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16 October 2010 @ 01:33 pm
NaScreeWriMo - Brainstorming  
I've decided to do NaNoWriMo! Except that I didn't really have any epic fic ideas ready to go, and if I'm going to do something original, I might as well do a screenplay, since that's more relevant to my interests. Script Frenzy, which is the script equivalent, isn't until April, so I'm just going to kind of freelance this thing. I thought I'd sign up anyway, but after I copy and pasted a 140 page script into Word and learned that it was only 25,000 words...ah well. I don't feel like doing that every day to figure out word counts when it really isn't all that important when it comes to scripts.

But I did think it would be fun to keep track of my progress here. I'm mostly posting this for myself, since I'm a process whore and it's kind of easy to lose track of the early work once you get going - I love seeing how ideas grow and evolve, how things change, etc. So feel under no obligation to read, if you're busy or you're not into it. Of course, criticism is always welcomed, constructive or otherwise; I love workshopping, you know.

For shits and giggles, I decided to scan the actual initial brainstorming, because the fact that I work with pen and paper is as important to the process as the words themselves, and just typing them up doesn't really communicate it as well.

I realized that I actually had a hard time reading the scans and it's my own handwriting, so it will probably not be legible to anyone else.  Here's a transcription:

(1) Ancient Rome - Republican Times
-Spartacus story told
-civil war bt Caesar and Pompey told
-Pompey ridding Med Sea of pirates?  (what is arc of that story?  Pompey as antihero, sowing seeds of own eventual   destruction - tragic X - who is other side? Caesar?)
-does it have to be big story with known historical personages?  minor senator during civil war, divided loyalties (wife sister of one of the boni, but patron in Caesar's camp), torn between fleeing Rome to East or staying

(2) Ancient Rome - rule of Tiberius/Nero/Claudius
-romance between Centurion and Vestal virgin - if during reign of not Nero but Caligula, Centurion could get caught up in assassination intrigue - how would they get caught? - story of escape, bc either they flee or he is executed and she is buried alive - escape could be midpoint or climax, depending on story

(3) Horror story
-set in old abandoned prison - who would be there and why?
     -paranormal research team
     -stupid teenagers on dare (cliché)
     -crew preparing to renovate/tear down
-who is bad guy?  don't want to do supernatural thing - more like The Thing
-what keeps them from leaving?
-not really a story here yet; just genre + setting

(4) Boudicca
-already know basic story
-would require a lot of research - would I be ready in two weeks?

(5) Revamp past lives super warrior thing
-cut psychic spy angle - confusing, doesn't make sense
-cut terrorist plot - overdone - would need new threat
-do like "adversaries throughout time" thing - maybe protag not recruited, just ends up running into enemy like she always does, which ends up unlocking her memories?

(6) Speaking of revamping - vampires!
-but actual scary vampires (Lumley-esque)
-vampire hunters seem to be Van Helsing or Buffy - what's a different take?
-an 18th C. villager loses loved one, decides to go after vampire on own = begins only with local folklore, which is woefully inadequate for true nature of vampire - wouldn't want to do actual Dracula thing, but having vamp end up as wealthy baron could be fun - storming the castle - would have to confront turned loved one but as climax, not Lucy first intro to killing vamps - angst! - protag having to do what could not be done earlier - origin story?  what makes him/her ruthless hunter, because nothing will ever be worse than having to kill loved one?

Right now I'm really leaning towards number 6 - though I like the idea of some kind of combination of 1 and 2, though that would require a lot more outlining and intensive plotting than I think I can do in a month, if I'm going to draft, as well.  This, to me, is a perfect example of what's so great about the writing process.  I started off with two ideas I've been vaguely considering for awhile, in that kind of off-hand "write what you know - what do I know a lot about?" way, where I hadn't even begun really thinking about story yet, just milieus and moods.  Then 3 didn't go anywhere at all.  4 was an idea I've had for a long time but I've never gotten around to doing all the research it would require.  5 I worked out just because it seemed like I needed another idea or two; it would be a total overhaul of some horrible thing I wrote as an undergrad, and writing it out today made me think that maybe there's nothing salvageable about it.  And then it was literally just writing the word "revamp" that made me think of "vampire," and 6, which had not even remotely entered my mind prior to be writing it down, was born.  And that's the one that I'm most excited about - I started thinking about plot points on my drive home.
(Deleted comment)
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on October 16th, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC)
I've pretty much decided that's what I'm going to do - it was definitely the idea that got me the most excited.
nhpwnhpw on October 16th, 2010 09:44 pm (UTC)
Truthfully I'm not a big fan of vampires, but it seems the rest of the world is. They're hot right now (thank you, Twilight) and if you finished a script it might bode well for you. I say if that's the one you're excited about, go for it!

PS. You said you know a lot about Mars. In normal space (no jumpgates, no warp speed) how long would it take a ship to get from Earth to Mars?
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on October 16th, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think that's what I'm going to do. I'm not as big a fan of vampires as I am other supernatural/SF things, but I think I'm going to write this more character-based than plot/vampire-based, so.

It depends on when the ship leaves, since the planets orbit at different speeds around the sun. The best way is to use the sun's gravity to speed the ship up and kind of fling it around toward Mars. That would give you an eight or nine month trip; if you left at a time when the planets weren't in the right positions for something like that and had to make more of a straight shot, it would be closer to a year.
nhpwnhpw on October 16th, 2010 10:41 pm (UTC)
Ugh. Monkeywrench. I was thinking closer to two years. I wanted them to be more isolated.

But thank you!
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Shannonkungfuwaynewho on October 16th, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC)
I haven't read those! I'll have to put them on my list. I think it's up there in my brainstorming, but I like the Necroscope series by Brian Lumley; scaaaaary vampire.

(Hee, I still haven't read Twilight. No, thanks.)
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Shannonkungfuwaynewho on October 16th, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
Heh, yeah, they're pretty gruesome. (Which is of course why my dad gave them to me to read when I was 15, LOL.)
sallycandance on October 17th, 2010 07:40 am (UTC)
Yay for NaNoWriMo
I was a huge vampire fan before Anne Rice turned them into pathetic little emo trolls and Stephenie Meyer made them sparkle. But if you go with the OLD vampires, the real bad, scary, creepy ones I'm with you a hundred percent!

It's great to read that you're a pen and paper writer as well - people sometimes make fun of me when they see me madly scribbling in my notebooks, but it's not just a lot more fun this way, it's also much nicer (plus, you don't have to switch on the computer just to check something or make an additional note).
Shannon: spikekungfuwaynewho on October 17th, 2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Yay for NaNoWriMo
You know, I didn't mind the first couple Anne Rice books that much - and looking at it from that time and not now, when all vampires are sparkly little woobies, it was kind of a novel idea to make the vampire a real character and not just a monster. (Then, of course, she just kept writing them and they did end up getting emo and boring.) But yeah - I want to write a really old-school scary vampire, because you just don't see them anymore!

I can't write screenplays unless I'm handwriting them. I just can't do it. It's half process, half writing superstition. And, you know, it's great being able to write anywhere and not have to lug a computer around. Plus, I never get any work done if I stay at home, heh.
sallycandance on October 17th, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Yay for NaNoWriMo
I read the first volume and then about half of the second one when I was in 8th grade or so. But even then I was quickly fed up by the emoness that was Lestat... :(

I never get any work done if I stay at home, heh.
Haha, I'm the exact opposite!
there's coffee in that nebulaun_crayon_rouge on October 17th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
Yay, I'm doing NaNo too! Your brainstorming looks great. For my part, I had no idea what to write until two days ago - now I have the perfect idea, the book I wanted to write all my life... the only trouble is, it's a novelized biography of a real person, so the fun part of October, like outlining characters and thinking up the plot falls pretty much flat. And I don't want to go with too much detail into planning specific scenes, because that always turns out badly for me. I just have a general outline of the themes I want to touch on, and now I'm just sitting here, twiddling my thumbs, and waiting for NOVEMBER TO START ALREADY! Grr.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on October 17th, 2010 10:44 pm (UTC)
You could always do thematic and motif exercises, though. That's always helpful to me, to think of what visual motifs I want to put throughout, what kinds of things I want the reader to keep seeing.

(Hee, or you could just cheat and get started. ;)
there's coffee in that nebula: jane eyre not a whitun_crayon_rouge on October 18th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
Is there a place you know of where I could get examples or prompts on how to do these exercises? Because it sounds like an interesting thing to do, but I wouldn't quite know how or where to start...

Mr. Brocklehurst frowns upon cheating. I will not get any porridge if I cheat, not even burnt porridge, and he'll possibly cut off my curls. Oh wait, I did that already.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on October 18th, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC)
You know, I've picked them up over the years from professors, from books, and came up with a couple myself when I was a TA. Maybe I should gather them all up together? Because there are a lot of people on my flist who are writers, and a handful that I already know are doing NaNoWriMo, and they might be helpful.

I love exercises. A lot of times when I feel like I don't want to write, I'll just do an exercise - even those dumb ones like "just keep writing for three minutes about anything" - and a lot of the time it's enough to get me actually writing for real.
there's coffee in that nebulaun_crayon_rouge on October 18th, 2010 06:48 pm (UTC)
Maybe I should gather them all up together?

That would be an amazing idea!
Kittictactardis on October 17th, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC)
Oooh, good luck!! I've tried NaNoWriMo multiple times, but I just... fail miserably. n_n;;

Hoping you keep posting progress, 'cause I'd love to see it! Six sounds interesting to me as well, and I'm not even a vampire kind of gal. I'd love to see where you go with this! :D
Shannon: fringe live longkungfuwaynewho on October 17th, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I did a screenplay, jeez, six years ago now during NaNoWriMo, and finished; three years ago I tried to do a novel, wrote about 2500 words, and stalled. So I'm 50/50, heh.

But I'm excited about vampires! I want to try and make it scary without going the gruesome route; there aren't a lot of good, scary movies anymore that aren't all slasher and gross.