I am a guy who just can’t stop writing. Even while pouring myself into Zhyx, many other stories insisted on making themselves known.
Passion projects I had dreamed of since I was twelve, new projects planting their seeds of creativity, whatever the story, the ideas never stopped. Not including Zhyx, I have a total of six stories in the planning stages. Even while I was writing Zhyx, many of the stories insisted on writing themselves.
For a few months, I tried my best to invest in a few of these other projects, but Zhyx is a very commanding narrative, much more commanding than anything else I have ever written. Were I to try and bounce all of these around, I would never have finished Zhyx. So I made the painful decision to put them on the back burner and let them rest until the time came that I could give them the attention they needed.
That time is now. Draft 3 of Zhyx is in the bag and my colossal fire breathing hero is taking a much needed rest. While he slumbers, I am giving these other characters my undivided attention.
These stories are screenplays.
Movies were what got me into stories to begin with. Zhyx originally was a script. That tale must have gone through six drafts of that in script form prior to it making the transition to being a novel.
Screenwriting is a very different animal than novel writing. It is a blueprint for a visual medium, thus the writing relies often on brevity. You show, don’t tell, don’t spend too much time on long winded speeches, and above all else, you never add in something that your audience doesn’t see or hear. All of my other stories, currently at least, are scripts. That may change, but time will tell.
I made a deal with myself, that once draft 3 of the novel was finished, I would complete no less than two of these scripts before August when the final polishing will begin. I since got these ideas registered and protected, so figured it might be fun to share them.
CITY OF WOLVES
Set in San Francisco, City of Wolves tells the tale of three young adult werewolves, alpha female and radio personality Jordan Childs and her friends, Native American college student Kotori Locklear, and easy living Kentucky native Ethan Wallace. They are as normal as anyone else by day, but come nightfall, they change into hulking monsters with a need to feed. If they refuse the urge, they risk losing control of their inner beasts. Come nightfall, the three prowl San Francisco’s streets in search of human prey that no one will miss. Criminals.
But their already outlandish tale takes a dark turn in the form of a serial killer whom the media has dubbed The Butcher By the Bay, a psychopath who beheads his victims. Thus far, the Butcher has claimed the lives of at least nineteen innocent young women in the area, a number that will soon become an even twenty after a local college student goes missing.
Enter Detective Jennifer Steele. Haunted by the tragic end of a previous case, Steele is determined to save the young girl’s life, even if it means crossing outside the boundaries of ethical police work.
The two stories converge after a chance encounter reveals the existence of the werewolves to Steele. After a series of uneasy meetings, the pack and the detective form an unlikely alliance in the hunt for the Butcher By the Bay. The pack and the detective search the streets of San Francisco for their prey, a human without any sense of compassion or empathy. They begin the hunt for the true monster. In this tale of terror, it is not the monsters that frighten.
ATTACK OF THE SATANIST CANNIBAL NAZI SORORITY GIRLS
The title says it all. Hitler’s lover, Eva Braun, has survived her death by striking a deal with the devil for eternal youth so that she may usher in a new era for the Third Reich. She is granted her wish and starts a sorority to indoctrinate young girls, but on one condition. She allows her pupils to be impregnated with demon spawn. Once the girls give birth, their offspring may bring about the apocalypse, and pave the way for a Nazi run world.
Cut to modern day, where Eva’s plan is set in motion, and her bubble headed bleach blonde pupils lure unsuspecting jocks to their deaths, feeding on their flesh to nurture the hell spawn that grow inside them.
But Eva didn’t count on this being a college of badassery. Four heroes have come to stop her, each from a different walk of life. Heather Curtis, journalist major and Martial Arts master. Bruce Dasqawitz, pretentious Jewish drama student. Ken Jackson, president of the college RPG club and nerd extraordinaire. And The Dean, the head of the college and a disgruntled warrior who happens to have a stash of machine guns ready to go.
The four join forces and take up arms to bring down Eva and her army of bigoted bimbos. Eva’s sorority is about to be expelled…to Hell.
Easily the most bleak thing I have ever written. It would have to be as it is about not only the end of the world, but the end of someone’s humanity.
Louis Wade is a young man working retail to get through school. He lives far away from family and friends in the big city of Los Angeles, with only his co-worker Jack Cox to keep him company, and his knowledge of old radios his only hobby. One night, his world comes crashing down when he gets a phone call from his father, telling him that World War III will begin at noon the next day.
Louis and Jack gather up what they can and race out of the city, escaping just as a full scale nuclear exchange envelopes the world. The two are plunged into a savage new world of chaos and despair. They meet with another survivor, the outdoorsy Nancy Sattler, who tries to teach the two how to survive. As they journey through the wasteland, they encounter more survivors, forming a small party whose only goal is to stay alive.
Soon, this small group of survivors finds a goal, when Louis picks up a mysterious radio signal from the Rocky Mountains. Believing it to be help, the group sets out for the signal, seeking shelter to avoid fallout, and fending off the anarchy that threatens to consume them. But things somehow manage to get even worse. The once grief stricken and shy Louis quickly transforms into a ruthless and violent killer, determined to do whatever it takes to keep himself alive. Jack and Nancy begin to wonder if it is the fallout that they need to fear more, or Louis himself.
Those are the three that are the most completed. They are all pretty outrageous, especially Sorority Girls. But I do have a lot of faith in these projects.
So how is the two script challenge going? What is getting done?
City of Wolves is the one that is coming along best. It has been only ten days since the third draft of Zhyx was completed and already the script is well into the second act at seventy pages. I expect this draft of the script to be completed sometime next week. A friend of mine from last summer’s internship program named Danny Geiger has been holding writing sessions with me and providing feedback, which has been most helpful.
City of Wolves is a script I have a lot of hope for. It is a unique approach to horror that seeks to frighten with a real world killer in spite of the story itself having supernatural elements. There have of course been supernatural sleuth stories in the past, with the supernatural fighting the supernatural in stories like Angel. Or real life people fighting supernatural elements, such as The X Files. This script may have supernatural heroes, but the killer they fight is something the real world sees all too often. He is the frightening element of the story, much like Jamie Gumb in Silence of the Lambs, or the titular character in Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer. The pack and their sleuth friend will have their hands full.
I was debating for a while whether to pursue M.A.D or Attack of the Satanist cannibal Nazi Sorority Girls next before settling on the latter. Honestly, the heroes of that store are what attract me to it. Heather, Bruce, Ken and The Dean. They are so much fun to write and I eagerly await the utter stomping of some goose steppers with them. Another friend of mine named Matthew Nye has expressed interest in developing that script, one of the goals to mercilessly demystify and emasculate Naziism.
This is a script I really want to do, but it is one that could go wrong if not treated right. The goal here is to make a fun and silly tribute to 70s and 80s horror films, most notably Dario Argento’s Suspiria. But rather than play it straight, it will instead be more tongue in cheek, in the style of movies like Big Trouble in Little China and Planet Terror. The humor is in the characters themselves, not the story. That is what made Big Trouble in Little China so effective as a comedy. The story was one of menace and intrigue, an ancient sorcerer seeking to end his immortality via human sacrifice. The wise cracking trucker Jack Burton takes this story that otherwise would have been played straight, and turns it into a laugh riot. Written correctly, these characters promise to be very fun.
As for M.A.D, I wasn’t kidding when saying it was the darkest thing I have ever written. It is after all a tale of nuclear war. That one will go on the back burner for now, but we will see how it goes. Sooner or later an idea or a scene will come along that will excite me about Louis Wade’s odyssey, and that too will be written.
I have made a good habit out of finishing what I start.