Monday, June 21, 2010

Rhonda

I have progressed to Draft 1.5.

Drafting is such a scary process, it's so hard to know if I am drafting  the play now for myself or others. Mostly I feel in control of the changes that I make, but I am influenced by the ideas of others, esp mentors and writers who I think are good.

Plus I am kind of sick of the play. I always get like this when I have choked out the first draft. You write it, you let others read it, you listen to them and then you think "aww fuck, now I have to rethink everything!". Well not quite, but rather I have to really think about the characters - more deeply and move them into the next realm. Where they live and breathe more.

In 1.5 I have focussed on Lief living and breathing more. I hope that he does. I'm not sure if I'll redraft it again before July 7. I kind of hope to, but I also want to hear it read out aloud. I feel like I am going to be able to spot the weak sections more easily.. or I'll be bowled over by how gorgeous it is, or I'll just have no clue. Please don't let it be option 3.

I am also kicking a few short play ideas around. I haven't submitted for S&S this year, just don't have anything new or short enough. I'm thinking though. I like to submit at least.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Evie (The T-Series)

This is a novel concept, meaning for a book, not "wow a completely new concept".

Our heroine is Australian - but really could be any nationality as not much is made of that one way or the other apart from geographical references. It is set at some point, similar to now, life is much the same apart from the fact that a vast number of the population, to different degrees have a level of telepathy - or other "mind power" (for want of a less hokey phrase).

This is called the T-level. There are four t-levels 1 being the lowest kind of ESP and 4 being the highest. This could range from telepathy, empathy, kinetic abilities etc. Or a combination. Most t-4's (about 8% of the population) are employed by the government. When you have a populace with these kinds of gifts you have totally different kinds of crimes. And therefore different sorts of policing.

Evie is 17, 5 months pregnant and a T-4. Two months ago her baby started to talk to her. His name is Jacob. Jacob is going to change the world.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

One Night in Many

Why am I writing about this little play? Because it has kicked around for so damn long, and I really like it! It's about 15 mins long and I think that it could be quite moving, or funny, or moving and funny. Or angsty. Well you get the picture.

Here it is, I'm still fiddling with it.

Click Here for One Night in Many

What was I trying to do? Play with middle class malaise. (What else?)

Create a sense that people do things with scant regard for others. That ongoing sadnesses are borne and then encompassed. That people stay in relationships when they are unhappy, until they don't know that they are unhappy anymore.

Rhonda is in Therapy

Some people who read this blog will have also read Rhonda. It is a full length play that I have written and am now drafting.

I have just hit that point where I am not sure if it is any good. Despite what people say. This is because I've re-read it a few times and am worried that it is self indulgent nonsense. This is what happens when you read your own work too much.

I got some great feedback from people about the script and have been mulling over it. I'm not going to drop the text here, it's 70 pages long and wayyy to close to me for open debate. (between the two people I've given this blog address too...)

My main issue is in making the Lief character less perfect and more believable and by doing so giving him more of an inner life and three dimensional quality. I feel that doing that is going to change the end of the play. At 5 am this morning, when Gabe woke me up, I lay in bed thinking about the fact that if Lief truly turns this situation around at the end of the play then really they all need to move back to Germany. Which has a kind of nice synchronicity to it, as it's where they met and also it's the "dream land" that Rhonda's father always talked about. But man.. that's going to require some re-writing. Unless it's alluded to. At any rate I don't like the end and feel that the phone call with Hannelore can go.

The play has a reading at 45 Downstairs on Sep 3, 2010 in Melbourne Australia. This is part of Flashpoints - connected to winning RE Ross Trust last year.

So If you have a comment re the play and you've read it then let me know. Most of you have spoken to me already about it. But I need to have a second draft by 7 July. That's the next rehearsal.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tactical Mind

This is a film idea I've been kicking around.

A young Aussie woman, say 25 - ish, has an unusual ability. She is able to see catastrophic/fatal events about 70 mins before they happen, but only for people that she cares about or knows. This is not the kind of ability where she sees plane crashes about to happen etc. Unless her sister is on the plane, for example. Most of her friends an family know about it, it's not really talked about, just quietly accepted. As is she. Given that she has saved her family and friends over the years from fatal or terrible injury.

She goes to a club one night and foresees a fire in which all die. She warns her friends and they set about trying to get everyone out. In doing so, she ends up being injured herself in the last second and winds up in hospital. On waking she is greeted by two American officers. They question her about the incident, and manage to get out of her, or basically reveal that they know what she can do. They talk to her about joining the American army as part of a special project - done in concert with the Aus army. They explain to her that they can use her skills to prevent further loss of life in the Iraq war. She tells them that she only sees the future for people she cares about. They say they can take care of that.

She agrees to take a look, (we get that she can't "just take a look" and she does too, but that's the premise that she goes to the USA under). She is taken to a secure facility where she learns that she is one of thousands of people who have the same ability and that the army has been using them for years. Each person with the prescient ability trains with a group of soldiers - gets to know them and usually to care about them.
After all she really only needs to care about one person in the unit. This person - known as the "Tactical Mind (TM)" then travels with the unit and tries to avert any potential danger to the group.

She trains with them starts to care for one (maybe falls for him) and then goes into the field. She meets other much more cynical TM's. 

She watches her information kill local people and save the soldiers. 

She foresees the death of her sister and the army prevent her informing the family - some effort is made, but it's too late. (She out in the enemy territory and contact is minimal).
Her sister dies.

She lets two members of her team get badly injured and the army aren't sure if she did it on purpose or not. It comes to light that the TM's usually burn out fast - many of them finding the conflict too much and the atmosphere of death and war overwhelming.

She is faced finally with a choice that could see her freed from the situation - but many of the soldiers dying. 

So here are the major themes
- Civilians thrown into warfare with no understanding of how it works
- The difficulty in understanding what the war achieves
- Who is the enemy
- The way that war justifies the means - including using people up and discarding them.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Beginning

Which could well be the ending also. If I don't like this format.

I'm going to put writing here and if I'm the only person that ever sees it, then that's probably good.

I'm also going to put writing ideas here. And then perhaps I'll give this link to writing friends and they can tell me what they think.

Right. Write.