Saturday 21 May 2022

A new book

Could it be about a family of cats?

This one has been a long time in the making. 

I started it over 10 years ago, as a TV show pitch. At the time, I was experimenting with screenwriting and comedy skits, taking classes in both, along with improv. I had a writing partner in Berlin, and we pitched our shows both here and in Europe, to places like Disney and Sony.

Nothing got anywhere, not really. 

I had some options, and got called in to pitch a few times. 

One screenplay morphed into a prose novel. 

This one, I'd written a pitch doc, backed up with a pilot episode. I'd written pitch scripts for already existing shows, but this was my first go at a pilot. 

Writing for TV is akin to poetry. Every. Single. Word. Counts. 

Everything is connected.

For me, that was part of the problem. 

When you get notes on a finished script, if your craft isn't up to snuff, they can be extremely hard to implement successfully. Often changes will introduce a slew of logic holes.

TV shows, believe it or not, are generally very tightly written. If you change one thing, it's like pulling on a sweater thread which unravels the entire garment. One change impacts everything else, causing a cascade which launches an avalanche of revisions. 

At the outline or treatment stage, I can handle that well enough. But with a 'finished' script? 

So I wasn't entirely happy with the pilot. I'd rejigged it on the advice of professionals, but wasn't able to implement the changes smoothly. The script was now... bumpy. 

My craft needed work. 

I went back to this particular idea because I'd invested so much in it, and never had any resoultion. It stuck in my head. After letting it lie dormant for a few years, I resurrected it as a graphic novel. 

I'd burnt out on comics around 2014, and had little interest in illustrating the book myself. It needed a down to earth style I wasn't sure would be my thing. But there was no one else.

I spent some time dabbling with different looks, trying to find something that might suit the script. That took awhile. Nothing quite fit perfectly. I got too picky. Eventually, I just started, and let the style evolve as I went. Otherwise, it'd sit in limbo forever while I tweaked and fiddled.

A significant overhaul brought the script back to life. I changed the characters, expanded the script into a full, self-contained story, fleshed out the world and added more humour. 

Finishing this book has become a creative quest. It's been derailed and restarted several times. A family crisis caused a break in January and I'm only now getting going on it again. I'm half way through. Hopefully I can finish it by the end of the year. Fingers crossed!

Whatever happens, it will be good to finally get it out of my head. I hate when things get stuck in there.

More to come...

No comments:

Post a Comment