Writing a novel is really hard work. When the words are flowing on to the page it is a fantastic feeling but when you are staring at a blank screen it is absolute torture.
After I finished my first novel I told myself I would never write another one, it simply took up too much of my time. It is not just the time you spend writing but you have to spend a lot of time thinking. You think about the characters, the storyline, plot development, conversations it becomes all consuming. It is a lot of pain you go through to write something that long and at the end you don’t even know if anyone will read it.
The satisfaction of finishing a novel is amazing though! You just have to go through the struggles and the hard work to get there. I find writing a children’s book a lot better process because you can make sure every word is exactly as it needs to be. When you are writing a novel, however, there are so many words to manage and look after that you can’t get everything right. If you were that painstaking about it I don’t think you would ever finish or be happy with it.
I have just finished my second novel, “The Search for Happiness,” and I am really proud of it. I think you can’t just be a writer and just write though. You have to live life just as much to be able to write about life. I now have to explain to friends and family why I haven’t seen them for the last 6 months. I think any other writers out there will understand just how difficult the process is. It can be absolute torture. Is it really all worth it though? If someone enjoys what you have written after all the hard work you have put into it, then yes, absolutely it was worth it!
Here is an idea I had for a sci-fi novel. Never got around to writing it, still think it’s a good idea though!
2,000 words each
2 worlds – utopia & dystopia
After 5 years old children are determined if they are going to utopia or dystopia
1 family with a boy and girl. The girl goes to dystopia the boy goes to utopia
A man single parent mother died tries to reunite his family
The year is 2060
Dystopia is full of suicide, death, violence
Utopia is the perfect world
The government wants to destroy the dystopian world. But if they destroy dystopia will the utopia cease to exist?
DIS (stralis) where the bad people go.
The father left his child and wife and now lives in dystopia. The boy will remain in utopia with his mother. The brother & sister have a universal pull.
The council do not believe people change. Once they reach the age of 5 they are assessed and taken to either of the two worlds.
End of chapter one army guy and daughter are taken to dystopia where she is placed with her father.
They have a long journey ahead.
Father embarks on a journey to reunite his family. Is he in fact a changed man?
Guide: enteraining, action, comedy.
15 chapters of 2,000 words.
Haven’t we always had two worlds on earth? Go back through history. The haves and the have nots. Yes but that was never distinguished by good people and bad people. A good society and a bad society. Who is ever entirely good? And who is ever entirely evil?
First 5 chapters, set up world, characters and story.
Why don’t people from dystopia get taken to utopia? Why is it only a one way world, and people only get taken away from utopia?
What are you doing dad? Dancing. Why? Because we have to find joy in the world we are living in. Dancing brings me joy. Feel the spirit inside yourself as you dance and release it around you, then we can share it.
There are two societies in earth
Her eyes swell. Liquid fills her eyes. She keeps blinking because she doesn’t want to acknowledge the tears. She doesn’t want to acknowledge the reality. The truth that she has been burying for years, is finally upon her. She can no longer hide from it. As the tear slowly crawls down her cheek she wipes it away. Her body chills. Deep, heavy sobs. Guttural cries. She is now unable to breathe as her sinuses fill. She grabs a tissue and blows her nose.
“I’m sorry Julia, we’ve been instructed to take her. You know the rules.”
“Do you know who my father is? He is on the council of the two worlds.”
“He is well aware of the situation.”
The armed man takes the hand of a 5 year old girl and walks her out of the house.
He lifts her up and places her in the front seat of an armoured vehicle.
“Make sure you put your seat belt on missy.”
“Where am I going?”
The man looks into the distance. He has a vacant stare. In a low murmur he says, “we are going to see your father.”
“I have a daddy?” The girl responds.
The armed officer looks surprised but he doesn’t respond to her. “Belt on, we have a long ride ahead.”
Julia looks up to the sky, “The Gods, please save my child.”
Below is a short film I wrote but never actually filmed.
Angel has had a tough life. His father was an alcoholic. He used to beat his mother. He left her and ended up raising another kids parents. His father was not in his life growing up. He has a lot of unresolved anger within him. He got into trouble from a young age. He would get into fights constantly. Women loved him, he hated them and treated them like shit. He never respected them. He has a wife and 3 kids, he constantly abuses her, physically and emotionally. She loves him. He had just returned from 12 months in jail for aggravated assault. He got into an argument earlier with his wife about the guns he carries in the house..he grabbed a knife from the kitchen and he killed her. He is in constant denial that he killed her, maybe he doesn’t even believe he killed her. His mother brought him up as a devout catholic, no matter the evil he does, he always goes to church on Sunday. He believes in God.
Detective Jackson, has been a homicide cop for a while. He has as evidence a knife that was used to kill Angel’s wife. There is no DNA evidence though. The three children saw Angel kill their mother. They are 2, 4 and 8. The 8 year old told detective Jackson what happened. He originally said it was a family friend who killed his mom, but then he said it was his father. Angel’s aunt has since convinced the family that the son will not testify. The only way detective Jackson will get a conviction is if he gets a confession from Angel. It is now 3 weeks since the murder.
Jackson married his childhood sweetheart. They were together since high school, they married when they were 24. He absolutely loved her. He did everything for her. She left him, he has never gotten over it. He is jaded with life. Every time he puts away scum he puts away the guy that his wife left him for. See Jackson was too safe for her, too kind, too nice, she left him for a smooth talking drug dealer, a petty crim, who excited her. They have since moved interstate. He has never seen her since they left. He has no children, although he’s always wanted to.
As the interrogation goes on detective Jackson realises he will not get a confession from Angel.. he starts to question the value of his own life..and whether losing his life to end Angel’s would matter… secretly he wants Angel’s life .. he wants what he never had.. a wife that loved him as much as she did..3 children..
Opening shot of white board..
Black pen writes a list…love..happiness..memories..friends..caring..hope…humanity..children..innocence
We only see the back of the man..
What matters to you?
A lot of things…
Angel is wearing the same jacket as the man writing on the board..
My wife..my family..my parents..
Yeah my kids
What about when you were younger?
Nothing mattered to me back then…
And that’s why you have such a long history of violence… Look at this record.. assault..battery..theft..antisocial behaviour
And you didn’t make those mistakes when you were a younger B?
you lived a charmed life right..had good role models.. good parents that were around.. good education
No.. I never had parents.. They were always at work…I was left to my own…devices
But you did spend your life helping people…I can see it in your eyes.. you are jaded detective, because assholes like me get everything that you want.
What have you got Angel, a dead wife, distraught children, an impending death penalty.. Naah thats not what I want.
You were one of those nice guys in school that got no play, and now your bitter and twisted, that.. shit I was probably banging your girl while you were stuck home alone..and now you got to take it out on me when I got nothing to do with what you are talking about.
Choices, Angel, life all comes down to choices. And those choices lead to the position we are both in.
That is true… that was a choice I made.. a choice that you wish you did.. that you wish you could.. but you didn’t…
When you murdered your wife, in front of your kids.
I don’t know what you are talking about.
Let it off your chest Angel, I can see its getting to you, you want to tell someone, you want to repent for your sins. I know your daddy was never around <sarcasm> I know you’ve had a tough life<sarcasm> You had every right to kill her, she was pissing you off, she wouldn’t listen to you. You are a man, you are a strong man, so just confess your sins, and you’ll be cleansed.
You’re not my priest. You are just a pathetic man. I see that ring on your finger, but I don’t see a happily married man, I see a lonely, desperate man.
Jackson looks away, trying not to engage.
This isn’t about me.
She left you didn’t she.
You don’t value life, do you Angel.
I love my family, I love my wife, I love my kids.
You don’t love yourself though do you Angel… and… Well… you have to value yourself… before you can value something else
You’re a lonely man detective, trying to place your own insecurities on someone else.
If you strip everything away from your life…everything that doesn’t matter…what are you left with…
Angel looks back blankly
Jackson stares him down
You love helping people don’t you detective, but how do you help people when you are in such desperate need of help yourself, I can see it all over yourself…You’re the one that needs help…You’re wife left you, you sit in the corner of your bedroom, alone at night, with your revolver in your mouth, hoping one day to pull the trigger… you lost your wife and now you want to seek revenge on me..and put me away for you losing your wife.. I had nothing to do with it… While I was in prison that whore was banging guys all over the neighbourhood, one of them did it, it wasn’t me.
You hated your wife didn’t you. Like you hated life.
I don’t hate life…or death… unlike you… you are so afraid of death you could never make a decision involving life and death. Could you? You are too weak. You are a weak man, and guys like me end your life.
Is that a threat?
You are so afraid of death, so afraid of what might come, you can’t even live in the moment. That’s why your wife left you didn’t she?
Tell me Angel, tell me why you killed your wife, your own son told me he saw you stab her in the kitchen. He asked you why you stabbed mommy. Your…own…son…8 years old and he sees his dad kill his mother… what hope does he have in his life now.
I love my wife
I understand Angel, I understand that a man can be pushed to do certain things, things he never ever considered, but a man has a breaking point. A tipping point, and if you get pushed far enough, then maybe you will do what you once thought you wouldn’t.
Trying to nail me for something I never did isn’t going to improve your life detective. You’ll never get back your wife, I’ll never get back mine, but I control my life, I control what happens, you don’t. That’s the difference between me and you detective. I don’t have to watch my back, while your constantly watching yours, afraid of what might happen. Well you’ve come after the wrong guy.
Just confess Angel. You’ll feel better.
I got nothing left to say. I want my lawyer.
Angel puts his head on the desk, his arms around it, as if he is sleeping.
Jackson walks out of the interrogation room in disgust.
Jackson walks away in disgust knowing he didn’t get the confession he needed to get nail Angel as the killer. He is going to walk free.
man continues writing on board.. Violence..sex..hate..small things..arguments…fame…celebrity…work..other peoples lives..
Man puts down black pen, picks up a red pen and pauses for a minute… the camera pans out…there are two lists…on the left violence etc on the right love etc… We can’t see what it says at the top of the lists… He can’t decide which column to write in… Then finally at the bottom of hope he writes “death” camera pulls back…<we only see angels black jacket in shot>
At the top of the white board… the two columns say.. What matters in life…what doesn’t matter in life… he wrote “death” in what matters in life..
As he walks away camera pulls further out…and a man lays on the floor dead it is Angel sans jacket…the man puts on his gloves he walks out of the shot… We see his face… it’s detective Jackson…dressed in Angels jacket..in the end he became Angel..to kill him.