Definition: The place where a writer stores drafts of work which isn’t ready, didn’t catch fire or anyone elses’ attention and which may be returned to at a miraculous future date which never seems to come.
Here are five from mine….
- THE PINK ANIMAL
During the tallships era the depressed Captain Hamilton is lured back to a tropical island by a captivating and mysterious pink animal left on his doorstep in a tea chest in the middle of the night.
Post an eventful sea voyage he’s back on the island which inspired his melancholia and re-discovers his lover Louise who he thought had died but who had instead been captured by rogue pink animals. He frees her. He emancipates the pinks (the non nasty ones, the bad ones get their comeuppance). Happy ending.
Joseph Conrad meets a politically correct Enid Blyton and shares an espresso martini and goat curry pasty. Adventure, fighting, sailors and quirky characters in period costume this novel for 7-10 year olds may become a musical with animatronic characters.
And may not.
2. LET’S PRETEND
The play I half wrote before I wrote another play entirely with the same title because it had already gone to brochure and this one wasn’t working.
An over ambitious piece featuring mistaken identity, burglary and child abduction (not the best thematic choice for a comedy) it strangled itself to death with plot twist bind weed just before the end of act one and has thrashed about in uneasy half life next to the blue tac for over 20 years.
A dark, pretentious and confusing surburban fable playing on fears of loss and exploring greed and status, in need of far superior craft and care than that evidenced up to the point where I gave up and did something else instead.
Perhaps when old enough to have any idea at all of the central characters I’ve written I’ll give it another shot or it may just lie permanently in the folder marked ‘too clever for its own good’.
Or be burned, this may be best.
3. JOANNA THE MAD
Historical stage drama, jam packed with ambassadors and trumpets and castle battlements and paranoid schizophrenia.
Joanna La Loca climbed the curtains and ended her days incarcerated in a nunnery, its a great role and a great story, so great that another writer and company beat me to production but hey we can never have too many epic dramas featuring powerful women can we?
Nearer the front this one, next to the Polos.
4. DREAM KITCHEN
A commissioned sit com pilot for a series which never got made about a family with a gadget fetish.
Quirky, three gags a page, about aquisition and definition through objects without stating this in any way which meant anyone would understand it to be in any way about that, obscure and vaguely charming.
Comedy ages badly. Funny then. Not now. Birdcage or litter tray lining.
Or ignorance. You decide! Yeah! Whatevs!
Play for radio. Girl next door gets accelerated into superstardom via a TV talent show. Fame followed by destruction followed by spiritual awakening followed by loss of faith followed by a return to base.
Unoriginal rock myth given uplift by virtue (possibly) of entirely made up vocabulary/language which made for an interesting exercise but a suspiciously odd read and probably a very hard listen.
In the drawer for a reason.
Whats in yours?