I’ve spent the week reading and working on my first screenplay, something I’m looking forward to showing you all when it’s complete. I’ve recently read an article about Matthew Weiner, creator of Mad Men, and his long slog through the Hollywood scene to get his baby born. His long list of rejections and denials must have been difficult to deal with, including having HBO almost on board with it until they declined. AMC came to his rescue and the rest is television history.
It took him seven years from inception and writing to get it done, but this isn’t unheard of. Writers cannot put a timeline on themselves or their projects. In my day job the men I work around have a familiar saying “it will get done, when it gets done” – because if you’re passionate about your work it cannot be rushed. Looking back on the books I’ve written I’m guilty of rushing – especially Origins. If I had to do it all over again, it would be far different, but that would mean it wouldn’t have come out when it did, and it had to finish. At the time I felt that if I didn’t finish my first book, I’d end up like other authors I know who talk about “having a novel in the works” and then never see anything released. There’s definitely a balancing act that goes on between needing it to be done and done correctly, and I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive, just two sides of the same coin.
Writing is my passion, and every time I sit down to write, I’m taking my soul in my hands and pressing it into the keys. Parts of it are beautiful, loving, and genuine – and others are so dark they scare me in the middle of the night. I don’t believe people are good or bad deep down, as I see the traditional battle between good and evil as something of a misnomer. People are people, and thus will do what is right in the moment for their path. The outcomes of their actions might be perceived as “good” in certain lights and “bad” in others, it’s that age old Ben Kenobi certain point of view argument
The screenplay adaptation of my Mythos Division series gives me the opportunity to give all those ideas that didn’t get into the first book another chance. Readers will notice characters they’ve never heard of before, partly because of the nature of how television works, and partly because I want to show how much depth the story has. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, Julius isn’t the center of the story, even though he sure feels like it for a long time. There’s so much going on in other places and at other times, I didn’t know how to fit them all in for Origins, but television feels different.
What makes for good television? Conflict and passion.