Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Back to TV again

I'm bouncing back to TV again.

I used to think I wanted to write movies, then TV, then movies again, then TV again. I like both, but this cruel world makes you choose.

I only have the one really reliable film script so I was determined to write a second before I went back to TV again. I've written a couple of posts on the subject. But the feature is bothering me.

Something just doesn't feel right and since I'm not on any actual deadlines I'd rather sit with the script until I figure out the solutions than force it and end up with another mediocre script. Hell, Not Dead Yet took longer to write than anything I've ever done and it was the best thing I've ever written. Coincidence? Maybe.

I was driven to think about this when I read Unk's advice to sit with your script and get really comfortable with it - for a year if you have to - before trying to write something that's not ready.

And while I have a vague idea of what I want to do with the feature I have a really solid idea of what I want to do with Pushing Daisies. The storyline is clear and I can definitely pull off the voices, so I'm going back to TV for the next project. After all, Disney is coming up soon. I might as well write this now rather than rush to get it done.

And when I land an agent I'll let him or her deal with telling me what to write next. For now I might as well write what I'm ready to write.

In the meantime I have a final logline for Not Dead Yet, in case anybody wants to know some more details about the script:

Twenty years after the zombie apocalypse wipes out life as they know it, a married couple learns that they are not alone, and must learn to repair their damaged relationship as they take their children on a dangerous thousand-mile journey to save the life of a woman they’ve never met.

So there you go. I continue my obsession with dead people coming back to life, apparently.


  1. Solid logline! Nice and concise. Here's my one unsolicited, very small suggestion: drop the extraneous "that" so it reads "...a married couple learns they are not alone..."

    I hope you don't consider it overly rude I'd offer an editing suggestion; I've just found myself deleting "that"s in my writing a lot over the last year or so and being happy for it.

  2. No that's a good idea. I tend to have really verbose loglines.

    Unfortunately this is not the logline I sent out with my queries, but it will be from now on.

  3. Have you thought about getting a manager first? They're usually more accessible than agents, and once you're in, they have a much more active role in your career development.

  4. I would also change "not alone" to "not the only survivors." It beefs up the "apocalypse" theme more.

  5. Oh of course I'll take a manager too. Managers tend to want things they can package, but if someone wants to represent me and they're competent I'll take it.

  6. I love loglines.

    Twenty years after the zombie apocalypse wipes out life as they know it, a married couple finds that they are not alone. They struggle to repair their damaged relationship while on a dangerous journey to save the life of a mysterious woman.

    I think you should remember that loglines CAN be more than one line.
    And something I learned from twoadverbs.com is to ALWAYS use the word STRUGGLE or STRIVE.

  7. Actually Christian I appreciate the effort but I think what you wrote drops some of the details I think are significant to the story.

    Your version takes the kids out of the story, and "mysterious woman" is much less interesting to me than "woman they've never met." And by dropping the distance of the journey it softens the significance of the journey. A Dangerous journey could be over three miles. I'm talking about a cross-country trip.

    I also think you should only write a two sentence logline if you can't put your story into one sentence.

    But the point about struggling is a good one.

  8. Hey,
    I dropped that stuff out because the word ZOMBIES says all you need.

    I just like practicing them. All writers will write them differently even if they wrote the same story. I wasn't saying yours wasn't right or could be better.

    I just offered how I would write it. Most people I've talked to say you should only describe as much as is necessary to explain the story. When you put more into it, it seems contrived.

  9. The logline really tells the story. It's one I'd want to see... I would just try not to repeat the word "learn". For what it's worth. :)

  10. I love playing around with loglines too. The more you practice, the better you get at them. Even reading other people's & seeing what they can improve helps your skills.

    Keep tweaking & trying to make it shorter & punchier.

    But I agree that 2 sentences are acceptable. Some stories are more involved & require a bit more explaination.

    I also think we should all have logs of varying lengths: The standard 25-30 words log, a longer paragraph, a one-pager, an "X meets Y", etc

    I think Julie Gray had a post about this not too long ago.


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