Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Another pass through Air

Have I got anything interesting to write? Probably not. I was talking to a chap at a job agency today who agreed that living away from home is essentially boring. So I'm bored.

I'm travelling to Bristol tomorrow afternoon as my one week contract starts on Thursday. After that I'm no longer sure except that I won't be working in Lancaster - I'm too expensive for the company concerned (in fact I am exactly what they want, and that's why I'm too expensive).

However I've had loads of other jobs coming through, and there's a potential one in Manchester (yeah!) which would be ideal. So fingers crossed on that one.

Made a final pass through Air again this morning (hm, sounds like I'm flying) picked up a couple of typos, and cleaned up the climax to make it a bit more climactic, and have zoomed it over to Philip Shelley for his considered criticism.

I'm quite interested to see what he says, not just because I want to improve it, which I obviously do, but to see whether I'm a better writer than I used to be.

Look at it this way: When I sent him Monsters it had been re-written more times than I know. It had received the Bang2write treatment from our Lucy, and many other readers. I'd been working on it for a long time.

But Air is in second draft. I've spent a fraction of the time on it compared to Monsters (even taking into account the fact it's half the length). So, will it be sent back as absolutely appalling? Or have I got a better grasp of the craft? Or am I making the same mistakes?

Or will it be like a band's fatal "second album"? The first album usually consists of songs a band has been playing for a long time, they are confident and refined, the second album is usually rushed out.

Anyway you can be sure that I will let you know.

So for most of the rest of the day I have been working on "Unit X" (it needs a better title, something with one word, it'll come to me). Not working on the script as yet but planning the structure of the first episode. Working out the story. I know how it opens (with the end), I know I'm going to be running two time periods side by side, I know what happens in general terms but I need to work my way down to a few more details.

Of course I never make it easy for myself: Monsters, Air and Unit X all open in unusual settings that need explaining. Monsters is the future (2060), Air is a different dimension (though ends up in present day UK) and Unit X is historical (1945) - a costume drama no less :-)

But, as I think I mentioned before, Unit X has some really juicy conflicts: institutional racism and sexism for starters, some post-war economic depression and then add Cold War paranoia with a liberal dash of aliens. Yummy.

Until I write again, au revoir.

What's on the turntable? "Big Yellow Taxi" by Joni Mitchell from the "Hits" compilation

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