Month: February 2013

TLM Blog Tour 2013: Todd Keisling’s The Liminal Man or My Valentine’s Date

Years ago I used to do something that, deep inside, felt a little weird from my part. I’d be walking around a mall or a street full of people just looking into their faces, looking hard for signs of something else, maybe something grand. I don’t really know what I was looking for, but I do know what I found in almost all of them: conformity. And I had to ask myself “do these people have no aspirations? How can they go on with a dull existence?”

It must sound like an arrogant thing to think or say, however, when I read the first book in Todd Keisling’s Monochrome Trilogy, A Life Transparent (go get it while it’s free!! It even hit the Top 10 in Horror for the Kindle this week!) I realized I wasn’t alone and, furthermore, that those thoughts and those questions could save my life.

I’m not much of a horror reader, actually, I’m pretty easy to scare, so I often walk away from this genre. But Todd’s writing isn’t the senseless kind of horror that just gives you the creeps without an underlying message. His writing is neat, full of detail and, I must say, beautiful. It’s a pleasure to read what he writes, even if it’s about the Yawning (these huge monsters that can swallow you whole) or the Cretins (these little white dudes that speak in a reverse language and have attitude problems).

In the first book the protagonist, Donovan Candle, had a nice scare and a second chance to change his path and not flicker out of existence (The Spectrum) and into The Monochrome. Thing is, second chances don’t always go as planned and, even though he did change his ways and started to live a more fulfilling existence, he did give up on his dreams. And that’s a big No-No!

The Liminal Man, second book of the trilogy, takes us on a journey where Donovan is standing right in the middle of it. He’s changed, but not enough. In Aleister Dullington and Dr. Sparrow’s words: “You’re the insane one, Mr. Candle. You’re the cause of your own failure. The question is, what will you do about it when the time comes? Well, I will give you a hint –you need to act. […] You have been charged with the sin of inaction.” Ouch.  “You replaced mediocrity with a new addiction: complacency.” Double ouch.

What I loved about this second book was the addition of insights into other victims of The Monochrome, especially young ones. We all think conformity comes from years and years of that “inaction” and it was nice to see that it’s not so. Conformity can come at any age, just follow all those rules we’re imposed by society, give up on doing whatever fancies your creativity, and you’ll hit it face first.

Don’t, just don’t. Repeat after Donovan: “I WAS MEANT FOR MORE THAN THIS!”

Now don’t be dull and get Todd’s books on Amazon, you’ll thank him, believe me. Or better yet, he’s having a Rafflecopter giveaway where you can win his books and other goodies!

P.S. Read about his character development process at the Meta-Writing blog.

Darlene Craviotto

Astrid’s first question that she emailed me was a good one.

How do you write a screenplay?

“I took only one screenwriting class during my BA and, to this day, I’ve only managed to complete very short scripts,” she wrote.  “Every time I sit down to write a screenplay I find that I want to write all sorts of stuff (thoughts and philosophical pondering) that will never be transformed into action.”

She’s right – It won’t.

“How do you deal with the economic language supposed to reign in scripts?” Astrid wanted to know.

If you write books, short stories, or anything other than screenplays, you’re going to have to  change your writing style.  Here’s what you need to remember – Always think of writing for film as utilizing only two elements:

1) Action (Show it, don’t tell us about it).

2) Dialogue (Skip the long speeches unless it’s an Oscar…

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Darlene Craviotto

(This is the first post of an ongoing series, Emails to a Young Screenwriter.  If you haven’t read the introduction to the series, you’ll find it at So You Want To Be A Screenwriter?)

A script is a dream that’s been captured on paper – by a screenwriter.

We take that dream and give it structure, inhabit it with people, give it motion, and make it into a story.  We shape that story into a script.  And it’s our script that captures the imagination, the talents, and the hard work of a few hundred people working together to make that dream into something real – a film.

Astrid Cruz knows all about dreams – she’s a writer, a filmmaker, a student.  Each one of those roles finds its raison d’être in chasing dreams.  She’s not new to the craft of stringing words together and using those words to…

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