April 27th 2012
And in the meantime, I have become a great aunt, which is not, I might add, a function of my great age. In the other meantime I have been moved to write two letters to the editor in our local Daily Nuisance. I thought I should write to my editor at Simon and Schuster and tell her to get a move on, otherwise the good citizens of my home town will be forced to read more of my attempts to challenge the status quo. I do my challenging with my tongue in my cheek, even though I have learned during my very long sojourn in America that people here don't always catch on to teasing. For some reason, they don't quite get it. I stopped myself from writing to my editor, because I realised that this hiatus is giving me lots of good time to work on the TV series, for which I have now written 54 pages. We now have a plan to put together the promo with a view to getting backers for the project, and then we will cull a pilot episode from what I have already written. The producer tells me you can make pretty good quality film on not very sophisticated cameras, and since we aren't paying the actors or the director, (or me), or a PR person we just took on today, we can go ahead even with little backing. I have just finished watching the second series of Downton Abby - what a tour de force that is. No wonder it has everyone enthralled. Maggie Smith has never been better. Despite the fact that there is a lot of deus ex machina, it teaches us would-be Jullian Fellowes that people will always be interested in well-drawn rounded characters and the writer should always guard against slotting cardboard cut-outs in any part of their story, from the main character down to the scullery maid. Make them real people or there is no point in putting them in at all. And then there's dramatic irony, which I don't do enough of, but who wasn't rooting for that festering secret of Mary Crawley's to be out in the open? Your audience should always know something that at least some of the characters don't. That's the way I look on my writing career thus far - someone out there must know something that I don't. If you do, let me know.