Friday, February 26, 2010

High Hopes

Just finished writing through another draft of my screenplay (this is the one about vampires and cowboys and the end of the world). This re-write was a pretty hefty overhaul, about 50% of the previous draft had to be re-written.

...And when it comes down to it, the hardest part of writing is not the dialog or the beats - it's the bones, the fundamental puzzle pieces of what actually happens and how it all interlocks with the other pieces of the story, that's the bonkers part of writing. Once those pieces start clicking into place, it feels glorious, and the writing becomes so much easier. Or maybe that's just me.

This may tie into the way I work. I find that I write best when I have the character's voice in my head. I usually have to write a little bit before I really know a character, but once I know them, and once I know all their little quirks and mannerisms, their psychology, it all becomes fun. Like playing action figures or legos as a kid, I just like throwing my creations into different situations and seeing what happens.

Anyhow, it felt good to get all the way through again. It's feeling right, for the most part. Now all that's left is just some quick revisions to a few scenes and overall polishes, and the script will be ready to be read!

The grass was greener
The light was brighter
The taste was sweeter
The nights of wonder
With friends surrounded
The dawn mist glowing
The water flowing
The endless river

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The aged, broken voice

There's something rather bizarre that I've realized about myself, more specifically my taste in vocal performances. ...And here it is: I love listening to old guys sing.

Vocal chords all old and leathery, voice sounding like sandpaper, and a diaphragm too old to support hitting the range of notes it used to be able to... It's pretty much the opposite of what you could call "good" singing. But I don't care. I love it.

Take, for example, Johnny Cash in his later years. This song, when sung by Cash, sounds way more awesome to me than the original performers. And one of my favorite songs ever is this Bob Dylan original called Not Dark Yet. And this guy performs covers of songs that blow the originals out of the water! Okay, that last one was just for fun. ...But you can't deny there's something fascinating about that old man...

...And maybe that's just it. It's not the hitting of notes, it's the character in the voice, it's the tangible feeling of history that is so engaging.

A lot of people say they can't stand Bob Dylan's voice. But I feel that the gravelly, raspy utterances work perfectly with the beautiful, sonorous music backing him up. He refuses to sing along with the notes, instead filling out the spaces in between with a lilting counter-rhythm. ...And the fact that you can get a sense that he's seen just about everything on the face of the earth makes it so that I cannot tear my eyes away. Or my ears.

As a writer, I love the sound of unique voices, unique ways of saying things, mannerisms, idioms, and dialects, and it's something that I wish to capture in my stories. If a character has a voice, a tangible voice that leaps off the page and engages the reader, then it is a success.

Anyways. Just some musings. When I grow old, I just want to be as awesome as this guy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


...sometimes life feels like this:...and all you can do is hope that when it's all over, you still have your other boot.