Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Gag Reel and Fight Director

Trapped in Karl's dungeon whilst
editing book three
I’m now in full edit mode for book 3 of Karl’s trilogy, which is keeping me from the model table at the moment. There are three parts to the final book, and part one has come back from the read through crew and the proof reader along with a selection of comments. Despite my own initial attack at the printed page with a red pen there have still been some interesting typos that have come to light.

This has got me thinking, maybe on here or on Karl’s Facebook page I might present a book’s equivalent of a Gag Reel that features on the extra’s of many TV boxsets.  It’s amazing just how one missing letter can change the meaning of a sentence and since the word is genuine it would not be picked up by a spell checker.

Just one example of an edit found in book 3, and I’m picking this one since it does not give any spoilers away.

“...whilst the surrounding buildings had been allowed to gather the grim of years.”

Guess what TV series I might have been watching recently?
This is just one; others have raised even my eyebrows when I saw them.

Old way with figures.
The other area of note is the rewrite of the last chapter.  Initial feeling was that the final battle didn't quite give it enough punch.  Reading a fight or battle in a novel is not the same as watching it on screen.  Several blows get traded on the screen quickly and the action moves fast, but different camera angles and fast cuts making each move fresh and exciting. In a book a detailed blow by blow account would become quite monotonous even with the aid of a brilliant thesaurus.  Now in the past I have used some of the models and lead figures to block the movements of characters before committing pen to paper. However in this instance I needed to go further afield and call in the help of an expert.

Yes, in the credits of this book there is now a Fight Director.  

I’m not going into the details of who is fighting who, since that would give much of the story away. But I required a bit more guidance on how the fight could work since I had armed my characters with an eclectic collection of weapons, which did not make the fight technically easy to choreograph so that it would be believable.  However I am now certain that with the help of Andy this finally works and the conclusion to the adventure is far better than it would otherwise have been.

So allow me to introduce my Fight Director, Andrew Ashenden. He has devised fights for tv and stage and taught in several prestigious drama schools, but he had to admit this was the first time he had been asked to help with a fight scene for a novel.  

Notice I said novel and not book, since he has also written two books on the subject of stage combat.