Beam Me Out

Right now the bank balance has just received another indentation. It is the results of a direct debit for the rent on my student home which is waiting for me in Hull. It serves as a little reminder that I am paying for something I’m not using. Fortunately, it isn’t too expensive, certainly compared to London. But it’s not a good use of resources in any case. I just don’t want to go back yet, though. I can’t think of anything more depressing right now.

This has also been enhanced by the fact that I have reignited an old hobby. Recently I’ve been back in touch with a friend of mine from school. He and I used to write scripts together. They were spoofs of Star Trek, usually pretty vicious ones as well. We both liked the show, but there was so much comedy potential in its quirky ways that it was too much to resist. Back in the day, we wrote hundreds and hundreds of pages of dialogue across six “episodes”. They progressively get better as they go on, but a large chunk of it is complete rubbish when I look back now. Though its entertainment value is still there in many ways, if not to laugh at the things we used to write.

But what’s happening now is that my friend and I met last week to discuss whether the idea could be resurrected. I have long since fallen out with the idea of being a writer. I find it a too solitary pursuit, one with little feedback or any prospects for reward. But I have always enjoyed co-writing. It answers everything: it gives instant feedback, which is itself its own reward. Sure, it may never, and probably won’t, get anywhere in terms of film/TV deals. But when I’m there co-writing, the time seems to fly and I’m enjoying myself.

So we convinced ourselves that it’s a good idea. And came up with a pretty impressive story from nothing. We’ve been working on tightening it up in the last few days, not to mention throwing in lots of complexity for added tension. My friend has just completed a degree in creative writing, so he should know what he’s talking about.

There is one problem – how do we carry on writing while I’m away in Hull. We tried MSN application sharing the other day, but it’s not ideal. We needed a way a document could be open on both computers to which both could access.

Step forward: wikis. Wikis are the ideal solution in the circumstances. We can put everything online, so it’s accessible all the time, editable by both of us, and all changes are tracked. One could also work while the other one is busy, so we don’t need to sit around waiting if either of us has some comedy gold to put into the plot or the eventual scripts.

It’s not perfect… it would be great to see the changes in real time, but it’s the best solution we’ve got. And I just hope we can try to make it work as it will be a fun exercise. I’m a bit worried that it’s given me yet another diversion I could probably do without in my final year (the dissertation is now looming on the horizon) but I have to keep myself sane somehow.

I’ve probably got one month left here now. It’s flown by, but I’m sure when it comes around I’ll be looking forward to it. In the end, all this down time gets to you…

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