Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy update

In a very short period of time I’ve been contacted about scripts of no less than five people. This is indeed exciting.

One wanted a script for a graphic novel, but I could not make the story glow inside me (and I wasn’t that satisfied with the terms, but if the story sparkled they would have been taken up to discussion). I had to decline that one. The story must get things started inside me, otherwise it is no idea for me to write it.

One wants a co-writer, which I’m not sure about what to answer yet.

Two are interested in my scripts on my Scripts for Sale page. One of them I’ve actually met in person (at this occasion) which would be the first time before a sell. She has asked for some rewriting, which I’m working on now.

One has just commissioned a short script.

Photo by: Lisarlena
Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license
Photo edited by the writer

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dark at mind

Isn’t a funeral one of the most depressing events you can join?

I went there without feeling sad, because the person was old and had lost the joy of living and if we haven’t died before, old age is were you sooner or later go, so it is part of it all.

I arrived dressed in black, as you should if nothing else expressed, and joined a group of people equally dressed in black. There were chit-chat and smiles, but then when everybody was seated and the ceremony begun a dark veil lowered itself.

It wasn’t like I suddenly became sad of the actual death, but I had to fight thoughts about what it would have been like if it was one of my children or my husband in that coffin. Or worst of all: all three of them. I had to begin thinking of something else completely, like screenwriting, drawing, and the current book I’m reading.

Isn’t it weird? Both how easily effected I am, and this general idea of making funerals dark events. To what use? Who feels better after these things? How much of these things do we do because it is expected of us and not because it makes someone feel better? I understand that the good bye part of it all is important, but is it such great idea to drown it all in a mental sticky, black oil?

And then there were speeches about that we should remember those happy memories you have with the person. . .

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Sometimes the choice of words could be less fortunate, but quite funny.

As you know, my native language is not English. I work hard for you not to notice.

I needed a phrasing for a man to describe a beautiful woman, and not any man and any situation, but with a sexual hint from a man who never understood the concept of having one partner only. I wanted something close to vulgar, like young women could be described as lamb chops by Swedish men.

“A true tart for a man’s soul” I wrote. Tart in the meaning of that sweet bakery-thing. I figured that some form of sweet food would do fine.

I checked with WordWeb.

“A small open pie with a fruit filling”. Yep, that was what I thought. But there were more:
“[offensive] (informal) a promiscuous woman” and “[offensive] A woman who engages in sexual intercourse for money.”

Eeegh. . . Guess “tart” was not what I was looking for. I didn’t want the woman to appear vulgar.

But it turned out quite funny, did it not? I’m looking for a vulgar man’s description of a beautiful woman and accidently picks a word for a vulgar woman instead.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

To imagine beyond that first vision

In my story The Power of Bitterness there is a crypt with the royal family's tombs. My idea of what it could look like was something like the image above: the crypt of Lund Cathedral, a place where I've walked more than once when I was a kid, thrilled with its stories.

Now, many gurus in screenwriting and storytelling in general say that you should write about things you know. And here I use my memory of a actual place for my story. It should be a perfect example of using my experience in my writings.

Except that I think I'm wrong doing so.

This story takes place in a fantasy world. It is not another planet, like Avatar, but a world occupied with humans, with horses, and trees and emotions just like our world, just another time and another place. You know, the classic fairytale world. Except that is not how I want it. I don't want the cliche image of prince and princess and wizards and swords jammed into a stone.

The classic fairytale world is from somewhere in the middle ages with knights and stone castles. This crypt was finished year 1123. When the knights were fighting and if anything, this crypt is built in solid stone. It matches the cliche image as a hand in a glove.

I needed something else, something special.

My thoughts wandered and I remembered a narrow, dug out corridor that led inside a hill, into an old grave. That corridor... Perfect.

And when I explored this environment in the first scene it was used, I realized its mighty potentials for far more than just this scene. The crypts suddenly was part of her character in a very appealing way.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Impossible pursuits

My grandmother made the best hot chocolate in the whole World. She had always cream at home and mixed the cacao and the sugar with it (my mother mixed with milk). Then she always said “I don’t add that much sugar, because it is undrinkable if it is too sweet. It’s better if you add sugar later if you need it.” I always got whipped cream on the top.

Once I read a clean heroinist’s description of the drug as the first time is the most wonderful experience you ever had, and the rest of your time as an addict is a pursuit of that glorious moment. But it will never return. Every following intake of heroine will result in nightmares.

My life as a grownup has been a pursuit of my grandmother’s hot chocolate.

I’ve made my own, both simple – like granny did – and more exclusive, with expensive cacao or different kinds of sugar. I’ve tried to add tastes of mint as well as lemon. To find that perfect cup – not as my grand mother did it, but giving me the same feeling.

I’ve bought hot chocolate in cafes. And for just about the same price got everything between premixed powder containing of mostly sugar and a delicate hand-mixed content with heart shaped whipped milk on top.

Not even an $8 dollar cup with Valrhona chocolate beat hers.

Why do we pursuit things we know are impossible to find?

The heroinist knows it will be a nightmare. I know my grand mother’s chocolate was not in the recipe or the actual taste, but in the heart of a child sitting in her granny’s kitchen.

Yesterday I sat with my two boys, all three of us drinking hot chocolate with whipped cream on top, thinking that in some way I had found what I was looking for.

Hot chocolate from Café Schober, Zürich, Switzerland
Andrew Bossi
Used under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License
Image edited by the writer

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spread myself too thin? No!

Some in my family thinks that I spread myself too thin. Why is it so hard to get that I need to do certain things to feel well? Yes, I love my family and yes, I want to keep my job (at least until I sell scripts with a resulting income matching my current, then I’ll reconsider), but I need to write and I need to be creative. I can’t just stop being creative. It is there and needs to get out. I think I have things under control. I’ve learned how to handle myself over the years. When I feel lousy it is not in general because I “spread myself to thin” it’s because some parts of my day-job tend to be more or less chaotic in a way that makes me go bananas if I don’t have any safety went. And then I hear I spread myself too thin. I guess I should be happy someone cares. But still, I don’t dare to tell about any problems because then it suddenly becomes all what my life contains. If you don’t look upon it in a financial way I should probably do better only keeping my family and the creative parts, and skip the day-job, but that is not very practical. Honestly, you are not helping me by saying I’m too creative – because that is what it results into. Help me to find time to be creative instead of blaming me, please. And if I tell about a problem in my life, it is only a part of my life; not the whole of it.

A quick update

I've rewritten the first five pages of The Power of Bitterness, that should have been about ten pages. Now they are ten pages. Ten good pages. Not stuffed with pointless filling, but pages that really adds to the story. One could say that now there is a story, because as it was I probably was the only one getting it.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Recharging sidetrack

I’ve been sitting with some ancestry research lately. It was one of those urges appearing. It’s been all stuffed in a shoebox and lists with relatives are not nearly as helpful as a tree. So I decided to spend some time to get it all into a digital tree with photos and documents and all. It would be one less bad conscience and something useful for the future.

Then I could not resist to do some search in the document the service hinted existed. I found for instance my mother’s uncle in a crew list for the ship where he worked. Fun. But on the whole I found little in the documents that I didn’t already know. For those that I had hoped to find some more information there was nothing to find.

Somewhere during those hours I found that I was done. I realized that I was ready to move on. The tree is there. Sure, some photos and documents are still to be added, but nothing that bubble up as a huge urge as it was when I started. Finally I was satisfied.

To be honest I almost turned upset when I realised how much time I had spent on it rather than writing.

But things are not that simple. I’m not sure I would have been able to write. Those urges that pop up are desperate calls from somewhere inside me. So far I have not found a safe way around them. Easiest is to just answer the call and keep from spending too much money getting there.

This morning I asked myself if it was worth to keep writing for a professional level. Less than twelve hours later I’m a marvelous writer again. This afternoon I sat down and wrote and found that I had both passion and confidence for what I’m doing.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Oozing bitterness

I’ve made a few realisations when I rewrote the first pages of my project The Power of Bitterness.

One is the importance of letting that first scene immensely oozing the current mood. There should be no doubt what so ever that this is someone genuinely bitter about her life.

Another is that I in my urge to keep the necessary focus on the main character, hardly have any scenes without her. To tell the story I need to have scenes which she is not a part of; otherwise we will not know that the King is a sleepyhead, handing over much responsibility on his much too young son. If we don’t see this father-‘n’-son situation – where the main character is absent – we will not understand the prince’s reactions later.

A third realisation is that although I planned remarkably well, notable things were still missing. Some of it was alright, because some things only appear when writing – it is only then the characters truly comes alive. Some, I should have thought about beforehand. I had for instance not made clear what question was about to be asked on the first pages. The question is crucial. It really is. It is not as the main character needs to stand up and ask “What would happen if I turned the world blue?”. The question is more like a wonder, maybe a doubt, motion or a proposal. It sets the story in motion, not in action, but in mood.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Steering by the ear

I have had an ear infection. It’s not that bad now, but when it began a week ago I ate one or two painkillers. I think it was a mild cold I had who sneaked up into my ear and filled it up with goo on the backside of the eardrum. Ouch.

Now the pain is gone – it only lasted a day – but the ear still feels stuffed and it makes constant sounds.

I wonder if the goo sneaked up into my brain too, because I don’t feel like writing at all. The 3rd place winning might have caught me on the backside - loosing confidence instead of gaining. Quite ridiculous, if so. I have to turn that ship around.

So, here we go! - - - - - Fine. Now I'm back on track.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Structure of the setup

I began writing on my new feature The Power of Bitterness the other day. The fingers were flying over the keyboard, I made some excellent descriptions, the dialog was on the top. . .

. . . Except when I thought I had reached page ten I was on page four.

Too much of a rush on the setup.

If you enter a new world, thirty seconds of introduction is a bit short, don’t you think? We need to get a grip if there are aliens or humans living in the houses. Answer if they have horses or dragons or spaceships for transportation. We need to get some idea of what kind of world it is.

Then we have the main character – a girl of seventeen. We hardly have time to grasp her being a young girl before she has put on clothes and makeup turning her into something frightful in black. A little bit more time here, please, so we understand what is happening. We need to know her some, before she transforms.

The dialog between her and her friend is terrific, but could be a little longer and a little more informative without write it on their noses.

Then there is another thing: There should be a question asked. A question asked that tells us something about what this movie is about; a question that is answered by the end of the movie. As it is now, I give no hint what so ever what this movie is about. So much for fabulous writing.

The good thing is that I’m pleased with what I have written. I don’t need to erase, but expand. That feels far better than deleting a text written with passion and heart.

My type of condensed, effective writing is perfect for short scripts. I need to write less compressed to make it work in a feature. Other writers have problems with their overly detailed language and lengthy, unfocused dialog. I need to add things instead to make it work. That feels strange.

I will not move on until I have ten pages. Ten pages I am pleased with too.

Gothenburg Film Studios

What can I say? I'm proud to have this creative place in my home town.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

3rd place winner!!!

”It is with great pleasure that we at The Writers Place have selected your submission, Escape Room Game, as the third place winner for the May – October 2011 teleplay/short screenplay contest. During this six-month contest period our readers reviewed many finely-rendered, well-structured stories. Less than 5% advanced to the finals, and your submission truly excelled.”

This came as a complete surprise. I had sent the version to the contest first, and then gained feedback when it was too late to change the submitted script. Why do I always do that? Wouldn’t it be a great idea to get feedback first and then submit? So I thought that my script cannot be that good. I was happy to reach the finals.

Yet, my somewhat quick ending did obviously not ruin the whole script.

There were 18 finalists. If that constituted 5% of all entries, it should have been 360 scripts. And mine placed as number three. That is pretty darn wonderful.

Used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Edited by the writer