Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On Air

Goodness me. I just completed the first draft of the first episode of Air.

I'd had a sticking point where I couldn't see how to introduce the father of the family that Air ends up staying with. Then I was thinking about it on the train coming home this evening and it came together, so I jotted down the entire sequence of scenes in my little black book as we trundled from Clapham Junction to Reading (actually it only took me from Staines - when I got a seat - to Ascot).

Having got in I made my dinner, handled some important money things, made a couple of phone calls, read a Sherlock Holmes short story, and with all the procrastination dealt with I sat down and blasted out the 7 pages in a little under 90 minutes.

Discovering various things as I went like: the bad guys are called the Witchbrood, and the people in our world are assuming Air has run away from an abusive home, taking refuge in fantasy. An amusing irony.

I'm pretty economical in my writing so I've still got another 7-8 pages to fill, which is great because I can put more emotional content into it.

The sticking point I resolved had some interesting features (I think). Initially I had made the Dad a Professor of History. This meant that I had to bring in Police to deal with the lost soul that is Air, and then have Dad be chosen as the person to take Air home.

It just wasn't working, I could not get my head around any sequence of scenes and dialogue that could make that work smoothly. So my first brainwave (last week) was to make the Dad a Police Detective himself, cutting out the middle man. Excellent.

Then I had to somehow make Air, as the Protagonist, do a protagonistic action in order to make the Dad take her home. I needed her to manipulate the action without that manipulation being "conniving" which is, of course, the trait of a baddie.

It was when I had the Dad walk into the scene wearing full plate armour (which fits the setting perfectly) that the solution flowed off the end of my fingers - naturally Air would look for a protector, a knight, and he just walked in through the door.

Problem solved: She chooses him, and he is duty-bound to accept. (It even works in the real world, Social Services don't work weekends so Air would have to be dealt with by the Police alone, and if she were 16, Social Services wouldn't even be remotely interested, so I get a free hand.)

It's true that I wrote down a whole load of stuff in my little black book but, in truth, I didn't write what I put in the book. But my initial inspiration would have worked, it just wasn't as good as what I ended up with.

Of course there is loads more going on, I have the two other major plot lines running through as well, all linked and interconnected so I'm quite pleased. I'll print it up tomorrow and work through making notes and seeing where it can be appropriately expanded.

What's on the turntable? "Refuge of the Road" by Joni Mitchell from "Hejira"

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