My Writing Quest: Part 1 of a Billion


I will start providing more information concerning my developing writing career. The HORROR.

I recently began a much-stronger push to develop my writing. I guess you could call it my 2010 Resolution, although I resolved to do it pretty much last summer when I started this blog. I got a few fun gigs – I write this one, I write for Destructoid’s Community Blogs, and I’ve been pegged to write for a brand new video game site, Damnlag. (It’s still being coded, so it’s not quite ready yet.) I am also doing reviews for Wildsound Filmmaking, an atrociously designed website that, at the very least, allows me to watch some classic horror films (and pays). Some rock (The Fly), some do not (The Black Scorpion). I’m putting together a portfolio and even made some business cards.

Also, screenplays are in the works. I suppose I should tell you what I have: technically, I have three full-length features “done”. Two I had to do in college (and I probably won’t touch them ever again), and one I recently did for Coverage Ink (more on that in a second). I also have written two full-length fan-scripts based on some video game properties. Why? Two reasons: one, I wanted to test my abilities at adaptations, and even though they won’t sell, it still pushes my skillset as a writer. Two, I wanted to see if it was really that hard and complex to scribe a decent screenplay from a game. (Conclusion: It is, but it helps being a fan of the game as well as understanding the nuances of storytelling. Also, taking the time to think about it.) That’s 5 nearly-120 pages scripts. Huh.

In addition, I wrote six episodes of an animated sitcom. Now, animated shows aren’t usually written so much as the ideas are tossed around until they’re defined enough for storyboarding. But some sources seem to suggest that the teleplay for cartoons are becoming more and more necessary. Given that this show is more attuned to Futurama (I’m actually pitching it as Johnny Bravo meetsĀ Futurama), it’s more about character-humor than the other types, although I do use a number of physical, timing, word, and cutaway gags. I wanna commission some concept art soon.

(An aside: one of my biggest revelations was how much I adore the animated/video game-y stories, with huge, creative worlds, wacky characters, and practically limitless borders. Once I got away from ideas of people doing stuff that people do, it really improved my drive and makes writing what it should always be: fun. I’d love to be able to write something with the heart of a Pixar film, but if only make it to the level of a high-valued Dreamworks film, hell, I’d take it. THIS site really solidified my drive.)

As for Coverage Ink: in the summer, I entered a contest called the CSOpen, a three-week adventure where you had to write 5-page scenes based on premises that were provided for you. The trick was, each round had a shortened time-frame. I made it to the final round, but failed to put together a decent submission with the required 3 hours. Yet, my second submission was really good, and I ended up pushing it out into a full length. Coverage Ink, the sponsor of the CSOpen, offered coverage service at a discount, so I went ahead and submitted it, JUST to see where it and I stack against the competition. I have a bit of faith in how it turned out, but I have to expect a PASS just to maintain some realism. I’ll know the results this weekend. I’m nervous as hell.

We will see. I’ll be heading out to LA for a week, getting a taste of the town and perhaps a bit of networking? We’ll see what happens.

Share

, ,

  1. #1 by Jon on January 6, 2010 - 2:22 pm

    Good to read this update. I’m curious: How do you make a completely “fantasy” or sci-fi movie while grounding it in a human emotional matrix?

    You don’t want to just make a regular drama with spacemen, but you also want that “heart” you talk about. So is there some middle ground between a totally fantastic, original scenario and something with real human emotion? What movies do you think pull that off?

    Best on all of your writing projects…

  2. #2 by kjohnson1585 on January 7, 2010 - 10:19 am

    Jon,

    I find that as long as you give your spacemen/satyrs/make-believe characters an investment in something they truly believe in, an audience can make the connection and understand the stakes, no matter how outlandish it is. A good example is Toy Story 2 (actually, my favorite Pixar film), with Jesse’s fear of being owned and, in time, being forgotten. It’s ostentatiously a “toy only” problem, but because it is real to her, it is real to the viewer.

    The key is to define your world, and sink your teeth into it. Here’s a great link from the writer of The Princess and the Frog: http://makingof.com/insiders/artist/blog/rob/edwards/242

(will not be published)

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.