Saturday, January 31, 2009

Inspiration - Music, part XX

I have always admired Björn Skifs. He is a Swedish singer and actor, but also writer of songs and movie scripts. He dares to mix and dares to have fun. He is one of those famous guys that most Swedes can't help just loving.

I could not decide which song to present here to day, but I succeeded to narrowed it down to two.

This is "Bright Eyes" together with Tommy Nilsson. A song that I love.

This is "Vild och vacker" (Wild and Beautiful) from the TV show "Nöjesmasakern" (Amusement massacre).

Music that inspired me

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Feedback from England

"Boy you really are getting better at this sort of stuff aren’t you?"

I blinked. That what it said, the comment, written in the margin of my first draft.

We have read eachother's efforts for years now. I don't know how much we would know the other in real life if we ever meet, but we sure know the other's writing.

"Boy you really are getting better at this sort of stuff aren’t you?"

I just want to go home early and enjoy life with a cup of hot chocolate.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Pink Heart tag

I have recived the Pink Heart tag from Shasha at Ako...I..Io. The tag comes together with a few interesting philosophic phrases and also a request to share the tag with people who has touched my life in a positive way.

"The 10 commandments is not a multiple choice."

"The mind is like a parachute; it only functions when it's open."

"One thing you can give and still keep is your WORD."

"You lie the loudest when you lie to yourself."

"When you lack the courage to start, then you're already finished."

"One thing you can't recycle is TIME."

"The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts."

"The heaviest thing you can carry is GRUDGE."

"Be kinder than just necessary, because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of a battle."

"A sharp tongue can cut your own throat."

"If you want to make your dreams come true, do not oversleep."

"Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important."

"The best vitamin for making friends is B1 (for be one yourself)."

"The pursuit of happiness is a chase of a lifetime. It is never late to become what you might have been."

"Life is too short to wake up with regrets.So love the people who treat you right...Forget the one's who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it."

"Friends are like balloons, once you let them go you might not get them back. Sometimes we get so busy with our lives and problems that we may not even notice that we've let them fly away. Sometimes we are caught up with who's right or who's wrong. Sometimes we just don't realize what friendship means until it's too late. I don't want to let that happen so I'm gonna tie you to my heart so I never lose you."

I like to share this tag with
This makes my day
Urban Postcards, Stephen Crawford
My black & white photography, Edson Dias
The Task at Hand, Shoreacres (Linda)
Wish I could speak whale, 2nd2nun

Please share this tag to people who touched your life or someone you feel like sharing it and spread the word of love. You are free to add your own images to every phrase included. The images I posted are my interpretations of the lines.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hello! Brain! I know you're there

I am a little amazed.

I thought I would be climbing the walls to start the actual writing.

I forgot.

Well, the circumstances moved my focus, rather. It was not a weekend where the creative thinking was aimed at writing. The Saturday flew away driving around looking for stuff and some shopping. On Sunday we were at a restaurant celebrating a relative that turned sixty-five. With two little kids. It went surprisingly well.

Monday, I just looked dumbfounded at the Final Draft icon on my desktop and wondered what would happen if I clicked on it.

No, it was not a hang-over, because I didn't drink.

It just felt like my brain hadn't got out of bed yet.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Two bus drivers' views of life

Last summer there were small but yet headlines about a male bus driver in the north of Sweden that drove his bus dressed in a skirt.

On the bus I overheard a conversation between another bus driver and a friend of his. The friend made a joke about the his trousers. The driver answered that he wasn’t surprised about the skirt-story because up there in the north they were all faggots.

Why do so many people prefer to be ignorant?

When it comes to the bus driver in skirt, it would have been so easy to read the rest of the article to know what it was about.

It was a hot summer and busses with no air conditioning. The uniform had trousers or skirt, but no shorts. The bus driver asked for a pair of shorts but was not allowed to. Then he read the dress code to find a solution and found that it didn’t say that the skirt was exclusively for women.

So as a protest he drove the bus in skirt.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The title of the script - continued

I have been thinking about the title of my script again.

As it is now the title is “Forgiveness”. But as I written here I am not happy with the title.

This Makes My Day guided me into alternatives in e g Latin. Forgiveness in Latin becomes “Venia”.

“Venia” tasted well in my mouth. It leads the thoughts to “vengeance”, though, I realized.

But I liked the Latin idea and searched further.

“Ciriculus vitiosus”.

“Vitiosus” – Visious, full of vice.

I came to think of Annika Östberg Deasy serving 25 years to life in a prison in California for a murder she never actually committed.

Governor Schwarzenegger called her a “Vicious killer” when a Swedish reporter Stina Lundberg Dabrowski brought up the subject of a possible transfer to a Swedish prison.

My script is about a killer.

Maybe that is a good title: “The Vicious Killer”.

Because that is what everyone would expect my killer to be. But the story proves that she isn’t.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Inspiration - Music, part XIX

This melody has a special place in my heart.

I had it on tape as a child, playing it on my tape recorder in my room. When the tape broke one day I was devastated. I missed some of the other songs as well, but this was my favorite. My dad succeeded in record it on another tape and restore my world.

Once he managed to figure out which song it was, that is.

For me it was "the flute-troubadour-melody".

I imagined I was a court jester playing a flute and danced. My images of a jester and a troubadour might have been a little mixed.

It is interesting that without knowing the orgin of the song it was so obvious to me that it was a melody that demanded dancing.

Here I present "Portsmouth" by Mike Oldfield:

Tell me something: Where is the flute?

Music that inspired me

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Stefan Holm and my mother meets with a teacher

It was on one of those meetings between parents and teachers that appeared every term. It was when my mother spoke to my teacher in Swedish. My mother brought up the subject of my spelling, that she thought I could improve a great deal. My teacher put her feet down.

“Don’t you dare complaining to her about her spelling! Your daughter has a talent for writing. Don’t stop her from using words she likes because she cannot spell them. That will block her and diminish her talent.”

My mother recently told me this story. She never complained about my spelling ever since.

And here I am, writing in a language that is proven to be the most difficult to spell in the world, in a company of people that expressively say that correct spelling is vital for being read in the first place.

How many writers’ talents are diminished by this ideal?

There are so many of them, all wanting to write movie scripts. Is one better than another because of correct spelling and perfect grammar? No. Talent for writing needs honing to be good and maybe great, but spelling has little to do with the ability to pass an image through to the reader.

So much of my energy is put to spelling and grammar.

My talent might not be damaged by this, but it sure does not help.

Do I limit the flow? Do I choose the phrases and words I am certain of instead of the word that I know I want, but I cannot figure out how to spell it? I try not to. I try to learn while I write. But I'm no super-human. Of course my writing would be different if I didn't have to bother so much.

But damn if I give up.

Stefan Holm was told he was too short to become a high jumper.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

To introduce characters - what do you think?

What do you think about these character introductions:

  1. He is a man in his mid thirties whose body is a display of regular visits to the gym. There is ecological thinking behind all his possessions, but also a whiff of money.

  2. She is a plain woman in her mid twenties with a fragile appearance. She favors a casual, worn look and has never bothered with makeup or a visit to a proper hairdresser.

  3. She is a woman in her upper forties with a commanding presence owning every room she enters.

  4. He is a man in his sixties with dignity and masculine grace. His clothes and accessories speak of money and taste.

  5. She is a woman in her upper twenties with a desperate need to appear wealthy.

  6. He is a robust man in his mid sixties with ponytail both in hair and beard.

Feedback is, as always, most welcome.

Also take a look at this blog entry.

Drawing is made by Andreas Vartdal
Used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License
Image modified by the writer

Monday, January 19, 2009

With his eyes in his hand, he pleaded

A colleague of mine did a test at my computer right when my WinAmp playlist reached an old folksong.

Not exactly the kind of music you want to brag with.

I like that song because of my misinterpretations of the lyrics I made as a child. It is filled with metaphors which I took too literally.

The song was about a newlywed couple where she is taken by Näcken. Näcken is a male figure in Swedish folklore that lives in every river, seducing young girls and women to join him.

In real life it was drowning accidents and rapid waters bringing the body too far away to be found.

The husband in this song brings out his harp and plays the eyes out of Näcken, demanding his wife back.

This that he played the eyes out of Näcken is a metaphor, but when I heard this as a child I saw Näcken’s eyes pop out of their sockets landing in his hand. Eeeegh! Not strange at all that Näcken pleaded him to stop playing.

My colleague didn’t even hear the song, concentrated as he was.

Image composed by the writer

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Inspiration - Music, part XVIII

I was thirteen and we had music class in school. Our teacher brought out the record Graceland with Paul Simon. She told us that the album was much influenced by African music. She put the record on.

I guess much of us kids thought of primitive drums when someone said African music. At least it was not something that was associated with something cool. And Paul Simon – who was he?

When I heard Graceland and the song "You could call me Al" I liked it at once.

The problem was that I was not a leading lady in the class. If I opened my mouth and said that I liked it, the leading lady would say the opposite, and with her the rest of the class.

So I kept my mouth shut and watched them make up their minds.

Everybody sat quiet and exchanged looks. But it was the special kind of look. It was a look that wanted to check with others if it was okay to like this and say it aloud.

Finally someone dared to say “This was cool”. And a choir of voices agreed.

Here I present You can call me Al by Paul Simon

Music that inspired me

Friday, January 16, 2009

To introduce a character

In the feedback I have got there are some comments about how I introduce my characters. Some I agree with. Some made me do some research about how others write these things.

Here is an example:

He is in his early thirties.

I completely agree with the opinion that this is a too short description of the second most important character in the script.

But I was told it should look like this as well:


I’ve always felt this is a stiff way to introduce a character. I don’t need to know the precise age of every character. “Early thirties” reads much better to me.

I checked with and his article How to introduce a character.

Not one of his examples include precise age within parenthesis.

What a relief!

It is always a relief when the way I feel I want to write it is perfectly alright.

I also had comments about an unimportant character with the name of Tina. She has two lines in one scene. She carries a tray with cups into the boarding room. No particular description at all.

“What is her age?” I was asked.

In the same article John August points out that the longer description of a character is, the more important do we as readers expect the character to be.

I see her clearly myself, but I didn’t want to waste my reader’s attention. Perhaps I should add “a woman with perfection as her ideal”, to give the whole scene a better description.

But her age, no. It does not feel like it adds something to the scene.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

About my script "Harmonica"

Harmonica” is a short script I wrote a couple of years ago. It started as an exercise I made for myself: a scene with two completely different characters.

One of the characters is a young man, wealthy, naïve and credulous, and with no real skill.

The other character is an older woman, poor and hardened by the unfairness of life. But she can play cello as nobody else.

As the woman plays for coins by pedestrians to cover her expenses, she gets the admiration of the young man. He starts to accompany with his harmonica desperately in need of her acknowledgement, but as he has no ear for music and cannot play he gets the opposite effect.

I must admit that I'm not sure if the ending is the perfect ending I intended. Basically because the woman’s arc takes a too sharp turn. If you have any feedback you are welcome to share it.

Although it may not be perfect I wish to share it here, because this is the script that has been closest to be produced so far.

A small production company showed great interest and had even started casting and planning, when their first feature movie production – where all the company’s money were placed – had a breakdown.

Image composed by the writer

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Where has Cinderella gone?

It’s not the first time I come to think of it, but life is not a movie. We have our hopes it is sometimes, but we all know that even if a story has a happy ending, the rest of the life will not be happy because of it.

Don’t we all have Cinderella-hopes?

I hope that one day the right person will read my script and WHAM it's movie.

Callie Khouri had her first script sold and became the owner of an Oscar. Wow, that’s Cinderella.

But she worked as a music video production assistant. She knew people at the right places. Like Cinderella would have known his father’s cousin’s friend who was the King’s adviser.

I’m sure she had to work hard anyway, but it puts me further away from my Cinderella-ending.

And once I had my “WHAM it’s a movie”-moment I have to swim even harder not to sink and join all the others who only succeeded one time.

I can swim, so I don’t worry much about that. At least not now.

But tell me honestly, don’t you read this blog because you one day want to see the movie and know that you had followed the process of the script’s birth?

I can tell you for sure that even if it is childish I hope this blog will bring me closer to my Cinderella-dream.

Photo by Hans-Günter Quaschinsky
Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive)
Used under under
Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License
Photo edited by the writer

Filmography links and data courtesy of
The Internet Movie Database.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Any valuable flaws somewhere?

Something I find difficult is to add flaws to my characters.

It is not that I need for them to be perfect. It’s rather like I’m scared that people won’t like them if they have annoying habits.

We all have something that bothers some people. And these some people might still like us.

Flaws make a character more realistic and ironically more likable.

Now, what is a flaw? When I add a flaw intentionally, the character usually becomes vulgar or rude in some way or another. Like farting in bed. I find it hard to add something that really gives the story a lift.

I have looked at movies to learn more about flaws.

In Two Weeks Notice for example the main character Lucy Kelson eats a huge amount when she feels bad. That’s a flaw. And it is used as a funny bonus at the end when she actually orders for two persons.

Or in Matchstick Men where the main character Roy Waller has to open and shut every door three times before he can actually open it.

But when Blake Snyder says that there should be “six things need fixing” he probably meant that the other five should be more subtle. Otherwise the result would be a character that:

  • imitates a kangaroo every time he/she hears the sound of a telephone
  • answers the call with “It’s the Devil, how can I help you”
  • sleeps on the kitchen floor
  • drives on the wrong side of the road
  • puts butter in the hair to prevent cancer
  • only doo-doos outdoors

Gee, I mustn’t be so afraid to be a little radical.

Filmography links and data courtesy of
The Internet Movie Database.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The title of the script

I’ve been thinking about the title of my script: Forgiveness.

It’s not a good title after all. I thought it was, but I think I’ve changed my mind.

First it is my reaction to the spelling. It is ridiculous, I know, but I can’t help thinking there is an e too much and therefore read it wrong in my mind.

“Forgive” and then a “ness”. Fine. But in my mind it becomes “forgive-e-ness”. I don’t read “forgive” as “forgive-e”, but somehow the e bothers me in forgiveness.

Then there is the associations made with the title. There is too much drama in the name. You don’t exactly think Lethal Weapon or Point of No Return.

I’ll need something more appealing.

I had an idea. I checked with Internet Movie Database. The idea I had was used as a name for three movies already.

On the other hand Forgiveness is used for eight.

Filmography links and data courtesy of
The Internet Movie Database.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

It's like a warm summer's day

I have read through my script once now, adding notes from one review. I’ll read it a few more times adding notes of interest from all my gained feedback.

Ideas have already started to grow in my head.

I wrote before that I would do a new beat sheet before doing any actual typing in Final Draft.

But I don’t think I’ll do that. I’ll sketch in the printout. Apart from the too short third act, the script has no structural problems. It feels a little to overdo it and the new beat sheet will be of little use.

What I must do though is to set up yet another countdown to give me time to think properly before I dive in and make this a masterpiece again.

I’ll do that once I read and made notes from all feedback.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Inspiration - Music, part XVII

I have had a couple of TV-themes before. MacGyver was also one of those series that never left my mind. As with the other two (21 Jumpstreet and Twin Peaks) I wrote my own episodes.

Or rather picked my favorite characters from my favorite series and made something "new".

As with most shows MacGyver was best at the beginning. When the word "macgyverism" appeared I realized I had seen my last episode. One great thing with MacGyver was that he was anti-guns. The other was that he had knowledge and imagination to make things out of nothing. When even the characters in the show expect MacGyver to do some "macgyverism" then it is time to move on.

There are some solutions that I just loved. Like when he needed a diversion. He put some pots and pans on top of bags of ice. Then he turned on a grill of some sort and left the room. When the ice melted the pots and pans hit the floor with a bang, the bad guys left to check and MacGyver appears behind them.

Or when he stopped an acid flow with chocolate, knowing that some substance in the bars would react with the acid turning it into something more solid. I wonder if that would work for real?

Here I present the theme to MacGyver:

Music that inspired me

Friday, January 9, 2009

The need for murder

One thing I have not avoided to notice is the numerous comments that my villain is not bad enough and/or that he is not believable.

The fact that an environmental issue is the cause of my villain’s need to murder my hero’s love interest does not seem to work.


Probably are my villain’s needs not strong enough.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What should I do and what will I find when I do?

Soon it is time to start the rewriting process.

Where will I start?

The first thing I'm going to do is read the script again. And make notes.

Then I will read my reviews again and add notes of interest to the script.

I guess that I at this point want to dive in and rewrite. But from what I have learned so far that would be a bad idea. My next step should rather be to update my beat sheet and the goals for the scenes. As I did with the first draft.

What are my feelings at this moment?

I'm not sure.

Right now I'm uncertain how to solve certain problems that my readers pointed out to me. Maybe I should be worried.

But I'm not.

I have confidence that once I start the rewriting process and read the script again I will find my solutions.

It's probably not as difficult as it seems right now.

Monday, January 5, 2009


This is Evald.

I remember this man from my childhood. He was a well-known character. The clothing was the same all year around including the feet warped up in newspaper and plastic bags, maybe with sandals added in the winter.

He collected garbage and ate leftovers he found in the bins. It was rumored that he had a fortune on the bank.

He was the kind of character that kids like me avoided, but there are no stories that he ever offended anybody, or was drunk for that matter.

I remember when my dad took this picture, with me hiding behind daddy, shy. Evald caught my dad aiming with the camera and wanted money for the shot. I think he requested a hundred but settled for twenty. My dad got his picture – with Evald posing for the shot, but better than not at all.

He was well aware of his status as well-known, unique character.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if he was proud of it too.

One observed a couple of tourists feeling sorry for him and offered him a bag of cinnamon rolls. He didn’t accept them.

He died in 1999 at the age of 89 years old.

Photo by Ronny Ilvemo

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Inspiration - Music, part XVI

The Housemartins said early that they didn't write love songs. I think the reason was that they thought that the market was overloaded with them.

They had their big break with this song. As so many times I remember the video more than the actual song.

I loved this video. It had a story. It was fun. Look especially for the guy waiting for his turn to the pub's toilet.

Here I present Happy Hour with The Housemartins:

Music that inspired me

Friday, January 2, 2009

Darth Vader's chopped off head

I’ve been thinking about a movie as a language lately.

There are people who don’t get a movie. And then I don’t talk about complicated, independent, surreal stuff, but mainstream movies.

Have you seen Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back? There is a scene with Luke Skywalker and Yoda at a place that is “strong with the dark side of the Force”. Luke walks in there, fights Darth Vader and wins.

That was what a relative of mine thought when she watched it. Then she could not get how Darth Vader could reappear, since he got his head chopped off earlier.

How do we know that Luke didn’t fight Darth Vader for real?

Because of these lines:
Luke: What's in there?
Yoda: Only what you take with you.

This is why a movie is a kind of language. You have to know the language to get the story. Everybody does not understand how to interpreter the dialog above. And for those who just loves movies it is so obvious what a line like that means that they don't even reflect about it.

Filmography links and data courtesy of
The Internet Movie Database.