Pieces of eight

So writing Kiwiana Charlatan is easier with my outline. I haven’t been able to get it out in a couple of days but it is coming together faster. No more staring at my screen wondering where do I go next. I have a map.

Not that I don’t take the occasional tiki tour. For instance, I know in the next scene that there needs to be a conversation between Mary and Zeke where Mary vouches for Sarah. That’s not in the outline, but it needs to happen. I guess I’m saying that the outline is not sacrosanct but it is a good rough guide.

What has intrigued me the most about this process is the feeling of control I have. At the moment I’m toying with the number 8 which is reoccurring in the play.

8 seconds for a rodeo run.
8 legs on a spider.

And the terror raids which reignited the idea were codenamed “Operation 8”.

Normally I would have written it and afterwards would have been surprised that the number 8 was reoccurring. I would have put it down to some innate streak of genius (hands up who doesn’t believe that they have one! No one? Thought so…)

But this time around I can use it fully. Weave it in throughout the play.

I’m even starting to get a bit woogie woogie about the whole thing – consulting numerology about the characteristics of the number eight. I’ve given Sarah the surname of Smith (what better name for a government agent eh?) so that she is an eight.

I have even toyed with the idea of making the lines in the scene a multiple of eight, but perhaps that is going too far!

We’ll see in the next draft…

Now I’m looking for things that happen in 8 seconds so Zeke can illustrate to Sarah how long it can be.

Try Goggling “8 Seconds” and you get a whole lot of results for a movie, a band and random technology facts. Such as major casino databases are updated every eight seconds to record what people are doing in the casino, or that there is an 8 second rule for website developers (only eight seconds to hook someone, too bad all you flash based websites) or that fighter pilots have around 8 seconds to fit their oxygen masks.

Not really what I was looking for.

So now I’m thinking that he might count the time down. Or maybe I should give the director and the actor a big headache by making him do something in 8 seconds that seems impossible.

I want to get across that 8 seconds can feel like a lifetime on the back of a bucking bull, and that Zeke is skilled in making quick decisions. If anyone out there has any brilliant ideas let me know!

(Of course I’ll claim the writer’s caveat. That is any idea you give me I’ll claim as my own. For that matter if you do and/or say anything remotely funny in my vicinity expect to see it in my work!)


Filed under Kiwiana Charlatan, Playwrights' studio, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Pieces of eight

  1. God, I have no brilliant ideas brewing, but if one comes I’ll be sure to pass it along!
    I can’t wait to see what comes of you getting all woogie woogie!! 😉

  2. Whiti

    I’m getting even more woogie woogie. This morning when I was writing it felt as if I was creating a spell. Then it occurred to me that I was. Or that I ought to be. Isn’t that what story telling is? Spell binding an audience. Unless you’re Brecht and all “Oi! Remember you’re in a theatre!”

  3. littlegemsession

    Great to hear you all enthused!

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