Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Gardening Scriptwriter

Sunday I was gardening, mainly because it was sunny, but also because the weeds had taken advantage of my week's holiday in Norway. It looked like they had had a party, a few friends round, even though they denied it. You know the sort of thing. Cheeky little buggers! While I was yanking out a rather stubborn dandelion root a sudden thought struck me, right between the eyes, made my eyes water I can tell you. My revelation? Scriptwriting is like gardening.

In the spring your garden is a mess, weeds everywhere, with the occasional shoot of a plant trying to battle through. This is your script at its conception. You have a mess of ideas floating around in your cranium with one or two showing promise. So you weed out those bad ideas, giving the good idea room to breath and grow. Then it blooms and you have your story and your garden is looking delightful. Now you can relax and enjoy it, right?

Wrong! Those weeds come back, becoming underdeveloped characters, clunky dialogue, threatening to choke the life out of your beautiful garden. Time to weed all over again. The more you weed the more weeds you notice hiding away waiting to shoot up when your back is turned. It's no good relaxingly, you have to keep on the boil, constantly going back to the garden, pruning, weeding and turning the soil to maintain the garden the way you want it.

But it doesn't matter how many weeds you dig up, when you have visitors over they'll always spot those one or two persistent weeds you failed to find. And there's always some bastard who kicks the heads off all your daffodils on their way home from the pub!!!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I'm on holiday as of tomorrow, the first proper one in two years. Oh the joy!!!

I'll see you all when I get back kiddies, behave yourselves while I'm gone.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The First Chapter

So here it is as I promised, the first chapter of my children's novel, Guardians.

The novel is about five children with elemental powers who protect the Earth from the Groonmaig, demons intent on enslaving humans and using them as food source.

Please try and remember that the following chapter is a very, very, very rough first draft, completely unedited. What you read is what I typed without it being altered...well except for the spell check, but I think that is allowed. Enjoy :-)


A bitter wind drove the rain down hard on the Haskin’s Estate, swirling it into every corner, under ledges, into sheltered walkways, drenching ever inch of concrete, glass and tarmac, leaving no place to escape the storm’s vicious onslaught. None of the residents dared to venture out of their warm flats into such weather. Even the desperate and foolish staid dry tonight.

On the roof of the tallest building the wind rattled a TV aerial, hanging loose where the holding bolt had come away from the wall, causing the metal to screech eerily, a soft cry of a wounded animal, in-between the distant claps of thunder. The wind caught a discard, weathered, piece of newspaper, flipping it into the air, forcing it into a contorted dance, fighting the rain trying to dump it into the growing puddle of water on the roof.

A clap of thunder reverberated around the estate, and then a louder, more horrendous crack, much closer, right there on the roof. But it wasn’t the TV aerial come free at last, but a slither of the blackest darkness shattering into the air a foot off the ground. A fissure had opened within the air, continuing to grow wider as a terrible, heart wrenching screech of sheer desperation ripped the air. And then a foot, scaled and green, forcibly squeezed through the tiny gap that had formed.

Gabrinal slid through the gap and fell to the floor, and lay in the puddle, bloodied, scratched, bruised, out of breath and exhausted. He had made it, escaped the Groonmaig’s prison and returned to world of man, only the second demon to achieve this. He lay on the ground letting the rain wash over him, washing away the dirt, grime and blood from his scaled and hairy body. How many centuries had it been since he had last felt rain upon his tortured skin?

Gabrinal breathed in deeply. He could smell the stench of humanity that infested this world. He licked the razor sharp fangs that protruded over his lower lip. Soon the humans would know their masters once more.

Gabrinal calmed himself, emptied his mind of all thoughts of pain and exhaustion, and finally let it free to search out his brother. It didn’t take long before he felt that familiar presence.
“I am through, brother,” pulsed Gabrinal.

“Welcome home,” the words formed in his mind, the familiar voice sweet in his memory.

“Do you have what I need?”

“I have the list of children,” the words brought a shiver of excitement to Gabrinal’s spine.

“Good, then I wish to start immediately.”

“No, brother, you must rest first, recover from your wounds. You will need your strength”

“I am eager to begin. The quicker we achieve what we have set out to do the quicker the rest of the Groonmaig will be free,” pulsed Gabrinal rather too insistent. Gabrinal knew he had overstepped the mark, maybe even angered his brother. He remained silent waiting for his brother to reply.

“Patience, brother, I need you at full strength.” Gabrinal sensed his brother’s concern.

“What is it?”

“They are here.”

Gabrinal shivered once more this time not of pleasure but of fear. He hoped he was wrong.

"They are here?”

“They are.”

The Groonmaig’s old enemy, the Guardians, were close. Of all the places Gabrinal and his brother could have broken through the veil between worlds and they had landed right where the Guardians were. Coincidence, or had the Guardians predicted they would break through her?

“Do they know we are here, brother,” asked Gabrinal fearing the answer.

“I have already fought them and survived. Better still I slew their leader.”

Gabrinal breathed easier. “They are four again?”

“They are, and I have tracked down their replacement, a boy.”

“When will he be dealt with,” Gabrinal hissed with venom.

“No harm will come to him yet.”

Gabrinal could not believe what he was hearing. Had his brother gone mad?

“You must kill him, brother.”

“I have another way.”

“But if he becomes their leader...”

“Trust me, brother, I have it all in hand. Go now and rest, we begin soon,” the voice in Gabrinal’s head said soothingly.

“Can I feed, I am hungry?”

“Only one human, brother, no more. Leave nothing. We do not want to draw attention to ourselves before our task is done. I will contact you again soon.”

Gabrinal, too tired to argue, set off to hunt for a victim, then he would find a place to lay low and recover before the real work began.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Your Choice

Finally started the children's novel after three years of planning, and as I promised I will post some of the first words here, raw an unedited. But what to post?

Basically there are two choices.

1) The first paragraph only.
2) The first chapter (not very long).

So which would you like to see? I'll leave the vote open for the rest of the week and post the most popular suggestion next week.

Vote away :-)