Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Neither the First Nor the Last Lesson from South Park

If you're reading this and you've also been sent a proof copy of my Greenland book, please see here. After some useful feedback, I created a few family trees, to help parse out all the different characters. A dramatis personae might not be out of place, but it's rather old-fashioned for this sort of book, so for the time being, I hope this helps. If you haven't read the book, the information at that link won't make any sense to you, but you're welcome to look; it doesn't give very much away.

I grew tired of my Nordic landscapes and started downloading fractal wallpapers. I now hunger for ever more of them. They are gorgeous, and I'm not yet tired of looking at them. I'm using Windows 7, with rotating wallpapers, and I finally figured out the easier way to get pictures into rotation, so I'm probably going to end up using all my disk space on the dang fractals. But they are so cool.

I've now written over 70,000 words on the horror novel. And somehow, I'm astonished to find, I'm in Act III: The Ticking Clock.

Excerpted from an e-mail I recently wrote:
A feature screenplay has two plot points, right? End of act I, end of act II. Each of the plot points spins the story in a whole new direction. I am not a literary expert, but I understand that books have numerous plot points, and that they’re diagnosed in a completely different way than in films. In films, there are two and only two, and other important things that happen are merely Things That Happen, not actual plot points. In American films, they are generally so obvious that you can’t not notice them once the concept has been pointed out to you.
In the feature film South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, there's a point near the end where the Mole looks at his watch, and he sees this:

Ever since I started noticing that the third act virtually always involves a ticking clock in one way or another, thanks to this movie and specifically this frame of animation, I can't stop noticing it. Now, in my horror novel, my antagonist has given my protagonists 24 hours to decide something, and I still totally failed to notice I was in The Ticking Clock until one of my characters said "Clara wants our answer before noon tomorrow." I typed that, and then, after I read it over, I thought of the image above.

Ha. Wow, brain. That's some serious training a lifetime of American movies and almost ten years of cinema study has given you. Like, re-education, almost. It's also really ironic, because what's at stake in The Ticking Clock is time, which is kind of the whole point of my book.

Well, it's funny to me, anyway.


maleesha said...

can i be a beta reader

Katharine Coldiron said...

Sure, if I ever finish it!