Writing a television series is something I have always wanted to do. I have another one in the works but due to some complications with the story arc I had to put it on hold. I threw myself into this project full bore knowing full well it may never get picked up, or it may land at some television studio and go right into the trash, who knows.
What if the series gets picked up and it’s a hit? What then? Where do we go with it? I had thought about that many times. If this were to be a success than I better have a story arc. A story arc is where the story from the beginning to that final conclusion. I decided that this isn’t just going to be a collections of stories based on my childhood, I put some thought into this whole thing. Each season will have the cliffhanger. Each story has some sort of lesson or is leading to something much bigger, whether it be some small story in England or a small story happening in Dudley or the Sahale Valley.
Before I began this project I didn’t really have an arc but then it slowly came together after I finished the Pilot. Tonight my story Arc is now complete and it happened in through a character sketch. This is something that has never happened to me before. It was the most illuminating thing that has ever happened to me as a writer. The fact this arc came this quickly and has no complications to it, tickles me pink.
What is that character sketch. The character sketch is a serious of questions I have written and ask myself about who a particular character is and what has happened in their lives which gets them to point of the first episode or the first time they appear. I have done this with everything I write except my first few plays.
I finished the story arc in the midst of writing the sketch for my antagonist. His name is Lord Atherton-Hall, a wealthy Sussex banker, who also invests in real estate. The character is loosely based the Landlord that rented Nyton Cottage to us. I met this guy a handful of times when he summoned my Dad to meet him at his house. Obviously I did not know this man well, but meeting the man and seeing his character out in the open, I knew what sort of fellow my Dad was dealing with. A pompous ass, who looked down on everyone. Basing Atherton-Hall on this person seemed a given, but at first putting him in the series was a small story. It wasn’t until I began to think about this guy that the possibility for a brilliant character existed. Now if only English Actor Alan Rickman was still alive. I can see him eating up the screen playing this part. However, I am not supposed to think about that.
What has been a wild ride is the development of this character. Having met this rich aristocrat a handful of times, I was given full reign to play with the character and see where I could take him.
Atherton-Hall character becomes the major thorn in the side of the Livingston’s. (based on my family. And yes I did choose this name because my family is Scottish.) Atherton-Hall likes to think he is above Americans. I created a situation where he becomes a trustee of NEC Arundel, he thinks he can order the Livingston family around or tell them what to do.
Atherton-Hall’s torment of the Livingston’s continues long after they leave England. His reach travels to the Sahale Valley. It involves some corruption, the mob and possibly Atherton-Hall’s death, but who killed him and is he really dead?
Can you imagine the possibility of the mob starting a gambling casino at the old Ferncroft Inn sight in Wonalancet. Well this is fiction folks, that’s what’s coming. It all revolves around this English aristocrat and his family who follow the Livingston’s back to the Sahale Valley and make Ned and Marty’s life hell, but due to a surprise ending, (Which I didn’t see coming until tonight.) things turn out okay for the second generations of Livingston’s in the end.
To read the Pilot episode click on this link.