Tomorrow Is Another Story
I’m tempted to write a literary book about stasis
Today I stumbled across a great file of film pitches for ‘Roofworld’, ‘Spanky’, ‘Calabash’ and many others. I have files full of such presentations, most of which you can date at a glance. Few of them ever got beyond the script stage. One or two are good – most are dreadful.
I feel like it’s time to take stock, to go through the files and see what’s worth keeping, what should be binned forever and what should be developed. I’ve been nominated for two national book awards this year and am never less than busy, but there’s much I haven’t done. I’ve never taught writing, or accepted a commission. I’ve never sold a screenplay. I hardly ever sell in translation. Other writers have tried to get various books of mine made into films, without much luck.
My epic fantastical adventure ‘The Foot On The Crown’ is finally finished and delivered to my agent, and I suddenly find myself between books. Health-wise, the chemo is taking its toll and slowing me down a little, but lockdown has helped me to maintain perspective. I can hardly feel trapped in London when everyone else is.
These days I’m known as the Bryant & May writer, but I’ve still written more non-B&M books, and continue to do so. I’ve written dozens of screenplays that never got made, hundreds of treatments for producers who then changed their minds and just one script adaptation of a novel by another writer, which I still think would make a great film.
There are also around 7-10 gestating book projects in the files, three of which have real possibilities. I’m tempted to write a literary book about stasis – people sitting around trying to figure out what to do with their lives. It would be interesting to see how uninteresting I could make a story while still maintaining the reader’s interest. I have the outline of a time travel story on my desktop, but maybe I should leave SF to the experts.
Or perhaps I’ll tackle another thriller. The next one, ‘Hot Water’, now has a publisher. But it’s hard to tell whether several of my ideas for psychological thrillers would pan out into full-length novels. I always thought that ‘Little Boy Found’ would have made a good TV thriller, if the publisher hadn’t f**ked it up.
The trick now is finding a passion project to tackle and just getting on with it. But right now I’m allowing myself 48 hours off, even though I’ll probably use the time to search for something that will inspire me.