11 October 2014

Selling Out to Hollywood! (In which our writer goes temporarily nuts)

I read one of those self-help books the other day, and I’m beginning to realize why I’m not getting very rich. (For one thing, I’m not writing self-help books.)  It is patently obvious that nobody is going to get wealthy writing zany crime novellas unless they whack somebody over the head with them during the course of a bank robbery.

So I’ve decided to switch media here and become a screenwriter.  I’m a natural.  I can sit in those funny collapsible canvas chairs just as well as the next guy, and besides, I know hundreds of unbelievable plots; I live in Ford Nation <Toronto>.

So here goes: for my first screamplay <sic> I’m going to do something made for TV; specifically one of those romance-suspense-action-thriller-northern-southern-civil war epic-type things, maybe a miniseries.  It would have everything – sex, violence, sex, betrayal, sex, revenge, sex - and maybe even some dialogue.  It would star a ravishing but thoroughly spoiled female lead, maybe called Sapphire, and her male lead, Rot.  Here’s a preview:

Sapphire flings herself up the sweeping staircase, catching bottom of skirt on knob of banister.

Sapphire (yanking at fabric):  Go away, Rot!  Just go away!

Rot:  I’m going, I’m going.  But one last thing, Sapphire honey, I’ve got to know.  How do you manage to go to the bathroom with that bloody hoola- hoop attached to your skirt?

Sapphire (rolling downstairs on her side):  Don’t go, Rot!  Please don’t go.

Rot (doffing hat):  Frankly Sapphire, I don’t give a hoot.

(From outside, several barn owls hoot.)

I predict a blockbuster.  But just in case, I have a second one planned.  It’s a 1960s historical spy flick, based on the true-to-life adventures of very bad people who might possibly be Russian.

First Spy (possibly named Boris):  Gee comrade, do you theenk perhaps we are raising peeples suspicions speeeking English with Russian accent?

Second Spy (also named Boris):  Especially seence it is very BAD Russian accent, comrade?

Okay, so it needs a bit of work, and maybe some more sex.  I’m thinking of calling it Czech-mate. And if we bring it forward to modern times, the possibilities are endless.  What about a ‘Spy of the Month’ reality series?  Boris could live in an LA frat house with nine other comrades named Boris, and the survivor…

Or I could go back to writing silly novels.

Melodie Campbell continues to write the zany Goddaughter mob caper series for Orca Books.  There appears to be no cure.


  1. Whoops! This is posted a few hours late because I forgot to change it from Draft to Publish. Bad girl !

  2. Your scenarios are interesting, but as long as you persist in interrupting the sex scenes I don't think it will work. Stick to novels.

  3. Laff! Herschel, what can I say? (I can promise that I *never* interrupt the sex scenes in the Rowena series of novels.)

  4. Don't forget the eyes watching from the oil painting!

  5. You always make me howl with laughter til I'm sick!!! Keep on writing and I'll pay a million bucks to see your movies! Thelma Straw in Manhattan - which could use your humor!

  6. Go for it! Write anything you want. A long time ago, a friend advised me that "just because you do something well doesn't mean you have to do it if you don't want to." Perhaps the reverse is true, "just because you do one thing better than the other doesn't mean you can't do both." I'd stick a few Russian words in the second scenario just to keep most people guessing and I definitely agree with Herschel that these days you don't have to interrupt the sex scenes. Enjoyed your column, as usual.

  7. I theenk toes LA Borises (Borsi?) could conflate with SnoWhite and Seven Diminutive Boriseseses. Wait… I think my accept became Mexican.

    Love the "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a hoot."

  8. Gee, Thelma, don't get sick on me now! I'm counting on your to be my muse :) Thanks, sweetie. I did go a bit wild with that one, and worried that maybe I fell off a cliff (but wait - that's another blog...coming shortly)

  9. Leigh, that and the stage direction that follows are my fave from that column. so glad you caught it :) We have...similar wacky brains.

  10. Lol. Thanks I needed that. Hmmm, how do they go to the bathroom with those hoops on or off in those days.


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