First, I want to thank everyone who offered support after yesterday's post. I really appreciated the kind words.
Okay- I thought I'd talk a little bit about the project I've been writing lately. It's called Ciudad. It's the story of a mercenary extractor who has to go into a really dangerous city in South America and bring a kidnap victim out safely. If you're so inclined, you can google Ciudad del Este.
I didn't come up with this idea. The concept was brought to my publisher (the wonderful Oni Press) by a couple of film directors, Joe and Anthony Russo. They made the films Welcome to Collinwood and You, Me, and Dupree, and they worked on the tv shows Arrested Development and Carpoolers. Very talented guys, and as nice as they could be. I've been really lucky to end up working with down-to-earth people as I first encounter the craziness of Hollywood. Anyway, Oni approached me about collaborating with the brothers, developing a graphic novel at the same time they're developing the film.
Since we started work on this thing a couple of years ago, we've had a lot of discussions about the setting, characters, and overall structure. We spoke with former CIA guys about Ciudad itself, and we hammered out what we wanted to do with this story. Near the end of last year, the project was optioned by Paramount, and the pressure to write both the film and the book was stepped up. Paramount agreed to fly me out to LA, so we could all bash out an overall outline. With that done, Joe Russo got to work on the screenplay, and I started on the graphic novel script.
So, that's where we are right now. I've been running behind Joe so far, and that's one of the reasons I really felt I needed to find more time in my schedule for writing. I've been able to up my script output quite a bit, and I'm getting close to a third of the way home now.
I think the work is good so far. My only big concern is the pacing. Our outline was heavy on setups and character details in the first act, and I have been really hesitant to trim any of that crucial stuff. The problem is that this is supposed to be a 150 page book, and I'm not quite done with the first act, sitting at page 50. Something is going to have to give here pretty soon.
At this point, I haven't done a tight outline that is unique to the book. Instead, I've been working from the outline we put together for both the book and film. One of the big differences in those two mediums is the way action plays out. As I said, there is a lot of action in this book, and that stuff takes some time in comics. You can't cram multiple actions into one panel, so a big action sequence eats up a big page count.
I will get there. Once these 50 pages are tight, I'll lay out the rest of the book as tightly as possible. I'll probably have to lose some of the stuff that will end up in the screenplay, but I'll get there. It's an exciting process. Most days, it beats inking!
That's all... I'm off to work!
As always, your humble servant,