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!