Since my birthday earlier this month, I've been in a reflective state. It's something a lot of us do this time of year and I'm no different. This year has been such a bizarre mix of growth, happiness and uncertainty for me.
For one thing, I thank the Red Hot Authors for introducing me to a bunch of new fans. I don't know when i'll have a chance to work with those wonderful ladies again, but I enjoyed my time with them and made some really good friendships along the way.
I'm in the process of wrapping up some screenwriting work which hopefully one day will see the light of day. Before I found out about Knocked Out earlier this summer, my skills in screenwriting were pretty rusty. Writing scripts are a bit different than writing a book or a short story. For scripts you write so that people can see the action aka by showing them, and for books you have to write to tell; so that your audience can visualize what you're trying to convey.
Sometimes, the balance is difficult, but when its done correctly in the book and on the screen, you can't beat it.
I got back into screenwriting by looking up some really classic scripts, but also watching some great TV and film.
One of the best shows on television was Sons of Anarchy. Yes people can say that its Hamlet on Bikes, but Kurt Sutter on not only wrote three dimensional characters you invested in, but approached the classic Shakespearean tale in one of the most original ways possible.
Last week, like several million people, I watched as Jax Teller met his destiny at the end of the show. It was beautiful, somber, and had an ending after much thought was the only way that things could be done.
It's nearly a week later and I find myself due to Sutter and his amazing team, still in mourning over the show ending. All things have to end, but the writing was so amazing that for the next few months on Tuesdays (after Supernatural) there will be a huge void left until Sutter's new show, "The Bastard Executioner," appears on our screen.
For myself, who became addicted to Sutter's brilliance, not only went and watched some old episodes of Sons of Anarchy and the amazing show, "The Shield", but also went in search for a Sons of Anarchy script of some kind to get a feel of how Mr. Sutter's writes. I found a gem.
Late Saturday evening, I found a very early draft of the pilot episode of Sons. Usually you can find scripts donated by the writers or producers themselves, on various screenwriting databases. That's how i found this one.
After reading the script, I went back and re-watched the pilot episode again, (All of the seasons with the exception of this current final season are on Netflix ) The draft I read was a bit different, but it still had that gritty tension between father and son, guilt over what Jax should be doing as opposed to what he actually was doing, and others around him influencing his ultimate fate. It was brilliant, tragic and immediately you are drawn into Jax Teller's world. I actually liked the version I read more than what we got on screen, but it is what it is. And the pilot we did get was great too. The one I read was just more detailed and told the a lot of backstory story of John and Gemma Teller (Jax's father and mother).
When you get writing like this, it doesn't matter if you write for screen or novels. My feeling is that after reading and watching, it can only make as a work as an author- that much better.
We all as authors want to write those characters that everyone loves or hates. We hope that readers invest in their lives and situations as if they were a long lost friend. When my readers come up to me and tell me what they like or what they don't like, I know that i've done my job.
Maybe that's why I probably connect to the show because Kurt Sutter and his wonderful cast did that for me and millions of others.
Thank you Kurt for getting me out my writer's block and thanks for making me improve as a writer. People like you Shonda Rhimes and countless other authors and screenwriters put the bar up so high. Up for the challenge.
As I leave you, here's the final song of the series finale of Sons.