I have loved this week recapturing the essence of what I know is a good story — but when I wrote it I wasn’t a good enough writer to do justice to it! I just hope I can now! Eek! And that’s Colourblind my novel about two seemingly unconnected people: a little white girl growing up in Jacksonville in a middle-class family and an aged African American man in Atlanta, mourning the loss of his wife of fifty years… and somehow they share a past. They just haven’t worked it out yet. I feel, after five years, this would be a great follow-up to While No One Was Watching and there might even be room for a cameo appearance, by Lydia, since there is a sense of the supernatural in this story and she might just be needed! So now I am revisiting the story with hopefully new insight and wisdom!
I see all my stories as if through the lens of a camera so I hope when it comes to adaptation to a screenplay it will not prove too difficult.
Tonight I have been looking back at some old short stories of mine, published and unpublished, as I want to select one to use for my class with the intention of developing it ultimately into a screenplay over the next eight weeks. I am drawn to one called Fallen in Voices of Angels, one of the Bridge House Publishing collections. It’s about a young woman who drifts through New York and stands with people in their final moments: she sees what they see and feels their final memories and joy as they pass over. But she doesn’t know what she is yet, and why she keeps going back to the same places and the same house, in particular, to watch over a little boy who plays on a swing in the yard. She befriends a homeless woman in a park who knows she’s there (no one else can see her) and she helps her realise who she is… was… and who the woman is she visits (her mom) and who the child is. She pieces together how she died; she fell and she comes to think she has taken her own life. She remembers how she was off work for months with postnatal depression when her son was born. But what she can’t work out, is since she was feeling so much better and was in a new job, why would she choose to leave her child? And why now is she stuck?
In the end, we come to realise that she didn’t take her own life: she had no choice but to fall and when she did, she chose to be an angel. She is, in fact, an angel in training until she works it out. She remembers she was working at the twin towers on September 11th. She had no choice but to fall… When she goes to tell the old homeless woman, she helps her understand the final part of her role and how she can get her wings. She now helps the old woman because now her time has come to cross over with her help.
I think this might be the one to develop. What do you think?
I am going to have to re-learn a few things and lose my ‘own writer’s voice’ to write my outline and my treatment and of course the script will have to be the dialogue sections so it’s going to be tricky, but I think the message is good. I need to start with short stories before I can even think about adapting my novel! But it’s exciting!!!
I have so many stories, of course, I might change my mind which one tomorrow!!! But this feels like it could be a good one to start with!!!
Anything is possible if you believe…