Posts tagged ‘development’
January 7, 2014
I’m about to edit a book. Seems like a straightforward mission statement, right? But for me, the prose editing process generates a special, singular kind of fear. I’ll get to that in a second.
When you’re launching an initial assault on the blank page, there’s a leap-into-the-void, roll-the-goddamn-dice, what’s-the-worst-that-can-happen? kinda quality to the whole thing. That’s why I actually enjoyed the NaNoWriMo exercise – you show up, put your head down, and commit to your daily word count. That’s it. So, if your outline was strong enough, and your characters were clearly defined, and you respected your narrative roadmap (no matter how many shortcuts or off-road excursions you indulged in along the way), you’re gonna end up with something. And, unless you’re a complete tool, said thing will resemble an actual ‘story’, with words and paragraphs and dialogue and chapters and a beginning, middle, and end. Groovy.
But then comes the hard part. You see, in keeping with my oft-stated transmedia philosophy, Storytelling (on singular or multiple platforms) is akin to the mining, cutting, and polishing of a precious gem. Writing in prose has only reaffirmed that for me. The story outline is where one surveys the land and takes soil samples. The first draft is digging and sifting until you find the raw stone. Which makes the hardest part – the detailed cutting and polishing phases, which give the stone its unique beauty and shine — the edit.
December 27, 2013
Hello friends, and happy impending 2014!
With the new year fast approaching, I find another journey is on the verge of ending; I’m about to complete the first draft of my debut novel. For better or worse, I’m trying to see the accomplishment for what it is, and release any and all expectations surrounding it. And with that? Well, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t getting a smidgen excited. But just a smidgen…or two. ;)
I’ve been tweeting and Facebook’ing a string today about children’s stories – specifically ‘mid-grade’ novels (for 8-12 year-olds ie: Potter, Narnia, Dark Materials, Percy Jackson, etc) – and whether it’s possible for these to contain intense emotional arcs.
I’ve been reading a lot lately, and find that many of the established series limit their protagonist’s emotional range and ‘stakes’ (at least until later instalments), while choosing instead to focus on ‘world-building’, large character rosters, and causal plot triggers.
So here’s my question: do you think that issues like self-worth, abandonment, betrayal, extreme doubt/terror, and the like are exclusively an ‘adult’ domain? I ask because, with the end in sight, I’m seeing that my tale is pretty darn dense with complex emotions already — things I personally experienced as a child — and the feeling I have now is that this dynamic has entrenched itself as the bedrock of the greater (ie: 5 volume) narrative.
Without high stakes and real struggle, isn’t a story merely ‘stuff happening in an interesting place, with random people’???
December 17, 2013
Seasons Greetings, friends and followers — I truly hope the season finds you happy, healthy, and sharing/basking in goodwill with all!
It’s been quiet in this space for a few months, and there’s a reason for that. As some of you already know, I’m working on something new. Honest. Not a sequel (to this), or a one-shot (like this), or even another screenplay. This labour of love is the first in a five-book fantasy series for ‘middle grade’ readers (8-12yrs) — think Narnia or Potter, but more contemporary. With (appropriate) horror. And pirates. And lots and lots of cats.
October 15, 2013
(the following is reposted from a submission of mine that was featured on Tiny Buddha last month, and again on Life As a Widower. It’s a true story from my childhood, though my folks would probably say I was leaning into ‘literary license’ territory. ;) That said, this is the unedited version of the tale, which includes a pictorial peek at my old stomping grounds. More importantly, I want to commemorate the completion of the outline for a long-in-development series of four children’s books, directly inspired by the events recounted below. For all of you taking part in this year’s NaNoWriMo…know that I’m there in the literary trenches with you – BB)
I’ve always been a ‘cat guy’. This was long before my Buddhist friends told me stories of how cats are true earthly masters, here on earth to show us the Way. Or, to demonstrate the meditative perfection of the feline purr. Or, how the life of a cat is seen in some traditions as reward for ‘good Karma’.
When I lived in rural Nova Scotia, the house was blessed with two cats named Midge and Mooch: tabby mixes, who would come and go as they pleased, and were kind enough…if not overly affectionate. I kept asking for a cat of my own, and my folks eventually buckled. For my seventh birthday, I received a black and white kitten with golden eyes and a salmon-pink nose. He took to me instantly. Love at first meow.
September 30, 2013
As featured in this project post, my friends and collaborators at Hulo Films in Vancouver have been working with acclaimed producer/director Barnet Bain (What Dreams May Come) and celebrated spiritual author Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) to bring the inspirational children’s book Milton’s Secret to life as a live-action feature.
I was honoured to be brought in during the early phases to help shape their transmedia strategy, contribute to branding (‘When life gets heavy, find a better way to carry it’), and offer story notes. Now, with the script receiving kudos from all corners, the project securing support from the Harold Greenberg Fund, and Hollywood legend Peter Fonda signing on to star, the next phase can now be revealed.
In a little over a week, the official INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN for Milton’s Secret has already raised in excess of $100,000! The goal in the next 30 days is to raise the $1M necessary to match gov’t and tax credit contributions, allowing this special work to be completely independent of the studio system.
Check out the following short for the straight skinny from Barnet Bain, Hulo producer Stephen Huszar, and Eckhart himself.
There are heaps of great incentives for all levels of contribution — limited edition scripts and videos, mindfulness tools, and even red carpet events — so please consider ‘kicking something into the kitty’ to help bring this inspirational story to eyes and minds around the world!
January 24, 2013
A belated Happy 2013, one and all! Another year brings a firm resolve, fresh inspiration, and exciting new projects to share. I’ve been teasing feature film developments for what seems like an age, and with the challenges inherent to raising capital in the world of indie film, it’s high time to attempt a more traditional narrative. Something with multi-quadrant audience appeal, international market support, and potential franchiseability. One of those rare industry blips where the rewards clearly outweigh the risks. And, it should go without saying by now, something with multiplatform aspirations carved into its atomic structure from conception.
A little over two years ago, I committed to a ‘work vacation’. It was to be an exotic change of scene, with the hopes of finishing the first draft of a Telefilm-funded screenplay I had pitched, and getting my physical health in line after years of late nights, table-sized Canadian portions, and ungodly levels of caffeine and sugar.
I would end up choosing Thailand. And, for two incredible months, I would write…and learn the ways of Muay Thai.
November 21, 2012
Apologies for the stretch of incommunicado, folks – I blame it on a frenzied mix of travel, research, and project launches – but I wanted to keep you posted on what’s baking in the transmedia oven.
You might’ve noticed a feature I have in development in the PROJECTS section called Risen. Well, it’s still very much alive; there’s a third draft of the screenplay nearing completion, a graphic novel ‘package’ with artist attached, and cross-platform strategizing fully in progress. And now, you can peer behind the proverbial curtain and see some of the lever and pulley action that goes into prepping an original IP for the transmedia stage.
At a remote mountain sanctuary, a disabled orphan receives a revolutionary implant to restore his health. But when the young man finds himself able to manipulate the digital world with his mind? Then it’s a race for answers – and for civilization itself – against rogue military, an obsessed scientist, and the terrifying Consciousness awakening within him.
TIMELINE: AVAILABLE NOW!
PLATFORM: Graphic Novel (96 pages)
GENRE: Psychological Thriller / Horror
CLIENT: In-House IP / Arcana Comics
Featuring the pencil and inking talents of hot newcomer Dane Cypel, the rich colour palette of Sara Machajewski, and based on an original concept by rising genre star Curry Hitchborn, BECOMING is my return to graphic novel storytelling after completing the original version of Broken Saints in 2003!
- Digital Edition on COMIXOLOGY (in 3 parts with custom covers!)
- Print Edition on AMAZON.com (also visit my Amazon Author page!)
- PRESS RELEASE (and 5-page Preview!)
When a troubled student at a remote university challenges his professor to share his ‘secret knowledge’, he is drawn into a horrifying game of life and death. To play, he will learn that the only rule is PAIN, and that the only key to salvation is the desire to KNOW…and the WILL to overcome.
(*trailer features original music by yours truly and Tobias Tinker – cut and conceived by BB)