however, it is the story of fifteen-year-old, Mae, recruited for the Guard because they’re in desperate need of bodies to defend the southern border. 

In the original story, Mae was also a soldier in a post-apocalyptic world full of monsters, however, we knew nothing about the southern border or the fact that soldiers were getting younger and younger as the Guard grew more and more desperate.  Additionally, the comic expands on Mae’s relationship with her mentor, Hank, through flashback sequences. 

While a flash fiction story captures a specific moment in time, the comic book series will allow me to open up that world and explore all the various components of it. What I discovered, through the process, is that “Holding South” is actually a coming of age story, which never crossed my mind when I penned the original. It’s always fascinating to me, how a world and its characters can reveal all kinds of secrets if you dig deep enough. 

A Time of Doing

This past month has been one of those months where the stars align and everything makes sense… or a meteor falls on your head in order to get your attention – either way, something happened to make me wake up.

I started the month off by attending the Film Independent Forum. Having attended so many of these conferences before, I found myself drawn to some of the more unusual panels – wanting to hear something new and different. I was not disappointed – there were so many fascinating discussions! Two of my favorites were on fiction podcasts (totally have to play in that arena soon) and on creating webseries.

It doesn’t take a genius to know that, in this day and age, with the access we have at our fingertips, creating your own content is the way to go. Creating a lot of your own content is an even better way to go – we are in a time of doing, and the do-ers stand out.

The following week, I was fortunate enough to hear Lisa Ebersole speak, again, which is always a treat. Last time, she spoke about her webseries, 37 Problems; the journey she went through to make it and how it opened doors for her. This time, Lisa spoke about writing from your “authentic lens.” I tend to write a lot of action/sci-fi including places, times and aliens that I will never go to, experience or meet, but that’s not to say that I can’t or don’t already write from an authentic place within those spaces. However, Lisa’s words got me thinking about playing with something new…

That same week, I was asked to create a new premise for a web-series. What perfect timing! I decided on some boundaries for myself – it had to take place on Earth, in modern times, with humans, who had real jobs and families… and, okay, I added a ghost. Some habits die hard…

It was such a fantastic exercise, and I have completely fallen in love with these characters and the possibilities within the world. So, since we’re in a time of doing… I plan to move forward with this webseries. I’m going to write out the rest of the season one episodes, and then push it forward into production! Very excited about this one.

All it took was being hit over the head all month to know – on a soul level – that it’s time to join the do-ers, and get my stories out there right now – in my own way, and on my own terms. Of course, I will continue to work on the multiple features and television shows I have in development, but I think it’s time to play in alternate storytelling fields as well. (I’ve shared my previous passion for comics and graphic novels – which by the way – I am now adapting a project into graphic novel format – yay!) But it’s time… time to make this webseries and get it out there. Time to create a fiction podcast. Time to play with more transmedia. Time to direct my own short films. It’s time to get shit done that doesn’t require months or years of pulling together multi-million dollar deals (which I am still all for and totally working on), but in the meantime, I’ll be over here getting my stories out to the world through every possible avenue – cuz, honestly, they all rock!

Upping the Ante

As a working screenwriter, I write every day.

Today, I was asked to look at ways that I can add even more writing into my life/career. After taking into consideration what is actually possible to add into my already hectic workday, I came up with the following list of items that have been on my mind and decided to make a commitment to follow through on all three:

ONE:

Morning Brainstorm Session

I used to write twelve new story concepts every morning (thank you Hal Croasmun), but life happens and I fell out of the habit. This is my commitment to return to it.

TWO:

Creating a blog on the creative process.

I have been wanting to create a blog on the creative process of writing and producing that explores moving multiple projects up hill and everything in between. I think it’s about time that I put some sweat into it and get ‘er done.

THREE:

Graphic Novels

I discovered a real passion for writing comics and graphic novels (as you may have noticed with my post about Comic Draw). There is one specific project that I currently have in development that the team wants to turn into a graphic novel. No more waiting! It’s time to write those scripts and lock down an artist. Super excited about this one!

There you have it. The commitments are out there. It’s time to up the writing ante.

Pinterest for Characters

Through the years I have dabbled with Pinterest but was never really crazy about it. Maybe I just didn’t see the potential, or perhaps I was too busy to give it a chance either way, it was one of those social media sites that I joined, downloaded the app for and never really went back to.

Recently, I dove back into Pinterest to make a couple of boards for some new characters I’m developing, and suddenly all of the possibilities are opening up before me. What an amazing tool! What the hell was wrong with me that I didn’t see it earlier? I feel like a monster has been unleashed – be warned – I may not be able to stop myself!

Here are the beginnings of my new character boards:

My Protagonist – Linnet

My Antagonist – Raiden