My Latest Script, Abyssus, is finished.

Today is a big day folks. After two weeks of work, my latest script, the horror tale Abyssus is finally done.

Ever since this project’s origins, it has always been a personal favorite. My first draft of this script was written back in 2012, where I quietly wrote it off as a failure and forgot about it. Earlier this year though, I started to get more ideas for it, inspired by movies like Alien and The Thing.

The story is simple. A safety inspector and the eleven man skeleton crew of a newly commissioned oil platform uncover that a malevolent sea creature has snuck on board. Cut off from civilization by five hundred miles of stormy sea with their radio, chopper and lifeboats crippled, the bio-luminescent beast gruesomely picks off the crew one by one. The men must band together to defeat their enemy, an enemy that may be smarter than they initially thought.

Abyssus is a script meant to assault its audience much like any great horror film, but it is also done with a spirit of fun, meant to recall the days of the classic 50s Universal monster movies.

One thing I hate is to see a story go unfinished, and four years later, I can safely say Abyssus is finished. I also got this new draft finished in two weeks, a new personal best for a script. Working on this script also gave me a much needed break from my Never Heroes book series. After a short break from writing, the writing of book number 2 in the series will begin.

So without further delay, here is the first act of Abyssus. Feel free to contact me and I will give you the password to view the full script. Also, don’t be shy about offering some constructive criticism in the comments. I hope you all enjoy, and don’t scream too loud.

SCRIPT – Abyssus Act 1

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The Most Cruel Writing I’ve Ever Done

Today I finished the second act of my latest script, the tale of ocean horror, Abyssus. I must say, it’s my most cruel writing exercise yet.

This tale tells of the eleven man skeleton crew of Antonio Bay Atlantic Oil Platform 31 and an EPA inspector who has come to take one final look at the rig before it becomes operational. While en route, the inspector and the helicopter pilot spot an abandoned yacht that has been missing for two weeks. On the rig, the geologist reveals some strange stones found on the ocean floor. With a storm bearing down and several of the crew going missing, it soon becomes clear something has snuck on board. Something not human.

Further details on the project can be read in this link.

Writing of this script has been much easier than I anticipated, partially due to this being a second draft. The first one was completed two years ago now. Since then, my skill has improved greatly, having a better eye for character, dialogue and brevity.

There are a few touches here that I am most happy with, little character moments that give the characters much more life. For instance, during the helicopter light to Platform 31, Samuels the pilot offers Faheed the inspector a cup of coffee from a pot plugged into the dashboard. Samuels pours the inspector a cup, and rather than take a cup for himself, he takes one big swig right out of the pot.

Little moments and small touches like that take only a few words or seconds, but they tell you so much more than if Samuels monologued for 30 minutes about his childhood in Nantucket. That brings me to why this is my most cruel writing. These characters are so enjoyable.

That was the strength of movies like Alien, The Thing and Predator. The cast were more than bags of meat for the monster to kill off. They were individuals you cared about, so when they died, their deaths carried weight. If you don’t like the characters, it is harder to relate to them, so it’s harder to get afraid when whatever malevolent force bears down on them.

I tried to do the same thing with Abyssus. The characters are all working men who have known and worked together for years, with their own little in jokes and habits. Hudson, Keith and Stew chill out for games of Pinochle, Cook works in the cafeteria enjoying the nickname the others have given him (Cook the cook), Cundy stays in his room and looks over rocks he collected from the ocean floor. They’re real.

More cruel yet, I actually have the character’s triumph over adversity, at least early on. At one point in the script, they do band together, form a plan, and successfully execute it, managing to defeat their foe for a time. It is only after that they begin to really get killed off in horrible undeserved ways. It’s like watching a movie end with all your favorite characters surviving, then you tune in to the sequel and see them all die.

In the end though, that is what horror is supposed to be. It is when a writer or any other kind of artists sets out to attack and frighten their audience. If you’re willing to take up that sword, you may as well go for the jugular.