Little Miss Litty - The Treatment is Complete

I finally finished the treatment for Little Miss Litty, and I think it's good :)

I write these things in stages. I know that for me, the biggest hurdle I hit when I'm writing is that if I know how the story ends, I stop actually writing it down. I tell it to people instead. Nowhere near as useful, or as satisfying as a well crafted story - but unfortunately at that point, my personal need to understand and tell the story has been met.

This time I tried something else; Little Miss Litty is a short story I first worked on about 12 or so years ago. I never completed it, but I came across it recently and it seemed like a great kernel for a longer story.

So I took what I had, and expanded on it, this time in screenplay form.

Once I ran out of that source material, I started "rolling" on the story. I normally hate planning stories too far in advance because once things get going, the characters like to do their own thing. I can push them in one direction or another, but the rest of it is really truly and honestly up to them.

Sounds kind of weird, I know, but the characters do know what's going on better than I do at any point.

So my new process involves writing a chunk of treatment in OneNote - enough to get me going for the next 20 to 40 pages, and then a very brief outline following that of the next 30 or so pages after that, in italic so that I know it's not yet fleshed out.

(I do the same thing for any bits I get stuck on - just put them in rough, in italic, so I know I need to do some research or expand on them later - this stops me from getting stuck, or letting myself succumb to writer's block).

Next, I write this up in Final Draft in screenplay format, striking out bits of the treatment as I go through it.

This method seems to work well. It means I have a guide-rope (so to speak) that I can follow through the story, but without blowing it all for me as I'm discovering it. It's just enough to keep me going without having to make it up on the fly in long-form.

Some writers keep note cards to plan out scenes, and rearrange them once they have a script going. I don't do that - I don't need to. Programming (for better or for worse) has taught me all the tools I need to do that in my head. Once I have the script written, I've got a visual map of elements and blocks that I can rearrange to make sure the structure's right. To be honest, I don't need to do it that often - like with my day-job, I seem to have gotten that down to an intuitive process, so most of the time it comes out right first time.

OneNote as used for my script treatment

I also use OneNote to throw elements of story ideas I come up with in there. That way I can mine it later for bits and pieces that I want to use later. The other advantage to this is that once it's written down, I can drop it out of my brain until I want to pick it up again later, rather than spinning on this latest greatest idea for too long and letting it get in the way of the real writing work.

That doesn't, of course, stop me from wasting time on the blog though ;-)

Current screen-play page count: 69. Dude. About 30 more to go, give or take.

More medical writing to come soon, btw. It's such a heavy topic, and things have been rough at work with the crunch, so I needed to switch to something a little easier for the time being... More soon on that topic, I promise.

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#fiction, #script writing, #film, #writing, #horror
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The State of the Nation: Lies and more lies

The US federal budget for 2008 cut large amounts of funding from physical science projects. Of the ones I can get references to (with a quick search 'cos I'm at work), they cut:

  • $88MM from high-energy physics programs.
  • Completely killed the US's contribution of $149MM to the International Fusion Project.
  • Cut funding for the International Linear Collider by $45MM (from $60MM to $15MM).
  • The National Labs Argonne and Fermilab had their funding slashed.

(Source: http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/us-basic-science-decline-15233.html )

Last night's state of the nation address?

Bush pledged to double funding for physical science programs.

It's not hard to double funding for a program when you've already halved it that year.

Can we get rid of this administration already? I'm sick of the lies, and the fact that they're run this country directly into a recession.

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Crunch time again

It's crunch time at work again, so my posting volume is going to go down for a little bit. I'll try to find time this weekend to write at least two medical posts.

(Just in case you were wondering where I'd gone)

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Technorati Weirdness

Strangely, it appears that my last post didn't make it up onto Technorati. It claims to be pinging my blog, but the post itself? nada.

I wonder if I've fallen foul of some spam filtering software or something.

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#technorati
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Public Enemy Number 1 - The Herpes Viruses as Causative Agents For Most Later-Life Diseases (part 1)

Article Navigation: Previous Article in this series - Next Article in this series

This is the story of a life-form. A very small, tiny encapsulated bundle of DNA that can replicate by itself, with the help of a host - specifically, in this case, human beings. It is also the story of its siblings - a set of viruses called 'herpesviradae' - which together form a large family of viruses which infect humans and other animals.

This is also a personal story, which touches on the death of my mother in 1996, and on the lives of other friends and family, all of whom are in some way or another inextricably tied to this virus.

And this is a story of hope. The hope that as soon as this is published, people can start taking preventative measures, and active measures against a great many diseases.

If I am correct in my hypothesis - which I hope to shore up with as much direct data as possible, along with references to many medical research papers - then I hope to prove that all of the following diseases are in some way caused by the family of herpes viruses.

If this is the case - and I believe this to be true - then there are direct nutritional and pharmaceutical measures that can be taken to stave off the progress of these diseases. Hopefully this series of blog posts will help to focus the medical community, and lead to the creation of cures, treatments and preventative measures against all of these diseases.

The diseases and symptoms I will cover in this series of posts include:

  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Type-II Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol, including high HDL and high triglyceride levels
  • Heart disease, including atherosclerosis (aka arteriosclerosis)
  • Cancer of the gallbladder (cholangiocarcinoma)
  • Colon cancer
  • Crohn's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Glioblastoma multiforme
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Hodkin's Disease
  • Lymphoma
  • Breast Cancer
  • Kaposi's Sarcoma

There may also be other diseases for which I have not made this association yet.

I will also touch on:

  • Parkinson's disease
  • Prostate cancer

- both of which may be caused by other viruses, and as such are not as eminently treatable, but are similarly caused.

While I cannot prove a direct link between the virus and the symptomatic disease in all of these cases, I will be collecting enough papers together and also mechanisms of action that will provide enough evidence to show that we should be looking at the herpes viruses as the major causative agent (in combination with specific genetic variations) for these diseases.

When I have completed this series, I will collect the information together, remove most of the personal anecdotes, and attempt to publish in a medical journal. However, I believe that this information is important enough to publish in pieces while I put together the final paper.

The next post in this series will detail the changes in medical approaches to disease agents over the last 20 years or so, and my original hypothesis as to fungal, bacterial and viral agents being the underlying cause of non-juvenile cancers.

(If you are new to this series, you may want to read this post regarding the treatment of Alzheimer's with Etanercept, and how the mechanism of action may involve the herpes virus, and not simply be due to the action of TNF-alpha on synaptic function)

For some reason, Technorati isn't resyndicating this post. I'm trying to post it again to see what I can do on my end to fix it before I talk to their support people.

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#Health, #alzheimer's, #herpes, #cure, #arthritis, #cancer, #shingles
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