Sunday, May 10, 2009

Space-Aged Wishes

As opposed to killing myself for my total lack of preparedness leading to the complete lack of anything like a physical card being in the mail or received by my female parental unit, let alone any other female family units who have created offspring somewhere in their lives, I'm going to use this blog to cover my hiney.

Mom! Momarina! Mamma Mia! Mother Darling! Auntie! Other Auntie! Grandma! Nana! Cousins, one and all of you (however many that might be at this time)! Chicks! Gals! Girls! Ladies! Broads! (Trust me, that applies to several of my extended nearest and dearest.) Attention, all those of the female persuasion who might have expected to see something from me.

Here it is! YOUR OWN BLOG! Aren't you thrilled? Hey, not everyone gets their wishes broadcast over the World Wide Web! You're the Queen of the Internet! The LOLKitten of the Interwebs! The Girl Who's Got It All!

And, FYI, I'm officially off the hook. It's not my fault if you didn't check my blog on time. Besides, this way, your Official Mother's Day Love Note will be up for ages, for all the world to see. (Or, all 12 people who read this semi-regular blog semi-regularly to see...but it's a start.)

G.J. Koch

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Remembering One of the Greats

Great article written by a great writer --Frederik Pohl -- about one of the greatest SF/F agents of all time -- Robert P. Mills.

Okay, okay, I confess I'm a little impartial -- my agent learned from him, and since I consider her the best of the best, clearly, he was a good teacher. But don't take just my word for it (take Pohl's...he probably has a little more street cred than I do).

Ah, the good old days I wasn't around for. It's fun to reminisce about things you, personally, never got to really experience, except through reading. Hey, to really remember and celebrate Mr. Mills, let's all go out and buy a book -- science fiction, horror or fantasy, of course.

G.J. Koch

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In Awe (Book Review. Yeah, I Read, Too. Don't Faint)

I'm still banging my head against the walls, and my desk, and any other surface available. Because I'm still working on a play/screenplay, darn it.

It's not the same as writing a novel. Different structure, different flow. Lots of things I don't know that need to be done.

I'd quit, but I want to do this. And I also have something that's keeping me going. I have "The Complete Book of Scriptwriting" by the master himself, J. Michael Straczynski.

JMS created "Babylon 5" (all bow and go "oooooooohhhhhh" for a few minutes) and he also was a writer and producer on "Murder, She Wrote" (all bow and go "aaawwwww" for a few minutes). So the man knows of what he speaks.

And the book is great. If you're wanting to break into writing for TV, movies or the stage, this is the book to get. And it's understandable. And he gives examples. This is one of the few 'textbooks' I've hit as an adult where I just want to trot over to the easy chair and have a good, long read of it. It's that engaging.

So, while my screenplay itself is inching along (where is the funny? Where? Why is it on hiatus now?), I'm greatly enjoying learning this aspect of 'the craft' (yeah, it sounds funny to me, too, when I use that term). I give this book two big thumbs up, five stars out of five, wholehearted endorsement, and so on. If you're looking to write anything in script form -- and that includes genres other than science fiction and mystery, I must add -- this is the book to get.

Now, it's back to the reading and the attempting and all that for me. The reading is going much more smoothly, but with JMS's book in hand, I shall overcome.

Hey, at least there's some part of this that's enjoyable and educational. I'm willing to call that a win.

G.J. Koch

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dying is Easy

I had an interesting 'discussion' with a friend of mine this evening.

He's a budding filmmaker and since I write, we're doing the old collaboration cha-cha. Possibly.

The thing is, he wants to do a short film. I was excited until he stressed that he wanted me to script it in my own personal idiom, aka, sarcastically. In other words, he wants to make a funny short film. The word "Clerks" was bandied about. And I winced. Because I love that movie. I'm a huge Kevin Smith fan. Dude's a genius. But...that's kind of the reason I winced.

Because comedy's hard, folks. It's hard to write (believe me!) but it's even harder to perform. And I'm not talking standup, which is incredibly hard, but rather making a funny movie. And a short one, at that. Humor has a build, so to do it short, you'd better have a killer of a set up and the best punchlines ever.

Drama is clear. Most people won't argue about something being dramatic unless it's unintentionally funny. "Bloodrayne" easily leaps to mind in this category, particularly since the only good performance in that great epic came from Billy Zane, who was clearly laughing at the entire thing just like the rest of us. (By 'us', of course, I mean those who just had to watch the thing in order to verify that Uwe Boll is indeed the worst director in the history of film. He is.) Comedy, however, requires expert timing, perfect delivery, and even more perfect reactions. Or it just ain't funny.

My friend, naturally, feels that the 'company' (as he's starting to refer to all of us he's roped into this grand scheme of working hard for no pay) is up to the challenge. And, of course, he also mentioned that it all starts with the script. Which, in between everything else I've got on that horrible to-do list of mine, I'm pondering. I have three pages as of tonight, and none of the lines are making me laugh. But maybe in the hands of a group of amateur actors, none of whom ever before expressed a desire to be an actor, they'll shine. And maybe the economy will right itself by the weekend.

Then again, maybe I should try something else, a different tack, so to speak. I'm sort of envisioning something kind of like Bloodrayne, only without Billy Zane. Though, one of the guys in the 'company' is a big, bald guy. Hey, maybe this thing has a shot! The heck with aiming us for a "Clerks"-level debut. If I set our bar at "Bloodrayne", we can only do better than that, right?

G.J. Koch

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Still Here and Kicking

Wow. I just realized, it's been about a month since my last blog. Where does the time go?

Well, my time's been spent hacking away at some ideas, not the least of which is how to make the fast passage of time funny. (Look in the mirror and then look at your HS graduation picture before you suggest that it might be easy to do. Of course, I've seen your HS graduation picture, and 'funny' is one way to describe it...)

I've also been having ISP and internet 'fun'. We shan't speak of it here, but let's just say that I'm waiting for the funny parts to surface. So far, not so much.

On the other hand, I have gotten in some serious sports watching and video game playing. I mean, those things are important to my muse. Really. You'd be amazed at what you can come up with after watching hours of hockey followed by hours of The Force Unleashed combined with lots and lots of beer.

Oh, sure, it's not necessarily coherent, but hey, you can't have everything.

G.J. Koch

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Friday, January 9, 2009

More, More, More

I've been talking to some writer pals of mine, and they're all focused on having more than one book/series to shop around. I'm not talking those without an agent -- I'm talking about those with one already in hand and happy with their work.

It makes sense. Give your agent more to work with, more options to sell. After all, it's a subjective business.

My issue? I have no idea what to focus on.

I was working on some short stories with the idea that maybe I'd sell them, and if I didn't sell them, then maybe they'd be good writing practice. (Per some people, I need the practice.)

This was fine, but it doesn't another novel make. And I've heard rumblings that science fiction isn't selling like hotcakes right now, but fantasy is. (Tomorrow, it'll probably be something else, but I can only keep up with so much.)

So, does that mean I try for humorous fantasy? Straight fantasy? (Can I actually write without being a snarkmeister? I don't know, but the Magic 8-Ball says 'unlikely'.) 'Something else'? (And who knows what THAT would be..) Or do I just sit in the corner and tear a piece of paper up into bits?

Wait! I know! When in doubt...I think I'll have a drink and a ponder. (It's like having a Coke and a smile, only quieter.)

G.J. Koch

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Spacetastic Holidays!

Okay, I know it's not a word, but I thought 'spacetastic' was kind of cool. And it made for a much shorter headline than my original one -- Hope everyone has holidays that are out of this world and the best ever, and here's to 2009 being so much better than 2008 and we won't even think it's in the same decade!

Yeah, see? 'Spacetastic''s what's for holiday headlines! (I'm gonna trademark that puppy...)

G.J. Koch

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