Friday, October 28, 2011

The Apparition of "Apparition"

Two years ago, almost to the day (I don't remember what day exactly), I began writing "Apparition."  I actually started writing it in August of 2009.  That's when I started mapping out the story.  Well, really, I started writing it sometime in 2002 or 2003.  That's when I had the idea.  And I thought, "That's a pretty good idea.  I don't know what to do with it.  Well, I'll put that away for a while."  Then I'd dig it up again.  And I'd think, "Yeah, that's a good idea.  What the hell is it?"

At the time, I was writing screenplays.  So, of course, I thought I was writing a movie.  I primarily wrote comedies.  So, for a while, this was a comedy movie.  But I couldn't get my head around what the "joke" was.  At least, what the joke was that would sustain an 90-120 minute movie.  So it became a thriller.  I was crap at writing thrillers.  But most thrillers are crap.  So why not?  But then I couldn't figure out what the real thrill was.  Then - you're gonna love this - it was a Disney Channel movie.  It wasn't an actual Disney Channel movie.  That's just what I thought I'd do with it.  The reasoning behind that was because I have two kids who were watching lots of Disney Channel so my frame of reference was really limited for a while.  But that's where I settled.
So I sat down trying to figure out the story.  All I had was the ghost of a boy was haunting this girl's bedroom.  I had to come up with why.  And I knew there had to be some conflict because I knew I would be bored if it didn't have a car chase or a fight or both.  And that begged the question, "How does a ghost fight?" In answering that question, I brainstormed for a solid ten pages about the physics and nature of being a ghost and then of life and the universe.  Yeah, it got kind of heavy.  But when I was done, I knew what the story was without having even written the story or a character name.  And I knew it had to be a book.

I'd never written a book before.  And I think not having any idea what I was doing was kind of freeing.  I was so married to the screenplay format. While I knew story structure would be similar, I wasn't going to be restricted by the time constraints of a movie.  I could just write and write and write and hope I wasn't boring anyone who happened to eventually read it.  In a little over a year, I finished my first draft.  I spent three months polishing.  I had some people read it and I got some positive feedback.  I'm sure there was negative feedback but I chose to ignore it.  That's why I won't ever go into therapy because I'm sure they will uncover those repressed memories and I'll just end up feeling miserable.  Ignorance may truly be bliss.  

Anyway, there were some questions I had to answer and things I had to clear up.  And there was more I wanted to do with this story.  So I decided to not only rewrite the book, but break the large tome up into three parts.  One, because I could say more in three shorter books than I could in one really big one and, two, because then I'd have three books instead of just one.  So I spent the summer and early part of the fall making changes and focussing on the first book.  And that's what this is.  The first of three.  I really hope you enjoy it.  And I really hope you recommend it to friends and family.  It's just such a relief to be done.  And now I have nothing to do ... but write two more books.  *whimper*  

But I'm going to do it.  Even if you don't read them.  Even if you don't read this one.  Even if you don't read this blog post.  If you're not reading this blog post, then I'm just writing to myself.  I wonder if that's crazier than talking to yourself.  You know what?  I'm too tired to try to figure that out.  Point is: the book is done.  Please buy it and read it.  And review it.  

1 comment:

  1. Dylan, I enjoyed reading about your creative process. It was inspiring!