Tuesday 22 May 2012

And now for something completely different...

I've deliberately avoided reading Book Two since completing the first draft. From my experience with Eye Contact, it's clear that a little time gives you a lot more perspective when it comes to the edit, and hopefully absence will make the heart grow fonder in terms of how well it reads too.

In the meantime, I've been able to relax a little more over the last few weekends, even managing to spend a whole day in Bristol with my wife, which was excellent. However, I have still found time to do a little writing...

It's a different idea - not part of the series, and not really a subject I'd ever thought about exploring. However, someone asked if I'd ever thought about doing a particular sort of story, and their words stayed with me. Discussing it with my son, we fleshed out an idea and then left it alone, but over the last couple of weeks I've revisited it and found it a refreshing change of scene.

The first three chapters came together surprisingly quickly, and I'm actually rather tempted to push forward with it. First things first, though. It's surely time to crack on with the Book Two edit, but it's nice to have a different project on the horizon to look forward to.

Wednesday 2 May 2012

A Tale of Two Box-sets

A while ago, my brother in law grew weary of recommending TV shows to me, and forcibly gave me a couple of box-sets. Consigned to the pile, and overlooked for a while, were Spiral (or Engrenages) and The Killing - both crime series.

We watched Spiral first. It's very stylish, very French and, despite the rather open ending, season one was gripping. Each episode has short story arcs, with crimes that the team are investigating, while the larger conspiracies unfold gracefully across the length of the series. Though some of the characters are more likeable than others, they all feel true, and it's hard not to be engaged in all of the interweaving threads.

We immediately bought season two, which was even better, and followed it with season three, which was still enjoyable but a little more laboured.

And then we watched The Killing. I'm aware it's a remake of a Danish show called Forbrydelsen, but we came to it cold so I can't compare the merits of the two versions.

The first episode was mostly excellent - gritty, beautifully shot, wonderfully scored - with a few jarring "oh the humanity" moments that almost put me off. Fortunately, we persevered, and the series largely manages to shrug off these "subtitles for the hard of thinking" and deliver a one long arc, that twists and turns agonisingly around a group of disparate characters, drawing them together...

...except, it's actually less than one arc. Just as the last episode builds to a neat climax that wraps (almost) everything up, one deft move scatters all the pieces of the puzzle ready for season two. It's a measure of how good the show is that this wasn't too frustrating.

Season two starts this week, and while I love the ongoing nature of the story, I hope it does what shows like Twin Peaks never quite had time for - resolves!