Here is a picture of one of the aliens I wrote into my Nanowrimo Camp. I know they are going to come to earth at some point and they are going to want coffee. The colors are anemic, so that have to re-think/ re-draw it at some point.
I always try to remember my dreams. Sometimes I succeed, and often I don’t. A few nights ago I had a dream that I posted the perfect blog post. It had an engaging subject, and nice picture and step by step instructions. It was brilliant.
I just can’t remember what it was about. If I could, I would have posted it.
A few days later, I had dream about a magical curiosity shop. In my dream state I tucked it away as a good novel idea. I still can’t remember the central conflict. More that once I composed entire symphonies in my sleep and not remembered even the main theme the next day. To know you’ve don’t something brilliant in your head, but not remember what that thing is infuriating.
But, as much as I forget, there are a few nights when they’ve been really useful. In 2007, I literally dreamed the ending to my NaNo. I dreamed a short story several years before that. I sometimes dream about people I didn’t realize I remembered. Supposedly, Mendeleev dreamed his version of the periodic table. I can’t imagine the succeeding centuries without it.
Don’t underestimate your dreams.
I really need to get into the habit of blogging while here in Portland. I stopped because I was packing to make my way here and then didn’t really continue because I was trying to unpack. That, and the fact I haven’t really been making anything. I’m still trying to make that table centerpeice for my mother which was supposed to be a gift for last Christmas. Most of the week, I’m working or worrying about money. *Sigh*
One thing that I have enough of are books (even so, I still heed the call of the Library). I’ve discovered that a great place to read is on the bus to work. I’m awake, unlike times past when the only real time I had to read was before I went to bed. Complex, ‘deep’ novels are hard to get into while half asleep. I can only bemoan all the books I got rid of because they would be so much better on the bus. I’ve already read Who on Earth is Tom Baker (Baker), and Rogue Moon (Budrys) that way. I’m currently chewing on The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow.
Since I’ve always wanted to amass a bunch of reviews about the books I read (I’ve made false starts over the years) I was thinking that’s what I’d use my twitter account for: book reviews in 140 characters or less. That’s all I can really come up with after most books anyway. I’ve always got this space If I need to go in depth. If I decide to do it I’ll leave the details here, so stay tuned…
Since script frenzy starts tomorrow, I thought I’d share some of the planning I’m doing for the challenge.
First of all, I’ll admit I’m much better at writing prose, since I can describe the picture in my head. As with all of these challenges, I’m not allowed to write anything that would become part of the script (or novel). This year I’m writing an adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. If you don’t know the story, this post contains SPOILERS (and I recommend you find a copy of Jean Cocteau’s version and check it out. Don’t bother with the Disney version, bleh).
I know the fairy tale fairly well, in several incarnations, but I want it to read like a novel, with scenes and rounded characters, so I start with notes on the following subjects:
Characters — For the main characters and the main supporting characters, I’ll do notes on their appearance (or a drawing), and notes on their personality. Each of them gets a name, and with it an image of them will form in my head.
I take some notes on what motivates them within the context of the plot. For Beauty and her sisters for example, I’ve figured out what they are most interested in (one embroiders endlessly, one stays in bed a lot) and what they ask their father to bring back from town (when Beauty asks for a rose, which gets them all into trouble). I also try to plan a change for the main characters to go through as the plot progresses.
Plot statement — This is to figure out the main conflict and what the characters do. Beauty’s sisters are selfish, so they ask for things their father can’t provide. Beauty solves the payment of the stolen rose by offering herself to the Beast. The Beast wants beauty to break the spell so he asks her to marry him. Normally, I’d accompany this portion with some sort of outline, but since I’m doing a script, I’m including the outline in the actual writing. We’ll find out if this is a good idea.
Moral Statement — This part is what I’m trying to say. For the planning stage, some people find it optional. I think it helps to guide the decisions I make when throwing the words on the paper.
For Beauty and the Beast my initial ideas are:
These may change as I get deeper in.
I’ve also got notes on the roles of the protagonists and antagonists and other bitty ideas that come to me while I’m planning.
Some people don’t like to plan because it stifles creativity. The trick is not to plan too much. Just enough so that all you know who it is and what you are dealing with. It’s dispiriting and wastes too much time to do that stuff in the middle of the throes of a first draft (especially when under a deadline).