May 17, 2007
Thirteen Things About the Story I am Working On

Now that I'm all graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing, I figure I better start working on writing something that will get published and make me money with which to pay off loan debts. Here's a list of some of the elements of the current VERY rough story I'm working on.

  1. It takes place in tail end of the Golden Age of Hollywood (1920s-1940s). During this period, films saw the end of the Silent Era and the introduction of "talkies." This era saw its decline post WWII with the creation of television and the rise of McCarthyism.
  2. One of the major characters is a ghost who isn't aware she's a ghost.
  3. The other major character is a (badly) recovering alcoholic PI.
  4. I would classify the "genre" as noir/suspense.
  5. I have done extensive research for this project in terms of what this era was like. Did you know that this particular time in Hollywood produced some of the most famous and enduring movies of all time? Check it out: Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, It's a Wonderful Life, King Kong, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Citizen Kane. Famous faces of the time: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Clark Gable, Vivienne Leigh, Bette Davis, Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Kathrine Hepburn, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Judy Garland, Liz Taylor, Dean Martin, Jerry Lee Lewis, Spencer Tracy, and former President Ronald Reagan. Hollywood was even influenced (for perhaps the last time) by famous writers who many studios commissioned and retained as part of their script producing staff (Hemingway and Faulkner pop up frequently). Also, some of the greats in terms of directors included Orson Wells and Frank Capra.
  6. The PI inherits the ghost's dog, a huge slobbery Bull Mastiff. The dog will play a pivotal role in uncovering the murderer.
  7. The dog's name (for now) is Bunny.
  8. The PI got a script he wants to pitch, but the studio exec that hired him will only read it if he uncovers the ghost's killer.
  9. The ghost is a beautiful young starlet with lots of promise.
  10. The ghost can't remember anything before becoming a ghost.
  11. At least one cheesy line, the kind that you find in a black and white film (think, "Here's looking at you kid" from Casablanca), will be used in the story, but only in an ironic manner.
  12. A Jimmy Olsen (from Superman) type character--Jimmy was the kid that took pictures for the Daily Planet--will aid in the crime solving. Only this Jimmy Olson is a girl.
  13. This idea was inspired by movies such as The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, and Margaret Atwood's Blind Assassin (which I am currently reading).

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posted by Tina at 11:01 AM
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