Happy Hump Day, RG2E Peeps!
Last time RG2E Featured Author Patrice Williams Marks was here, she told us about her connection with Tom Selleck. Here’s another fabulous fun bit on that…
Take it away, Patrice…
Hi, I’m Patrice Williams Marks, the writer of THE UNFINISHED short story and the soon to be released full novel, THE UNFINISHED 2.
In Part 1 I shared with you my first writing experiences that included an episode (unsold) of Magnum P.I. I forgot to mention the script was about a Commercial Director who comes to the island to shoot a cereal ad. But his real agenda was shipping illegal black pearls back to the mainland via cereal boxes.
Not the best idea ever, but not the worse. That simple story premise almost lead me to great heights. Coming close to a sale was enough for me to take writing more seriously; to actually pursue it as a career, rather than just a way to meet Tom Selleck.
I transferred from a community college in Vancouver Washington, to Cal State LA in the mid-eighties on a speech and debate scholarship. In between work, speech tournaments, I took as many writing classes as possible, including one ran by a former writer from FAMILY TIES.
That was my next script; a FAMILY TIES episode. The mid-eighties was a time where HIV/AIDS came into our collective consciences. Very little was known at the time. Some even thought that by simply touching someone who was infected; they too would be infected. I decided to tackle this concept within a FAMILY TIES episode where Alex P. Keaton discovers a friend of his has HIV/AIDS, and his uninformed reactions to it. Of course, Elise was the voice of reason within the family, pointing out all the misconceptions and inaccuracies.
This script was considered “risky” within the industry as no other TV show had tackled the subject before. My college instructor loved it. He worked with me to improve the script before actually submitting it to the show. But alas, my timing was off. By the time they read the script, the show was cancelled. Case closed.
I later wrote a sample script for SEINFELD (called The Eye) where one of the straws that Jerry has blown into the ceiling, dislodges and takes someone’s eye out. I also wrote a few spec scripts for IN LIVING COLOR (two snaps up) as well.
I later transitioned to full screenplays instead of television dramas and comedies as a way to stretch myself further as a writer. You would think that this would be a comfortable transition, but it’s not. They’re two different animals. Different formatting, pace, character development, story structure, page count, etc. But I was ready for the challenge.
My first screenplay was entitled, ANY BODIES TOUCH. Here’s the Logline (description):
DAYSON, a recently widowed man struggles to survive DIM MAK, or THE DEATH TOUCH long enough to discover his killer, while at the same time being pursued by a mysterious assassin.
Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it? At least I thought so. And with all screenwriters, while you’re writing it, you think it stinks to high heaven. But once complete, you’re sure it’s Oscar worthy. You soon discover how utterly wrong you are on both counts.
I was so very proud to complete the 110 page script. Did this one win any awards, get produced, or catch anyone’s eye? No. Nothing. Apparently I was the only one who appreciated it, (besides my family). But that’s okay. As a writer you just keep producing more material until something clicks.
In Part 3 I’ll share with you my screenplay breakthroughs, highs and lows, and what lead me to the path of novelist.
Be sure to visit my KICKSTARTER PROJECT (preview mode) where, as a supporter, you’ll get access to the full novel of THE UNFINISHED before it is released, as well as my next novel, CLEAN KILLS AND OTHER TROPHIES, (a screenplay that is being re-written as a novel).
The UnFinished: In a future where the Unfinished (murdered) are brought back to life for only 72 hours to testify against their killers before being “put down” for eternity… an Unfinished is resurrected to what he believes is his one chance to point the finger at his accused killer.
Connect with Patrice here:
What a fascinating journey, Patrice! I can’t wait to hear what happened next!
RG2E Peeps – Be sure to leave a comment below if you’d like an Ebook Gift Copy of THE UNFINISHED! You just might win one!!!
The Best of RG2E Reading Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder