Fast and slow at the same time. The script I wrote as the first draft to this novel is really coming alive. Scenes that were all dialog and stage direction are turning into prose. But a lot of times, it takes me a while to expand those scenes into that same prose. In talky scenes, written simply to get the dialog out, I have to add movement, beats, and even simple dialog tags. A complaint about The Children of Amargosa was that one reader thought I was flipping genders on characters. As I did several passes on that, I concluded that there were scenes where the dialog goes unattributed for too long, and the reader loses track of who’s talking. So I’m trying to be aware of that in this one. It’s harder because the screenplay format of the first draft is mostly dialog.
Once character I’ve come up with is Mitsuko Yamato, a Navy special forces lieutenant specializing in sword play. She becomes a sort of surrogate sister for JT (and no, they do not hook up.) Her dialog already revealed her to be a bit jaded toward JT. He was, after all, a spoiled rich kid before all this started, and his circumstances after Second Wave allow some old habits to resurface for better or for worse. Mitsuko herself is one of two main character in a planned novella called Flight Blade, which gives a lower-decks view of the goings-on aboard the Challenger. In that one, at least in the current outline, Mitsuko is serious to the point of needing someone to feed her pot brownies to loosen her up. In Storming, she’s a foil to JT, keeping his ego in check. And if you’ve read Gimme Shelter, The Children of Amargosa, or Second Wave, you know that she has her work cut out for her.
My celebrity crush, Jenn Nixon, suggested that Mitsuko should have big eyes and a generous bosom and wear a micro-mini. “Anime battle armor.”
Fortunately, I’m not writing anime. Mitsuko more closely resembles Colleen Wing from Iron Fist than an anime chick. (Mind you, this is a running joke between me and Jenn. “I’ve just written a kickass female character.” “Well, give her big boobs and a miniskirt. That’s anime battle armor.” We wonder about anime artists sometimes.)
The next step is to get this done. It’s a 155-page screenplay, or a 2 1/2 hour movie. Was not planing on this being my summer vacation.