I’ve been a bad Sword King

So I’ve recently been in dereliction of duty here at my Blag, and I want to make up for that. Or perhaps just explain it.

I’ve been working on a new screenplay, well, filling in the skeleton of an idea that I’ve had for a while with sweet, tender meat. It’s called “Open Road” and is probably my best concept yet. For those who don’t know, the screenplays I have completed have largely been practice. “Possibilities”, my first and so-far greatest, borrowed heavily from my own past to flesh out the characters. “The Shrunken” and “Sped Life” were distilled silliness, the first being an exercise in just how bad a script I could write, and the latter being so politically-incorrect that it could never be made while I yet draw air.

“Open Road” is different. It is the first of my pure dramas, with no pervasive comedic element, and no characters based on me or those that I know. I could say it is an experiment, but that would be like saying the first steps that a drooling baby takes are experimental. This is learning how to walk as a creative writer.

The genesis of this story came about when an acquaintance on IRC asked for a concept for a script. He was entering a playwriting competition, and I indulged him by rattling off a few ideas. I was listening to Neil Young’s 2005 acoustic album, Prairie Wind. There’s a lyric in the song “Far From Home” that struck me as oddly cinematic.

“Walkin’ down the Trans-Canada Highway

I was talkin’ to a firefly

Tryin’ to make my way down to Nashville, Tennesee

When another car passed me by”

The lyric itself is a bit of a non-sequitur, however that image of a hitchhiking troubadour trying to reach their promised land resonated. I quickly told the guy on IRC that the concept was too good and that I’d keep it for my own use. Through time, as I thought about it, I started to add more to the concept. Being an overtly political person, I knew my character. As all my stories start several years in the future, I wanted my protagonist to be a veteran of the Iraq war. Hailing from southwestern Virginia, not a fortunate son to invoke the great philosopher Fogerty.

I’m 50 pages in.

Wish me luck.

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1 Comment

  1. Good luck with that, it sounds like a good idea.


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