Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Huge Thinking

I know I am thinking big, and thinking ahead, and thinking of amazing possibilities that may never happen – but if my story ever made it and was turned into a film, and if then the second novel made it and was also turned into a film – then I surely cannot have a big scene around the landing at Dunkirk in the Second World War, can I? The reason for this is I don’t think the Dunkirk depiction from the Tom Hanks film Saving Private Ryan can be bettered, and I would hate a poor comparison.

Am I being wildly optimistic here? Do I see wry grins from behind computer screens?

This imagined scene does not even happen until the second book, so I would have to assume the first all went swimmingly before this ever happens. But I do mention it in passing during the book I am writing now, which means I have to be doubly sure of my facts.

So now my main problem is as follows. Arthur, Florence’s intended, is in the East Surrey Regiment along with Florence’s brother Edward. The first battalion of East Surrey’s went to France in 1940 and were evacuated via Dunkirk. They then went to Africa, Sicily, etc. The brave souls of the second battalion were pitched into battle in Malaya against the Japanese, and most didn’t make it back alive. So being with the first battalion fits what I want, and what I have already written. But if the second book concentrates on Edward, which is the story I am thinking of writing, then the events at Dunkirk would play a big part in it. And then it gets totally like the introductory scene of Saving Private Ryan, or that scene in the film Atonement. Has that been done too much now?

However, Saving Private Ryan was in 1998, and Atonement was released in 2007 – and both got critical appraisal about how they filmed the Dunkirk sequence. Since I am daydreaming and thinking big, then the sort of timetable I am thinking is first book published (2012), second book (2013), film (2015), second film (2016). So if something to do with Dunkirk works every ten years, my book would be perfect.

Phew! I shall leave things exactly the way they are. And I must say I love thinking big! Oh the things that can happen… so much fun to dream.

I have also reached chapter twelve of the grand redraft!


Rose said...

speaking as someone who loves a war set film I don't think Dunkirk would be a problem- yes as a country we are a bit stuck on that period but I think there aren't many modern films about it. The Americans are stuck on the American west because it's part of who they are- we are stuck on the war for the same reason I think- it's ramifications are still being felt.

It would also be nice to see Dunkirk from this side of the chanel a bit more if that's involved at all! We always seem to get the French beaches

Jayne said...

Oh good to hear! And nice point about this side of the channel - it's always the actual landing or evacuating, isn't it, never the setting off or return! My idea is still in its infancy so it could definitely involve the invasion from this side. I shall ponder it happily throughout the afternoon (much nicer than pondering on work-stuff. My brain is still in Christmas snooze mode - I shouldn't be here!).

Ev said...

Jayne, I love your enthusiasm - as one who has cast, re-cast, practised my Oscar speech for best screenplay etc etc of a book that has been rejected by a round dozen publishing houses at this stage I can fully picture your daydreams. Don't worry about something being 'overdone', if you write what feels true you won't go wrong...you better invite me to the premiere!

Jayne said...

Hi Ev! I have also practised my Booker/Orange Prize for Fiction speech, and rehearsed some witty banter for my future appearance on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. Apparently I made the audience roar with laughter, and my clip is often watched on youtube with comments such as ‘she’s kewl’ and ‘Gonna buy her book 2day! OMG can’t w8!’

Ah, daydreams. Where would we be without them? Thanks for the advice as well, completely agree with that, and almost lost sight of it in the fret/post above!

Kit Courteney said...

Oh, there's nothing wrong with thinking big.

I'm coming to the Premiere and I'll be telling everyone "She's my friend, you know... Oi, stop taking her picture and take mine... Oi, over here... She REALLY is my friend... Hello? Hello?"

Jayne said...

Oh Kit, you do make me chuckle! Love it... you will so be invited. :)