It’s the morning after the events of the Midsummer Ball and the team assemble to discuss what happens next. Which is an ideal opportunity to drop in a rather obvious reference that’s been hanging around in the wings for a while. It’s such an obvious reference that I decided to check with my VWC colleagues whether they reckoned that the gag had been used before. Of course it had, and by one of our number as well. But Toby Frost very kindly said I could go ahead anyway. So here’s a free plug for Space Captain Smith in return: go and buy all three books if you haven’t already – they’re ace.
It’s been a while since I’ve had something in Every Day Fiction, which is a pity because it’s one of my favourite places. I did submit a piece a while back and got a “fix and resubmit” response, but I felt that the changes that they requested – whilst probably sensible from an Every Day Fiction point of view – would have turned the piece into something different. So I decided to hang onto it the way it was. It’s still unpublished – make of that what you will.
Anyway, this new piece is a very short one called “The Colour of Criticism”, which I did for a charity flash event a while ago. I’ll be interested to see what EDF’s readership make of it, because I’m in two minds about it myself. Now there’s a recommendation, eh?
This episode concludes the exciting action sequence on the roof of Pemberley as we find out who it was who intervened with their steam-powered dirigible (and if that doesn’t pull in the steampunk readership, I’m giving up now). There’s also a slightly puerile sequence of puns based around a rude-sounding surname. Well, I’m not going to apologise this time: you should know what to expect by now.
Oh, and fans of the old US comedy series “Soap” may recognise a storyline which is about to develop …
Up until last Saturday, the only evidence that I had that “The Amazing Arnolfini and His Wife” had been accepted for
publication broadcast was one solitary e-mail from the producer at the BBC. Being the kind of twitchy person that I am, I was beginning to wonder if I’d imagined it all – that was until I received my signed contract. But if it’s legal, it’s real!
Yesterday, I received an e-mail from my producer (look at me, I said “my producer”) saying that she was casting and that she wanted to check the age of the protagonist. This of course only served to get me even more excited, and I’m desperate to find out who they’re going to be using.
Anyway, it looks like I won’t have to wait very long, because once a decision has been made, things seem to move very fast at the Beeb. The recording session is apparently going to be the week after next, and broadcast is scheduled for either the 17th, 18th or 19th of August (presumably the other two slots are taken up by the other “Opening Lines” winners).
Interestingly, a couple of other, far more sophisticated writers whose blogs I follow are having work broadcast on the radio soon. First up is Tania Hershman, who will have three whole 15-minute slots devoted to her work next week, so don’t miss that (she’s excellent). The other one is Emma Darwin, who has produced an exhaustive five-part description of the process of writing a commissioned work for radio (first part here). I found this particularly interesting, because it’s so completely different from the process that I’ve been through.
In my case, I simply looked at everything I’d ever written and picked the piece that I thought was most suitable, from the point of view of (a) length, (b) language and (c) sound world. (c) is the most interesting of these and what made me think about it was a presentation at the 2008 Winchester Writers’ Conference by Philip Glassboro, an experienced freelance radio producer.
Based on his advice, I thought that “The Amazing Arnolfini” might work well on radio because there are lots of contrasts between interior monologue and exterior dialogue as well several different acoustics. In fact, my immediate inclination was to turn “The Amazing Arnolfini” into a radio play, but I didn’t have the time (or the skills) to do that. But I am at least pleased that I managed to pick the right one to send them as a story.
Speaking of plays, my VWC colleague Julie Mayhew will shortly be having her first radio play broadcast – in August, too, I think. Make sure you watch out for that as well, because she is going to be huuuge.
In this episode, it looks as if Elizabeth is about to suffer alien abduction, but not before she has had a disturbing case of double vision. However, at the last minute, she is saved – or is she?
Early readers of this episode may have noticed a slightly longer version than the one that’s up there now. That’s because in my haste to finish it, I went on a paragraph or two beyond the cliffhanger ending, resulting in there not actually being a cliffhanger. D’oh. So if you did see the earlier version, keep it to yourself, OK?
Got an e-mail yesterday from the estimable Kaolin Fire to the members of the Twitfic forum asking if we were still interested in continuing with the forum. This prompted me to visit the place for the first time for a while and I discovered that a new e-zine called trapeze magazine (@trapezemag) had recently started up and was looking for ultra-short pieces. I took a look at their submission guidelines and was particularly attracted by the fact that they offered a 24 hour turnaround and didn’t give form rejections (wonder how long that’ll last )
So I immediately sent off an old favourite of mine that very nearly made it into Weird Tales a while back (and was then rejected, nine months after submission) and this morning I received my acceptance, with a proposed publication some time in August. Moral: always take a few minutes every now and then to keep in touch with those forums.
I’d like to think that this episode is the first-ever work of fiction to combine references to H.G.Wells, Goldilocks and R Kelly. I’m not necessarily suggesting that this is a good thing, mind. I would also like to apologise for using the word “weapon” in a double-entendre for the second episode running, but it just seemed too good an opportunity to miss.
Episode summary: Wickham captures the wrong Mr Darcy. Well, it was bound to happen, wasn’t it?
Here’s a nice surprise. The lovely people at Folded Word have nominated my PicFic ultra-short “Not So Much a Rough Guide” for their Spring 2010 3Cheers awards. Obviously, having got this far, I’d really like to win, so I’d really appreciate your vote. Many thanks!
I’ve always wanted to have an episode open with “Sheath your weapon immediately, there are ladies present”, and this seemed the perfect opportunity. Wickham confronts Alien Darcy and he reveals his true colours!