The next challenge
The blank page again. I’ve been thinking about making a screenplay from The Great Firewall, and since I know nothing about screenwriting I’m reading The Screenwriter’s Workbook by Syd Field. He believes a screenplay is more like a structured poem such as a sonnet than a novel. You can’t feel your way toward the story in a screenplay; the formal restrictions preclude that. It needs a roadmap. So far, so good (this is from page 11). I know what The Great Firewall is about. It’s the story of Daniel Skye’s trip to Shanghai to find money for his dream project, The Riding Instructor, and the mortal danger he runs into when he helps protesters fight an immensely powerful property developer. I know how it starts, how it ends, and what happens in between. I know the characters involved, what drives them and their backstories. I know what they do and what happens as a result. The characters and the action propel each other forward. Should be quite straightforward. Except that’s what I thought about writing the book, and that took years.