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My novel started life way back  in 1986 as ‘Competing’ then became ‘Kathy’s Clown’ and finally ‘Toy Soldier’.

I’m still not sure what to call it… the story just won’t go away but I have had to adapt working ‘docs’ for each and it’s getting very confusing so I must settle on a name soon!

This 3 para Synopsis will give you an idea of the story and characters:

SYNOPSIS:  ‘Kathy’s Clown’

The Army Reserve is a volunteer group that consists of weekend soldiers.  Peter Watts-Brown is their Colonel.  He has made his hobby his career – his day job with the Department of Agriculture, pays the bills. He enjoys playing games – with the army, with money, with women.

His favorite opponent and total opposite at work and play is Colin Williams.  Colin is in line for promotion which Peter feels he deserves. He also wants Colin’s wife Kath.  Both have a team entered in the Blackwood Marathon held in the South West.  Each needs the validation of crossing the finishing line before the other. Both will do anything to win.

When one of the girls who works at the Research Center is murdered, the games turn serious. Both are prime suspects – now the real war games begin.

Because I’m busy re-writing my novel and also adapting it to the big screen, I thought I’d tell you how many different documents I’ve worked on concerning the same story and characters without reward.

For example, publishers usually require either one or the first three chapters however, Film Producers ask for so many different ‘docs’ it can be quite mind-blowing if you don’t know the purpose of or how to construct each format.

No 1: 1st draft Novel manuscript.

I’m not at all sure which number draft I’m on now as I’ve been working on it for so many years and changed computers so many times since them, I’m sure a few have been lost in the myriad of saving-method evolution.

In 1985 I wrote the first draft of 92 pages in three months when my very generous brother Paddy lent me his computer.  (I also managed to write a book of children’s stories  in the same 3 months.)  It meant I got the idea down on paper and the characters set in my mind.   Every couple of years I revisited it.

While at University studying for my degree in 2000, my Screenwriting units required different ‘docs’ for a feature script.  I thought using my story ‘Competing’ would be easier because I already knew the ending.

It actually wasn’t because I had to re-imagine my story for a visual medium – the polar opposite of most novels.  Luckily, I am a visual thinker so I was half way there…

No 2.  Logline.

The Logline is the hook.  If you can’t fit the premise of your feature on one line, perhaps you’re not completely clear on your idea.

‘Competing’ Logline:  Peter Watts-Brown plays games expecting to win but Colin Williams won’t let him; at work, at home or the Blackwood Marathon.  

No 3:  ‘Synopsis’.

The synopsis is a snapshot of the story and characters meant to reel in the investors, so it has to be ‘sexy’ and can be any length, from 3 paragraphs to a 1/2 page,  1 Page or 3 Page Synopsis.

No 2: ‘Scene Breakdown’.

The Scene Breakdown gives a description of each scene or sequence, some in full as examples with dialogue but mostly just action to illustrate the flow of the story, which in this case finished at 29 pages.

No 4: ‘Treatment’.

By March, 2001 of my final year at Uni, I had a 19 page ‘Treatment’ sometimes called an ‘Outline’ of the story, which showed what happened in each scene written as narrative in story form, with no dialogue.

No 5:  Feature Script

When I left Uni I decided to actually start writing the script but then half way through, because of the different medium, I naturally found the story was changing to suit.  So back I went to the novel to do another re-write because I wanted both to ‘marry’.

That’s why I’m really not sure how many versions of the novel exist without going through all my old discs – some are even the old 4 inch square ones – and I can’t play them!

Since then I’ve done a Transmedia masterclass with Jeff Gomez and realized the differences make versions interesting – each should add new aspects of the ‘world’ I’ve created of story or characters.

Perhaps now you understand why I keep putting it away and coming back to it…

 

#FrancesMacaulayForde  #FILM:Competing  #FILM:Kathy’sClown  #FILM: ToySoldier  #BOOK:Competing  #Transmedia  #Novel  #Books  #Manuscript  #JeffGomez  #Treatment  #SceneBreakdown  #Outline  #Synopsis  #FeatureScript  #Script  #Logline  #BlackwoodMarathon  #BlackwoodValley  #Marathon

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Stephen Page

Author: The Salty River Bleeds, The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. Alum: Palomar College, Columbia University, Bennington College. Follow on twitter @SmpageSteve on Instagram @smpagemoria on Facebook @steven.page.1481

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