Where was I? Oh yeah, “The Bureau of Lost Films.”
So after another glorious flame-out, I decided to go Accept–you know, “Balls to the Wall,” with a different concept. I figured that since my elegant and clever novel, “The Ardent Admirer” didn’t meet with interest from over 60–count ’em–fucking agents because it lacked sure-fire commercial appeal, why not just do something completely off-the charts?
So, I devised a plot regarding a thief hired to steal a rare Charlie Chaplin film before an auction and meets up with a Professor and his assistant with interest of their own in the film–turnrs out they’re from the future and they time-travel and are trying to save the film for their own time. All of them meet opposition from another party, also from the future, who wants the film because it will trigger an army he can control. Our thief winds up, instead, in the past, be-set by an army of zombies who resemble Chaplin and threaten to overrun the world. Brilliant in concept–lousy in execution–and far too “Doctor Who-ey” to be any good. Another total waste of six weeks.
Back to the drawing board and initial concept: thief is hired to go a trivia contest by his treacherous employer and win a rare Chaplin film. In the meantime, there are other interested parties, including a dickhead film director ala Quentin Tarantino (who really is an idea-stealing dickhead) and sword-wielding clockwork automatons who like Dorothy and Lillian Gish. This mixture of film reference, steampunk, and martial arts made it all the way to page 237 before I pulled the plug on it. Why? It got too unwieldy and what seemed surefire in my head turned out to be a nightmare to choreograph and had way too many bad guys–plus I couldn’t quite work the ending to what I wanted it to be. So, back up the trash truck fellas, here’s another steaming pile for ya!
Never quit, however, never surrender. Remember, writing is always hallways between torture and fun. I thought to myself, why are there no Nazi’s in this story and with a cue from “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” I decided to keep the auction and make the rest of the story about how Nazi’s are looking for a lost Chaplin picture. The just finished draft i short, about 225 pages or so, but once I change viewpoints from first to third, I figure it might have more pages. The characters also need to be re-worked and there are entire chapters that need to disappear, but that’s what third drafts, ad nauseum, are for. There is, I’m happy to say, a story in what I’ve written. Now I’ve got to go out and find it and make the story fire on all cylinders without overcomplicating things, as I usually do. Not every story has to be about the end of the world….although they should.
MORE AS BECOMES NECESSARY. Thanks for reading.