If you think the whole zombie apocalypse thing has had its day, then track down Cargo (currently running on Netflix UK) and think again.
In the aftermath of the aforementioned zombie apocalypse, Andy is traveling alone through the Australian Outback with his daughter, Rosie. He’s recently lost his wife to the virus and has been bitten himself. Within 48 hours, the virus will transform him into a mindless, flesh-eating, pus-leaking zombie. So he has just 48 hours to find someone to take care of Rosie …
What makes this film a rare treat is that it focuses less on the actual apocalypse and more on the surviving humans. In that regard I suppose it’s closer to the Walking Dead than World War Z, but the thing that sets Cargo apart is that there are only a handful of zombies in it. In fact, there’s not much of anything.
Okay, first a disclaimer: I’ve been a Scrivener user since day one (that must be going on about ten years now), and I’m also one of those people who didn’t believe you could write a whole book on a tablet, much less a mobile phone. So, skeptical me promised the developer I’d give it a damn good try…
This is where I was when I finished Novel Number 4, the last two chapters written on my mobile phone.
So it’s fair to say I’m something of a convert.
Scrivener for iOS should probably be called the Messiah Release: millions waited for it, and as time soldiered on it seemed less likely that it would ever arrive. But Literature and Latte battled on making missteps and hitting setbacks until their developer – who said he wasn’t go to write it himself – decided to write it himself. A surprisingly short year or so later, the beta arrived, and straight off the bat, I can tell you it was well worth the wait.
I got my notification, and taking great care to ignore all the warnings and instructions, I downloaded it and cracked on. Getting my work in progress on to iOS was pretty easy: Scrivener uses Dropbox to store its files (it can’t use iCloud – more on that later), so it’s simply a case of copying your stuff to a Dropbox folder and then syncing across to iOS. Unsurprisingly, things didn’t look quite right; everything was there: the manuscript, my research notes, character bios, photographs, story plans – but the fonts weren’t right. I got straight on to the developer who pointed out the spot in the manual where it explains how to sync fonts into Scrivener. Two minutes later, I had a project that looked eerily like the one I have running on MacOSX.
Every so often I like to have a go at a short script. I don’t have any great desire to be a script writer, but I think working in different forms improves your writing overall (which is why I sometimes subject people to my attempts at poetry).
Script writing requires precision, brevity and, obviously, good dialogue. The writer needs to get the plot and characterisations across using just speech and short passages of action, so it’s a good exercise in cutting out the needless fluff.
I began writing Foetal Peter while working on The Quisling Orchid. As well as providing the warm-up exercises, it also helped with honing the erotic prose, something I wasn’t all that familiar with when I started out.