And Now the Back Flip! A Writing Update

The GymnastAh, my blog… How nice to be back. I’ve missed you. I feel like I am reopening the door of a room that has been shut for a while, wondering if I need to dust or vacuum. What’s funny about that is that while everything felt like a pause for me, my site continued to grow. Reaching now the awesome tally of 1406 followers. Thank you everyone!

I’ve been so focused on my fiction and writing outside the blog that I’ve only done simple entries over the last few weeks. Maybe others don’t see it that way, but I do when I look at the site. This site was built to challenge myself and my writing and when I don’t… well… I don’t.

While it may have seemed a little dry creatively on this site, I have been very busy. Actually, I feel on a writing high right now, Like I could do anything, accomplish anything if I put my mind to it. I am a gymnast in my mind, certain that I would land on my feet without even that little hop. It’s a good feeling and a good place to be creatively as a writer.

I have a lot of hope, there seems to be a lot of possibility, a wonderful feeling.

Hope is the thing with feathers… and a smile and wink of the eye.

Time for some updates.

Permanent Spring Showers

First off, the good news! I spent the last two weeks working on the final draft of my latest novel! Which means for me late nights, way too much caffeine, and a lot of Fiona Apple (I have to listen to her while working on the book, she is very much the soundtrack and energy behind it, especially her last CD).

For those that have read my books (and if you haven’t, why not?), they know I don’t do anything easy.

  • A post-modern twist in a novel recreating a Jane Austen-esq story with the famous writer as the main character? Sure!
  • A time-travel and intense adventure book that is actually about the stages of growing up? Fine!
  • A gothic mystery that destroys the genre like a nuclear bomb and then debates the relationship between an author and a creation? Why not!

Permanent Spring Showers is also a great example of that with 10 different POV characters, over 50 characters, and reaching almost 600 pages. I would call it my opus, but the fact is I look at each of my books that way and love to make complex and surprising works. However, it could be argued that this has been a work in progress for almost twenty years!

It was first a screenplay (which was my ticket into grad school for film writing!), the story and characters have always been in the back of my mind. While my readers won’t feel the time with the story (it’s a pretty fast read, no matter its length, and contemporary), I do because there are markers of “old” Scott throughout it. For example, when I first wrote it, I gave many of the characters names that were variations of people I was close to at the time. They aren’t the characters, of course, just a playful nod. Again, it just emphasizes to me how long this book has stuck with me. Heck, I can’t remember the last time I have spoken to some of these “characters.”

Here is the thing I need to come to grips with though. When I finished that last read through and hit send on the email to my publisher, it was an ending. I won’t be visiting that world again, those characters. After all this time the story is done.

See, I don’t like to go back and read my work. It is a dangerous thing for me to do since I typically am always looking for things to change and rewrite, so when I finish a work I need to wipe my hands from it and move on.

It’s been a fun experience working with the new publisher. We have been working with an artist on the cover of the book and it is amazing. I know every writer says “My new cover is great” but I am serious when I say, “My new cover is great.” I can’t wait to share it with you. It captures so much the energy of the work. If I am lucky and this book finds an audience (Ah, the writing dream!), this cover could stick to the story. Even without my novel behind it, the image really could be iconic by itself. Yes, it’s that good.

Future Things

Time rests for no man, nor does fiction. I need to figure out what I am going to work on next. I do think I have come up with an idea that actually takes some of the pressure off my shoulders. See, I have an unpublished novel that was also my thesis for grad school. This book landed me a major agent after I graduated from the University of Southern California AND when the head of the writing program read the book, he called me late at my apartment, his voice shaking. He had read the entire book in one sitting.

You don’t forget calls like that.

That novel is called Cassandra on the Island and I think after Permanent Spring Showers is out in the market I’m going to begin investigating into options to get it published. So, if I am lucky, maybe I can have another book out next year. It’s funny, I talk about Permanent Spring Showers being with me for twenty years, it will be just as weird to return to Cassandra. I wrote that novel in 2001. Yet, if I am lucky with Permanent Spring Showers in the market, they could make a great one-two punch together.

So maybe agents, maybe bigger publishers, maybe indie presses… I’ll have an idea what is a better match much later in the year.

I’m always planning, and it’s nice to feel like I can see the next step in front of me. Plus, I love the book (especially the unique structure I use it telling it) that it will be great to finally share it with the world.

Of course, after that book I will be stuck. I’ll need to write something new then!

My Scooby-Doo Adventure

Sophisticated ScoobyAh, mystery gang, I can’t escape you. Yes, I still dream of my Scooby-Doo screenplay (which I wrote about here last). Since putting up the post I have continued my searching into how I can get a synopsis to the correct people at WB Animation, but I keep hitting a wall. I’m just not a part of that world.

So I continue to scribble out my ideas, play with my plot, hoping for a break.

This is going to sound silly, but a part of me wishes this idea wasn’t this good. This could be a great animated Scooby-Doo movie. And it hits all of the norms you would expect in such a tale. I also know kid humor, trust me this would make my kids roll on the ground laughing.

Do you want to hear something funny? Do you know what is the last screenplay I worked on before this Scooby-Doo idea? Seriously, a film adaptation of Hamlet.

I kid you not.

That screenplay of Hamlet might turn out to be the best thing I ever do.

Period.

And chances are, unless I get more of a name as writer it will never be read by a producer or filmed. It is daring, it is filled with unique variations on classic soliloquies and scenes. And a million times better than that atrocity made with Ethan Hawke. (Oh wait, I probably shouldn’t say that out loud, right? Eek.)

Hamlet and Scooby-Doo. Welcome to the mind of Scott D. Southard.

Me Stuff, front coverIf you liked reading this post, why not check out one of my books? I’ve just had a book published collecting some of my most popular posts. It is entitled Me Stuff.

If fiction is more your thing, I’ve had four novels published in the last few years, A Jane Austen Daydream, Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous DareMy Problem With Doors and Megan.

You can find all of these books via my amazon.com author page here. Thanks for reading!

Need an editor? Dream of finishing that book but need some help? Learn about my editing services by visiting this page on my site. Or you can contact Rebecca T. Dickson and request to work with me by clicking the image below.

Rebecca T. Dickson, Editor

 

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