As I mentioned in a previous post, I don’t know what I’m doing. Now I’m going to get a little more real:
I’m a huge introvert, and part of that means that it’s really hard for me to post things online, especially something which seems self-serving (like promoting a TV project). I’m afraid that everyone will hate me and think my writing is terrible, and believe it or not, that doesn’t sound appealing.
So why do I have a website? Well, because I really love writing, I really, really love this project, and I really want to make something happen with this if at all possible. But I’m still learning how.
So here’s what I’m planning to do: Share my writing process and what I’m working on BEFORE IT’S PERFECT. I guess that’s necessary, because nothing is ever perfect. But I want so badly to be perfect, (not unlike Captain Hook).
Long story short, I won’t ever feel like what I do is good enough, so I might as well share my “shitty first drafts,” and even my shitty second drafts!
I want to invite you into my process, rather than focus on product. It may be slow going, because it’s not really in my nature to post what feels very private. But it’s also really important to me to share, because I do want to make something of this, and at the moment I feel very isolated.
I’m trying to find a community of writers, as well as connect more with the queer community, and—of course—queer writers.
With that in mind, here’s something I’ve been working on:
As a queer person, it’s not unusual to have struggled with depression or suicidal thoughts. I certainly have. Because of that, I have what I like to call an “intimate relationship” with Death. We’re on speaking terms. A first-name basis. We sometimes meet for tea and scones.
I’ve always thought that death is something not to be afraid of, but to be curious about. Death is a very curious thing, and something we will never understand fully.
To make sure I’m not confusing anyone, within The Gay Adventures, Neverland is a type of purgatory, full of queer people who have murdered or committed suicide.
I know, I know…it sounds cliché. Ever since Lost, it’s been a big trend to have the super-mega-twist be “And they were dead the whole time!” It’s become so common that it’s not surprising anymore. Parks & Rec could very well have ended that way.
But for the story I want to tell, and how I want to tell it, it actually makes sense for them to have been dead the whole time. So I’m not going to change that plot point. I will, however, change HOW the story is told.
First off, it’s a comedy instead of a drama. A comedy which takes death seriously, but doesn’t take humans too seriously.
Second, within the first few episodes the audience will probably pick up on the fact that they’re dead. It’s never going to be a secret (or “What a twist!”). What will make the show interesting to watch is the character arcs and relationships, as well as the unique perspective of observing the behavior of someone you know is dead, but who himself is unaware of that fact.
One of the topics that fascinates me within the show is: what happens when the characters inevitably suspect and later realize they’re dead? How did they react? What do they do? How do their priorities change? Does it immobilize or motivate them?
This, of course, got me thinking about what I might do if I suddenly noticed I was dead.
I started writing an intimate scene between Hook and Smee, after they know they’re dead. I don’t mean intimate in a romantic or sexual way, I mean intimate in an emotionally exposed way. What’s more intimate than being honest with someone, especially concerning the things you fear? And no one’s better at being afraid than Captain Hook.
A scene like this would not happen until much later in the series:
EXT. PIRATE SHIP DECK – DAY
The sun sets on the horizon. Hook stands, straight-backed, watching the sun disappear. Smee approaches, and stands by his side.
HOOK: I’m afraid, Smee.
SMEE: Afraid of what, Captain?
HOOK: And if there’s nothing? Nothing at all?
SMEE: What do you mean, Captain?
HOOK: After this? Suppose we just go to sleep and then…nothing? Only darkness.
Smee comes to Hook and puts a hand on his shoulder. Hook doesn’t move away.
SMEE: I don’t think it’ll be so bad, Captain. Look what you got the first time.
HOOK: What did I get, Smee?
SMEE: Sandy beaches! Beautiful sunsets! (then) Me.
HOOK: No, Smee. I got mildew. Pythons. Just more uncertainty.
SMEE: Think of it this way, Captain: if what comes to you after your after-death is nothing, there will be no more uncertainty.
HOOK: No more uncertainty…
Within the series, I’m not, nor will I ever be trying to provide answers. What I will be supplying are questions and wonderings, because I have a lot of those.