THE WRITER SIDE OF THINGS…
Well, after Mike’s mass gallery postage earlier in the week, you could be forgiven for thinking that we’re all about art. But we’re not. Over the years I’ve accrued many, many half written scripts on varying versions of Word. So now I’m going to post the best and most complete ones. This is the inspiration behind the gallery.
A long time ago on a PC much much slower than this…
Okay, I’m starting with Faster Than Light. It’s a bit of a space opera spoof. With androids, holograms, aged admirals and smug navigators. That can’t steer. It did start out as deadly serious with a hint of humour, but the hint was destined to grow. AND GROW. I’m not going to include the old, old stuff because it’s quite rubbish. This is the (unfinished) script for issue #1 that inspired Mike to draw the sketches in the Faster Than Light section of the gallery. Length: medium, but it’s funny. Happy acrobating:
Next up I’m going to include a couple of examples of drafts from Humanity: I Think, Therefore I Am. This story has been with me for years. And I’m no closer to finishing it. It’s a story that was originally moulded in the narrative style of manga, but became more and more western as it evolved (it’s still set in Japan, though). It examines in some detail the relationship between man and machine and the question “what does it mean to be alive?” There are three parts, the second of which is I Think, Therefore I Am, but in true George Lucas style I Think, Therefore I Am would be the first to be published. I have put some of my deepest thoughts into this piece, but unfortunately cannot post a completed issue script here as they’re all so out of date. What I am posting are the two plans (kind of first drafts – getting the sequence of events right – that sort of thing). The first one has already been posted earlier in the news section. Length: short. Just one issue.
The second one is the original plan that I wrote in about 2000-2003. It gets to about two pages away from the end of the whole story and I still think that some of the scenes are magic. But some are far too obvious… Length: MAMMOTH! (about 8000 words!)
Okay, if you’re still with us after reading all that (I wish), let’s move on.
Not being the type to do one thing at a time, I began to write the first part of Humanity, which is called I Dream Of Humanity. It’s about the main antagonist in I Think, Therefore I Am, but is set before she became so embittered. This story would fill in all the blanks, and answer the questions about ANI’s origins. But although it’s technically the first part, it would be published last. Don’t ask me why. It’s a writer thing… I think. Anyway, what I’m going to post here is the beginning of I Dream Of Humanity both in book form and in comic script form – they are different as they represent different phases of the creative process. Length: short.
Also, here are some songs/poems that would be written by a tormented ANI.
Changing genre completely now, we have So Now They Are Free. David and I were fascinated by second world war history, but we’d read/seen far too many war stories set in this period where the heroes were far too clean cut. They didn’t get bogged down in the horror of it all, they just get on with it. Kill as many of the Hun as they can and get back home to Blighty. Or foil the evil Krauts and get back to the land of the free… (of course there are a few notable exceptions to all this eg: Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, Downfall, etc…). Anyway, David and I wanted to explore the dramatic effects the horrors of war could have on a man, but set it in the WW2 era of conflict. You see, the second world war was always seen as a just war – we were fighting the Nazis, who were undoubtedly evil. The narratives of films set in the period often reflect this with a clear good and evil balance. Of course, as we all know, things can get a little more complicated than that… The first file I’m posting here is the first part of issue one. Unusually for me this is laid out more in novel-style prose. Length: short.
Next I’m going to add some concept musings from the piece. Also a plan of the missions that the main protagonist – Andy McBride – would have to undertake. Length: short.
What I have left in my folder are a couple of concept pieces. One of them evolved into a small script, one did not. I’ll start with Nanoworlds. This was a science fiction piece, set on and around an alien planet that had been colonised by humans. Half the population were human, half alien. Relations between the two parties were strained to such an extent that the United Nations Of Earth Starfleet or UNES had deployed two giant military spacecraft in orbit of the planet. The story arcs followed the lives of several different protagonists (hence nanoworlds – the micro “world” of each protagonist) as the situation around the planet gradually worsened, eventually resulting in the declaration of war. What follows is two kind of reportage, journalistic pieces that I wrote to outline the concept in my head. Length: medium.
This is a short piece that Mike and I originally intended to enter in a StripSearch competition for Dark Horse Comics. The first PDF is the outline of the idea. Next are the comic pages that resulted from the idea. It’s missing the last two pages, which I never wrote because Mike didn’t like the idea of drawing one of the scenes (you’ll know which one when you get to it). It’s about a young girl who is institutionalised. But as the piece goes on, we realise that she may not be mad – that what she did may just be nightmares in her head, and that the doctors of the institution may be another part of the nightmare. Length: medium.
*Edit* – art for page 1 is now available in the gallery (under ‘Sketchbook’):
Well that’s all from me for now. What’s above represents years of ideas, of frantic typing, of frustrating writers block. Some of the characters have really got under my skin. But I’m not sure I’ve found my magnum opus yet. I’m still looking, and having ideas all the time.
I’m off to buy a new keyboard – the keys have worn away on this one. Peace. Out.