Writing in January – Trent Samuels and other projects

For some people January is the month where they pull out the exercise gear or decide that these cold, dark winter months is exactly the right time to stalk the roads of Britain wearing shorts and an ever so slightly reflective jacket that an oncoming vehicle will only see mere seconds before running you into the dirt. I can tell it’s January just from going out for a five minute drive – four joggers all deciding to run down the main road rather than use the footpaths. Because, you know, that’s safer.

For those of us who have no real interest in exercise (healthy eating perhaps, but exercise? not so much), we find alternatives to this exercising frenzy and their insane desire to play chicken with oncoming vehicles. For me, my plan has been to finish writing Trent Samuels, all of it, draft another audio series that I first started writing in 2009, and start writing a novel/novella. Thus far, bearing in mind that I’ve also been editing a wedding video this month, I’ve almost finished writing Trent series 2 and put together a rather large wad of notes for Trent series 3-6. One thing I hadn’t anticipated was having to re-write series 1, as a lot of it falls a bit flat in retrospect. And don’t even get me started on the audio quality – hindsight is a funny thing, but then having much better audio equipment to hand is a bonus.

Anyway, writing Trent – I started writing series 2 in March/April 2011. I had a vague idea of the plot and some of the key points of the story, but I started writing and just wasn’t keen on the story I’d decided on. For whatever reason it just didn’t work, so I stopped working on it. Then the weeks and months went on and all of a sudden it was November. No new Trent was ready for release, so I threw together the Festive Special 2011 script in order to get some material out there. Meanwhile, I worked on the story for series 2 and tried to make it work. Then, whilst Ant wrote music for the 2011 Festive Special, the story clicked and I was able to link the special with series 2 and, as it happens, future series too. Thankfully I’ve already got the story in mind for the remaining four series, so I’m hoping I don’t cause too many problems for myself when it comes to actually writing them. That will be something I kick start in the next few days and we’ll see if I can hit my writing target for the month.

On that note I know for a fact that I’m not going to manage 25,000 words for a novel/novella this month, it’s just not going to happen. I’ve got the ideas now at least, but I need to take time to plan the stories and then throw myself into it. That will probably be the target for February. For now, again trying to find my writing voice, I’ve started writing some short stories (could turn into longer tales) about Trent Samuels and that universe. This is mostly because I know how the characters sound and how they would react in certain situations, so giving them an internal monologue isn’t that difficult. From previous experience I know coming up with a brand new story isn’t too difficult, but then populating that world with unique characters is the hard part. I had a similar problem with the other audio series I’m working on, but once I’d got their voices in my head (not as crazy as it sounds…) I found the scripts practically wrote themselves. That’s the big problem with the novels – I haven’t had chance to do enough work on creating the characters at this point. So, that’ll be February.

I started the month with the year planned out, at least from a writing perspective. Thus, January will be the month that I draw a line under the Trent Samuels scripts, as I’ve been working on them in one sense or another since 2005. There’s still going to be a lot of work on it throughout this year and probably next, but the difference is that will all be production and post production. I have no doubt that for every 10 project ideas I have only 1 will get made, but then I want to write as much as I can so we’ve got more to work with. I’m honestly not too bothered about fame and fortune (although that would be nice), but the main aim is to entertain and if what I’ve written does that then all the better. Thus, the more I write the more chance we have of pulling in visitors to the website and entertaining all of you lovely people out there.

Going back to the point about Trent Samuels prose, I think that could be a very entertaining side project once the main audio series is all said and done. There’s scope for plenty of adventures in that universe which could then potentially be adapted for audio later if I saw fit. The other entertaining notion is the audio books – what better opportunity for the cast to play their own roles again, and the universe of Trent and his merry band of adventurers lives on in another medium with a bit more room to breath. I’ve not really helped myself to be honest, the 15 minute running time for an episode of Trent is based solely on the Flash Gordon serials of old, where the pace was fast and the cliffhangers absurd. I’m not quite sure we’ve got quite the same pace as those old serials, mostly because our cast don’t deliver their lines with the same frenetic pace – I get the impression each script of 1930s Flash Gordon was actually 45 pages long, but they talked so fast it was all over and done with inside 15 minutes.

Anyway, I’ve babbled on enough for one night I think. I’ve got a wedding video to finish and 26 episodes of Trent Samuels to write within the next 14 days. Time’s a wasting!

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