What’s this blog about? Didn’t you read the title of this post? Well, this is the blog where I teach Hollywood, if it wants to show up for class, how to save itself. Right now, Hollywood (and really the entire traditional entertainment industry) is trapped in a death spiral. To fight the digital world of new media, Hollywood is casting it’s net wider and wider, trying to appeal to the most people by being as safe, bland, unchallenging and as inoffensive as possible. This is the wrong way to go.
The right way is by telling good stories. The guys behind <em>BOARDWALK EMPIRE</em> and <em>BREAKING BAD</em> know this. (I’m not yelling, we’re supposed to type titles in all caps in the Industry–don’t ask me why.) So, why do so many shows and movies fail in the box office or succeed but still fail to be any good at all? Good question!
I don’t know.
What I do know is that no one can blame you for making a TV show or movie that tells a story well–whether it makes money or not isn’t your fault–unless it’s a terrible story. And I see this happen all the time in movies and TV shows. Everyone wants to make a film or show that everyone wants to watch. Read this blog and it will teach you how to do it.
Or are you too scared?
OK, here it is! The first 1977 words of my novel for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)! I have not proofread what follows. The only reason everything is mostly spelled right is because of spellcheck. This is the most raw of first drafts so enjoy it as such! Constructive criticism is welcome, but I decide what is constructive and what is just unhelpful. In other words, I reserve the right to delete any comments from here or anywhere else I can delete comments if I feel they’re just not helpful. If you don’t like this, I’m sorry, go find someplace else to say things I don’t like. Thanks, though!
Also, I’ll be moving this post and all other fiction I write to a dedicated fiction blog. For now, please stay tuned here. You can follow the RSS or get posts in your email inbox. You can also follow me on Twitter or Facebook (cringe). I also have a Tumblr.
OK! Here it is! Obviously, everything on this blog (both my fiction and non-fiction alike) is all (c)2013 Pete Nicholls. No stealing. But if you like it please feel free to publicize it with excerpts, but don’t do it without letting me know you are–I want to make sure to thank you and link back.
The Man from Zero: One
by Pete Nicholls (c)2013
Chapter One: Trap of Cards
Sometimes I wish I could skip to the end of my life.
It’s not that I don’t want to live. As I stare forward into my future, I find myself wishing to already put it behind me.
The first time I realized this, I had only just been sentenced to life in Living Stasis. They found me guilty of something I actually did, so I can’t complain too much. The only problem I have with that is, that life in LS is really much worse than being dead. You’re stuck there–awake but immobile. Alone with your thoughts, with your fears, with your guilt, with the things you’ve done. But I don’t want to die, either. It’s a strange thing to say, but after all the things I’ve seen and done, even since that day when the young man from Two came to see me, I still have things to do in this truly fucked up life of mine.
Though, at that moment, I was staring at a wall. A mess of gray and silver that seemed to reflect the dull depression that my life had become. I saw no way out but through. I had no lawyer to appeal my sentence and I wasn’t stupid enough to expect some sort of pardon for what I did. I knew when I broke the law no one would be defending my actions and everything I’d done during the Poor War. Ridiculously, nobody ever gets blamed for what we did. We were getting paid incredibly well to put down the “Revolting Ones” as our employers called them. We were called heroes for what we did. Yet, before too long, I stopped being a hero and started being something else. A convict. A convict with no one left on his side. So, as I sat in my holding cell, before getting shipped off to the Life Stasis camp in the Australian sub-desert, I was surprised to receive a visitor.
This is where you can come to catch up on my life as a writer and cartoonist. I’ve created a lot over my years on this blue orb (10+ novels, 5 screenplays, short stories, etc) and I suspect I’ll be creating a lot more. I’m a pretty good storyteller and am pretty good at helping other storytellers tell better stories, too.
I live in New York City with my wife of 15 years and the ghosts of my two cats. I’m a big gadget freak and may mention or even write about my Google Glass in this space, from time to time. I have a pretty strong passion for Japan and have been studying the language for years, most recently, studying at the Japan Society. If you’re considering classes, I highly recommend it! I also recommend classes at the Japan Society, specifically, with Akai Sensei. She’s got a wonderfully relaxed demeanor that really helped me relax and learn.
Please read my rants about writing in Hollywood on my writing blog, “Pete Saves Hollywood.”
Yes, it’s an ironic title as I lived in Los Angeles for 14 years and barely got noticed–but it wasn’t from a lack of trying. And, as you’ll see on PSH, I am perfectly capable of saving Hollywood, if they’ll just let me.