My Secret Life as a Screenwriter

by | Oct 27, 2022 | Checking in | 0 comments

You never grow as a writer without trying new things. I started out writing epic fantasy before I found my groove with snarky sci-fantasy (i.e. Black Ocean). I’ve also written hard sci-fi (Robot Geneticists/Project Transhuman), urban fantasy (Shadowblood Heir, which is also my only novel written in the first person), and LitRPG (under my Xavier P. Hunter pen name). Even within Black Ocean, I’ve snuck in a murder mystery, political thrillers, and reality TV shows.

But that’s all still books.

Well, I’ve also, in between projects, dabbled in the occasional screenplay. I still cling to the notion that once Black Ocean gets picked up for a TV series, they might want me involved in the writing. So I keep in practice with the format by sneaking in ideas that I don’t think I’d publish as books.

This year, I had a sci-fi comedy make it to the second round of the Austin Film Festival.

Dream Job is a story about an office worker barely hanging on financially, who gets a second job working in VR in his sleep. All seems great at first, but things spiral out of control when the company he works for in the daytime buys out the VR tech startup, turning his life into an endless loop of work he’s too indebted to escape.

Or, in Hollywood pitch lingo, it’s Inception meets Office Space.

In any event, my script made it as far as the second round (top 20%) before fizzling out. Not bad for a project I put together in a few weeks between books.

What I’m currently writing:

My current work in progress is the third book in the Black Ocean: Passage of Time series. Things are progressing along nicely with the first two books, and I’ve got a fun new character in the outline for this one. It’s impossible to tell before writing him, but this may be the most entertaining character to write since Wesley Wesley.

Don’t worry, Mirth & Mayhem fans. I promise, one mission pack of Passage of Time and I’m back to writing more Chuck+Mort(+Brad) adventures!

General news/thoughts:

I’ve really been enjoying the AI-generated fan art in the Galaxy Outlaws Facebook fan group. I think it helps readers convey their mental image of the characters (and maybe settings and ships if anyone gets ambitious) without having the artistic skills to create them by hand. Are they perfect reflections of someone’s vision? No, of course not. But that’s the tradeoff to at least being able to share something that gets a look and feel across.

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