The GABPC was interesting. I attended a panel on the Legal Aspects of Production, A Production Assistant Overview, and a pair of seminars on film editing. Networking was pushed a huge amount, which resulted in me handing out several of my cards, and of course fosteronfilm giving out a slew of his. I also got asked what I did quite frequently, and when I said I was a writer, it was assumed I meant a screenplay writer. I found myself having to explain that no, I was a literary writer. Odd to call myself that, but in the context, it was the best way I had to differentiate. Amusingly, one aspiring film student asked me, after I told her “yes, I’d sold my work” whether I’d gotten “distribution.” Huh. Distribution. Not “where have you been published?” but if I’d gotten distribution. The film world.
As an interesting addendum, I brought my spanky new Cthulu backpack to the conference (acquired in a fit of madness at D*C). It got an amused reception by the GABPC folks, but the majority of the people there who commented upon it didn’t know it was 1. Cthulu and 2. Who this “Cthulu” was. “I haven’t seen that show” or “What movie was that from?” was the usual response. And even after I explained that Cthulu was an elder god type from H.P. Lovecraft’s stories, I still got blank looks. These folks don’t know who Lovecraft is. Guh?
Also attended the Writers Workshop, which was much more up my alley. It was, of course, focused on writing screenplays, but it was very informative. Writing for film is not actually all that similar to non-film writing. On a rudimentary level, they’re similar, but there’s a lot that’s different too. It seems like so much more of a group effort.
We didn’t stick around for the film festival or the closing ceremonies. Waking up early enough to get to the panels was exhausting for both of us. We’re such slackers, I know.
Amusing insight of the weekend: the indie film mantra sounds suspiciously like the small press one. “My films are fresh and new, not a formulaic sell-out that the big houses churn out. What’s that? Hollywood wants me? Where do I sign?” vs “What I write is too risky, unlike the uninspired pap the big presses pump out. What’s that? Harper-Collins wants to publish me? Where do I sign?”
Also, every biz has their own confounding jargon. In the first editing workshop, at the beginning I was verily perplexed as I had no idea what every other word the presenter spoke meant. After a while, the context sunk in and I was able to go with it–a bit like watching Shakespeare on the stage–something clicked after a while and it made sense on a sub-brain level. Hey, I’ve picked up the rudiments of a new, fancy lexicon. I did figure out that while film editing is very different from magazine or fiction editing, it’s still all about the cutting and tightening.
Got the contract for “The Bunny of Vengeance and the Bear of Death” for Fantasy Magazine. And FM is now available from Clarkesworld, both single issues and subscriptions. Woo.
New words: 500
After the Writers Workshop at the GABPC, I realized that the reason I was so stymied with my A Harmony of Foxes novel was because I hadn’t worked through some of the basics of my plot. So I went into my outline, did a major overhaul, and am much happier with it. My muse is engaged with it once more. I’m going to have to hack out large chunks which I wrote earlier that don’t work in the new incarnation, but hey, I’m back to work on the novel!
Where did you get a Cthulhu backpack? ::is very jealous::
From the vendor area at Dragon*Con. Suffered massive amount of buyer’s remorse immediately afterward ’cause, well, spurious spending and all. But it rawks! And I have now used it, so that helps to mollify the “I spent money on something frivolous” pinches.
Wah! Wish I could have gone this year.
Manly and I are planning Dragoncon as a real live, sans children vacation next year. Funnily enough, after he saw the schedule from when I went in 2003, he stopped saying “Oh, come on, what would I do at Dragoncon?” ::grin::
I stayed out of the dealer’s room this year. I was only able to go by the skin of my teeth this time. I pre-ordered a copy of FANTASY. What a beautiful cover! I can’t wait to get it. 🙂
I really ought to have stayed out of the dealer’s room. Sigh. I’m weak. Thanks for pre-ordering Fantasy! I’m greatly looking forward to it too. It promises to be a really gorgeous publication.
Screenplays vs. Prose Fiction
Have you ever written a story in pure third person–no inner thoughts or emotions or simile/metaphor? You can get away with that in some screenplay scene descriptions, but still…
Re: Screenplays vs. Prose Fiction
I’ve converted a short story to a screenplay, although that’s not quite the same thing. It was an educational experience . . .
The core of screenwriting and short stories or novels is the same: story, story, story. It’s in the mechanics where they differ.
Yep, the rudimentary core is the same. But that leaves a lot of room for variation. More than I realized before.
I love dialogue. Love to hear my characters (myself [heh]) talk. The majority of my stories start of out with dialogue and action and I have to go back and work in the description–a task I hate. When reading, I skim description in most novels and stories. “Yeah. Big castle. Pillars, beams, got it. Whatever.”
Which probably puts me odd with the media I write in.
I have a strong hankering for trying a screenplay. That workshop sounds interesting…and confusing.
Heh. Sounds like we focus on different things as writers and readers, both. While I’m a huge fan of strong dialogue, I’m really a narrative writer. And I love losing myself in beautiful settings and descriptions.
It definitely sounds like you should do a screenplay. I’m a bit dubious about the prospect for myself, alas.
Eugie in Wonderland
What a weekend? And when is Hollywood going to ask you “please sign here?” Thanks for the insights. Keep going on that novel. They’re a lot easier to finish when you don’t set them aside for too long. They can start to fester and get downright rank when attention-deprived.
Re: Eugie in Wonderland
I know, I know. I’ve let this novel fester for too long and I’m having a hard time getting back into the rhythm of it. Glah.