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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 that 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 Centre 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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Book 2 in my Short Stories series is “E-Males”   Meet ‘Anna Karenina’ of the Australian suburbs:

After seven years of marriage, Michelle began to question her love ~ not her husband Barry’s ~ his adoration was as solid and steady as a rock.  No, she questioned her state. 

Was this all she could expect?  She yearned for more  ~ or perhaps a different ethereal mist of feeling which engulfs like a warm blanket of bright colours, flapping every now and then in the breeze of life. 

“Damn those blasted fairy tales! Where’s my prince?  Why doesn’t Barry come home in the middle of the day and whisk me off to Paris for coffee?” 

She day-dreams he’s sitting in his high rise office, gazing out across the Swan River, thinking of her in a flowing white peignoir, hair carefully styled, just risen from their marriage bed to meet her love. 

Full lips ready to receive his kiss, his embrace strong but gentle he smiles down at her, with one arm to support her swooning, body trembling with unspoken ardor. 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2014

If you’d care to read the rest, you’re welcome to buy or lend a KINDLE copy of  “E-Males”  or Book 1:  “Meeting Mr X”  directly from Amazon.

(Hope you do…)

 

#FrancesMacaulayForde  #McAlpineBellPublishing  #MeetingMrX  #KINDLEbooks  #E-Males”

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Last week I attended a masterclass with illustrator Alison Lester.  So inspiring I totally forgot to take photos to share the experience (sorry) but have a look at her website and the wonderful 25+ books Alison has been involved in either writing or illustrating.

I came home with two beautiful books signed by Alison to my grandies:  Kissed by the Moon  was recommended for my 19 month old by Alison and Imagine with a sparkly cover things to do while we read, for my 5 year old.  

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Kissed by the Moon #AlisonLester © 2014

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Imagine by Alison Lester #AlisonLester © 2014

When I read each of these for the first time, I got shivers of sheer enjoyment from the beautiful illustrations and simple but so evocative wording – hard to do.

I confess, I was not aware of Alison before the class but I’m now a HUGE fan and intend to build a library of as many of her books as possible  for my grandchildren.

I consider no other gift as valuable as the love of books and like my children, my grandchildren already have an excellent collection of (especially but not exclusively) Australian writers.

Now they have two more treasures.

Our very active and totally encouraging local Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators:  SCWBI WEST volunteers, organised the Masterclass to be held on the same day as Duelling Illustrators.

No less than 6 illustrators took part, with three writers offering their unpublished manuscripts as the stimulus for furious flaying of arms around large sheets of paper.

An exciting and great fun, FREE event with standing room only.    If you missed this one, don’t miss the next event which happens once a year at the State Library in the Perth Cultural Centre – one of my all time favorite places to be.

SCWBI West members stayed back “Behind Closed Doors – a view from the Publisher’s desk” with Cate Sutherland  from Fremantle Press and Jane Godwin from Penguin Books.

Many lucky members left the next morning for a writers retreat held over last weekend on Rottnest Island,  just 14 Km off the coast of Perth.

Can’t wait to read the wonderful books which result, as they do every year.

If you’re a West Australian writer or illustrator – or talented enough to do both, I highly recommend you join in the fun and nurturing at  SCWBI West.

 

#SCWBIWest  #AlisonLester  #FrancesMacaulayForde #DuellingIllustrators

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KINDLE edition #francesmacaulayforde

 

Well, that’s it – I’ve just published my first KINDLE book on Amazon of a previously printed  “Rail Tales ~ notes from the Currumbine Line”  and naturally, had to buy the first copy.

“Poetry and stories written while travelling on the Currumbine Line between the City of Perth and the Northern Suburbs in Western Australia.”    

It’s live and available right now so I’m pretty pleased.  (It certainly wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be but I managed.)

Here’s another of my favorite short poems from the book:

 

Rail Trail

parallel bars ride the sand

silver bullet steered by hand

expressed in kilometre-d speed

human flotsam to concrete greed

 

 

…and a (very, very) short story I hope you’ll smile at, remembering I was riding the rails when I wrote it.

 

The Great Escape.

Head back, eyes closed. I savor the cool, quiet efficiency of train travel.

I’m alone on this journey.  It is obviously not a popular time to commute.

Silence.  Then a scuffle, a soft knock below me and to the left, makes me

open my eyes. There it is again.  Are there mice on this train?  

It sounds like old crackle-y paper. Rounded, moving haphazardly

in all directions.

I hope the security video can’t see me climb onto the seat. 

Where is it? More importantly – what is it?

Feeling foolish, I gingerly step down. Then cautiously kneel and bend over,

eyes level to the carpet, bum up. 

Oh, it’s O.K. Panic over. Breathe again.

It’s only an onion, enjoying the freedom of riding on the train. 

Do you think it’s got a ticket?

 

 Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

#BOOKRailTales   #FrancesMacaulayForde

#McAlpineBellPublishing

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A couple of weeks ago in my blog posting ‘SOME FOLKS FOLK’  I mentioned the Monday Supper Club with special guest poets Glen Phillips and John Ryan.

My musician Hubby agreed to go because the amazing Ken Nicol, once the guitarist in Steeleye Span, was also appearing…

I previously included a photo or two but now can share my short videos taken that night, so click onto the screenshots and the links will take you to the YouTube performances.

Although I must apologize for my spur-of-the-moment video skills, I hope you enjoy the local glimpses anyway!  It’s all about spreading the love 🙂

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‘Dryandra Dreaming’ #GlenPhillips #FrancesMacaulayForde

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‘Ice Maiden’ #GlenPhillips #FrancesMacaulayForde

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‘Mid Stride’ #GlenPhillips #FrancesMacaulayForde

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“Wine” #JohnRyan #FrancesMacaulayForde

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“My Kentucky Country Roads” #JohnRyan #FrancesMacaulayForde

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“Inside a Jarrah Tree” #JohnRyan #FrancesMacaulayForde

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‘Stratford’ #KenNicol #FrancesMacaulayForde

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“Initial Variations” Instrumental #KenNicol #FrancesMacaulayForde

#FrancesMacaulayForde   #GlenPhillips     #JohnRyan   #KenNicol  #MondaySupperClub  #SteeleyeSpan

 

 

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I love how sometimes a poem ends up taking you to all sorts of places you don’t expect.

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‘Dance’ by Jessica McCallum at His Majesty’s Theatre, 2009. #jessicamcallumartist

My poem “My Life as a Sari” has appeared alongside beautiful artworks.

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POETRY POSTCARD available from Jessica McCallum

An excerpt published on a postcard.

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#IndigoJournal

And published in the INDIGO JOURNAL of West Australian Writing, Vol 3 published by INDIGO books and received lovely comments.

Fremantle Press have recently become on-line partners with the original publishers of the journals and have always been tremendous supporters of those who write in Western Australia, quietly promoting and encouraging new, emerging and established writers by putting their money where their mouth is.

As a result of my inclusion in the journal, Fremantle Press also interviewed  me about my writing and particularly, this poem.

 

My Life as a Sari

 

Securely tuck your fears under elastic

at the centre of your waist with your left hand,

and with your right, hold the remaining

metres of spun silk – your future, facing inside.

 

Measure the drop of the fall

and it’s finely stitched edge

for correct positioning against heels.

 

Wrap yourself in the gossamer fold,

swirling the diaphanous film behind

but stay level and wedge the top border

into your petticoat.

 

Like a bride preparing herself,

you are now ready to pleat.

 

At a distance from the last fixing,

hand-measure the delicate veil,

embroidered with details

important to who you are

toward the middle of your body.

 

Some may need five pleats, some six.

Less is more. Another judgement held on show

– a statement of size, however graciously it moves.

 

Securely fix the perfumed fanning

and grasp what is left, bring it back around

to wrap warmly and return to the front.

 

These days, you can choose to gather all loose

ends onto your left shoulder, secured with a jewel.

But many prefer to throw the remainder

over, remembering to hold an arm half bent,

letting the end float freely – the beaded

edge skimming the inside of your wrist.

 

 Frances Macaulay Forde © 2009

#francesmacaulayforde

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‘Urban Scrawl’ an anthology of member’s stories published in 2000 by Peter Cowan Writer’s Centre.

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The illustration for my story ‘Write to Romance’.

 

“Write to Romance” appeared in ‘Urban Scrawl’, a collection of member’s writing put together by Peter Cowan Writers Centre in 2000 and was the first of my short stories published in Australia.

As I have quite a few snippets of story on my computer ‘shelves’ I’m very interested in putting together a collection for an eBook to publish online as soon as possible.

Watch this space.

 

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