September 20, 2016

Since Damaged has been delayed indefinitely (though I really don’t want it to be any later than January), I thought I’d give you something to hold you over.

Here is a collection of excerpts from the first episode. Some of this may stay in, some of it may be cut. But it could give you an idea of where I’m going.

None of this has been really edited or spell checked, so excuse any errors.


From Episode 301, “Disarray”

Elizabeth pressed a kiss to her grandmother’s cheek, then slid across the table from her. “I’m so glad we were able to get together this morning,” she said with a smile. “I feel like we only see each other when the boys come over.”

“Or that perhaps,” Audrey Hardy began with a raised eyebrow and thin smile, “you have been avoiding me, darling.”


In the last year, Lauren had drifted from him, from Ava—though he had to admit mother and daughter had never been particularly close. Ava had always craved power and fame—more and more wealth. Lauren had always shied away from such things—she’d spent many weekends with Julian in his office in New York, looking at books he’d rejected or listening in on editorial meetings.

He hadn’t thought to have contact with his own biological son, Lucas—hadn’t known of Sam’s existence. Lauren had been his family—the best reason for seeking out Ava and staying in touch. He hadn’t thought of the lie then—how she might feel betrayed when she discovered her family friend “Uncle Derek” was in truth, her biological Uncle Julian.

Couple that with the lies about her father, the publicity of the ELQ voting fraud she had unwittingly taken part in—

Lauren wasn’t much interested in being part of the Jerome family these days.

“I’m looking forward to working with you this summer,” Julian said, hoping to draw her into one of their comfortable conversations about journalism and the state of the media. Publishing had been part of his cover, but he’d fallen in love with it.

Lauren eyed him, her bright blue eyes guarded. “What, your real kids don’t give a damn?”


Elizabeth turned to look at him, this face that she had known for so long—had loved nearly half her life. “When you came home—you were worried that I was—that it would be like before. That it would be like Lucky. That I twist myself to be with you because I thought it was what I was supposed to do.”

Jason exhaled slowly, hesitation creeping into his eyes. “Elizabeth—”

“And you’re right. That’s exactly what I did with Lucky.” She tilted her head, wondering how she could say this without hurting him. And knowing it might not be avoidable. “I was…grateful to have a second chance with him that every time that little voice of doubt whispered in my ear, I ignored it. When I was unhappy, when I was doing things just to make Lucky happy—I didn’t say anything to him. I wasn’t honest. I didn’t want to be a model. I didn’t want to get married.” Her voice broke. “I didn’t want to sacrifice my life to save his.”

“Elizabeth—”

“I never told him. And maybe if I had—maybe if I had told him about Jake, or been honest with him after that summer that no matter how hard he tried, I was never going to love him as much as I did that night in the church when we were sixteen.” She swiped at her eyes. “And it’s happening again. I can feel it.”

“You’re not happy,” Jason said flatly, the hand he had been stretching towards fell to his side.

“You’re not happy,” Elizabeth corrected. “You’re going through the motions. Every morning, you wake up with the boys. We get them together for breakfast, we divide them up. You’re closer to the baseball field on the way to the coffee house, so you get Cam and Jake, I take Aiden to Laura’s—we go to work. We come home. We have dinner. You listen to every word the boys say, you take it all in. And you’re amazing with them—you’re an amazing father, and I love you so much for the way you listen to them, the way you make them feel important—how you never, not for one moment, make Cam or Aiden feel like they’re different from Jake, that you love them any differently—”

“Elizabeth—”

“But you’re not talking to me,” she cut him off with a slash of her hand. “You’re not being honest with me.”


And much later in the season:

“And yet…AJ agreed to give you an uncontested divorce and full custody.” Gia stepped towards her, still tapping that damn pencil. “Why?”

“Because he’d set fire to the warehouse that Sonny and Jason own. Jason…promised that if he gave me the divorce and custody, the evidence would disappear. AJ agreed.”

“And then…” Gia picked up a folder and drew out a set of papers, neatly stapled together. “Later that year, AJ surrendered his paternal rights. That was lucky for you.”

She smiled.

And everything in Carly went cold.


“The thing is…” Lauren interrupted softly, her stomach pitching a bit at the pain in his life, the uncertainty. “When Sam told me, I just—I wanted you to be there with me. Figuring it out. Helping me decide what to do next. A-and, well…I wonder if maybe this—” She sighed. “If whatever happened when I was born—if it was something Ava might have killed to keep secret.”

Michael exhaled slowly. “Her motive for killing Connie.”

“Yeah. So it concerns you. Or it might.” She waited a moment. “So we should talk to this cop. To—” But she couldn’t force out the words my uncle.

“I’ll give Dante a call. He can set it up for us.” Michael leaned forward, resting his forehead against Lauren’s. “Thank you.”

“For bringing you more drama and another problem to fix?”

“For trusting me. For just…for knowing me. For giving a damn.”


 

I am so excited by the things I have planned, but I want it to be right when it finally gets posted.  This is just a piece of everything else, some scenes I had written. I hope you guys enjoy the sneak preview.

July 1, 2016

So as I mentioned in the last post, Season Three of Damaged didn’t quite evolve the way I had hoped. I had started to play with storylines as I finished up Season Two to better link the two — had planned to write from December-February and premiere in March.

So while illness and graduate school were the primary reasons that plan was derailed, a secondary reason was that — well, some of it fell apart when I actually sat down to write the story.  So I threw out most of my ideas and started over, looking through your comments to find what might trigger your interest and how I could better serve the story you guys want to read.

I actually found a lot of inspiration while sick with bronchitis last year. I spent the better part of two weeks laying in bed, watching television. I binged ten seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, and realized I wanted its narrative structure to serve as the foundation of Damaged. While I don’t love every decision they make on that show, I like the serialized nature of it and the way that (for the most part) the episodes have framing devices that make them singular narrative units. So I tried to plan my episodes around one story–one set of characters serving as the framing device to give the episodes more cohesiveness. Once I did that, it actually started to fall into place better. I plan to spend the majority of July writing the scenes I’ve been working so hard on the last few months. So here’s your teasers and previews for Season 3, coming to you in September.

The Previews

The biggest story is going to be Sonny’s murder trial. It’s going to take up a lot of the episodes — will serve as the framing device for nearly half of the episodes, particularly early on, and will involve most of the cast. So what can you look forward to?

  • Gia is going to set fire to Sonny’s self-defense claim by assassinating any witness he puts on the stand. You can look forward to major showdowns with Jason, Ava, and Sonny, but it turns out there are a few tricks up Gia’s sleeve when it comes to the secrets Carly is keeping. Gia has a long history in Port Charles and the benefit of her friendships will play heavily here. (Let’s not forget that towards the end of Gia’s run she was close to Zander, who was definitely privy to some of Carly’s worst secrets in 2001).
  • But despite Gia’s best efforts, Michael made the point last season that the shooting was self-defense–Sonny’s worst crime was leaving AJ to die. Will there be some sympathy for Sonny’s state of mind? Will the truth about Ava’s crimes be revealed in time to make a difference?
  • And Jason will have to testify about AJ’s past — but Gia isn’t going to let him off the hook because of her semi-friendship with Elizabeth. Jason is going to have to come to terms, for the first time, with what he did all those years ago–and he’ll have to face Michael’s judgement.

At the end of Season Two, Preston and Franco returned–ostensibly on Victor’s orders to discredit and take down Ava. But Victor, as diabolical as he is, underestimated the brothers, and they have an agenda of their own. Franco will torture Ava, but Preston has his own plans. You might have guessed that he was the one that paid a visit to Sam in the last episode–not Jason. He’ll continue to gaslight Sam, but why? And how far will he push her?  What are his plans for his twin brother? You think he’s done his worst, but Preston is about to become even more dangerous.

Which brings us to Victor himself. His goal may be insane (a new Russian revolution that will see the Cassadines restored to power? His father would be so proud!), but his ruthlessness is no joke. Elizabeth has so much faith in Robert and Luke, but maybe too much. What are their priorities? Is Robert willing to place Jason’s family in danger to save his own? By the end of the season, Victor will make it clear that someone will have to pay for Jason’s mistakes.

At the PCPD, a straightforward investigation into a teenager’s murder becomes more complicated when another body is found. And two more teens go missing. Does Port Charles have a serial killer on their hands?

Laura (with the help of Felix) uncovers a deep and shocking secret at the heart of the Ward Foundation–when they turn over their results to the cops, Parisa is forced to confront her own past and the reasons she fled the Bronx for upstate New York.

And in the quiet background, the rest of Port Charles goes on with their lives. Maxie struggles to find new balance in her life when Julian’s niece, Lauren, shows up and appears to threaten her job. Lauren, however, is far more interested in the secrets of her own past–and in Michael. Lulu and Dante face the difficulties of careers, parenthood, and keeping the romance alive…while Dillon is forced to admit a secret from his own past has come back to haunt him in a big way.

All that and more–in September 🙂

August 25, 2015

So I just finished the script for this week, and um, it’s about 9500 words. That’s the dialogue. I have a feeling that we’re looking at 40-45 pages once I finish converting it to prose. That’s almost twice as long as the longest episode.

I won’t know for sure until I finish the conversion, but I really might have to split this one.

Here’s your dialogue snippets:


JAKE: Do I have to talk to Jason today?
ELIZABETH: Jake.
CAMERON: Hey, at least your dad came back.
JAKE: From where? He was never here in the first place.
ELIZABETH: Cam, Jake–
CAMERON: Maybe he had a good reason.
JAKE: Maybe your face is ugly.
CAMERON: Maybe you’re a jackass.
ELIZABETH: Cameron!
AIDAN: Mom, that’s a bad word!


TRACY: You could sell them, but is that what Elizabeth and Sam would want for their sons? Seems like they’ve done all the work raising them.
NED: You just took Sam’s side.
TRACY: It’ll pass. (to Jason) What do I have to do to convince you to keep the shares in the family? If you have to sell–
JASON: Leave Elizabeth alone. She didn’t know I was alive, and once she did, I wouldn’t let her tell anyone.
RIC: Except Spinelli.
JASON: Do you want to go through the window?  (leans forward) The only reason you’re still alive, Lansing, is because of Sonny. I don’t work for him anymore.
RIC: That was a threat. You all heard it.
NED: Ric, you’re not being very useful at the moment.


MAXIE: Because the Jason Morgan I remember never would have made his return that way. It’s something I would have done–it was designed for maximum shock value. He shows up at the hearing for his brother’s murderer? A murderer who also happens to be his business partner? Jason’s low-key. Someone made him do that.
JULIAN(leaning forward) Someone who must still have leverage over him. Hell.
MAXIE: See? That’s why I have to keep digging into this. Spinelli is my person. We’re not romantic anymore, but we have our daughter, and he’s always been there for me. I want to protect him. I want to help him.


ELIZABETH: Because I have to ask you for some information. And I need you to just…answer it and then forget I ever brought it up.
NIKOLAS: It’s about Jason, isn’t it? He’s back. The two of you have reconciled. But there’s that pesky two years he was missing.
ELIZABETH: Nikolas, this is part of the stuff I need to you to just…ignore. For the moment.
NIKOLAS: I can do that. Under one condition. If you need me, I will be there. No questions asked.
ELIZABETH: Fantastic. Tell me everything you know about Victor Cassadine.
NIKOLAS(resigned) The Cassadines are up to no good again aren’t they?


I hope that gets you excited for Thursday.  In addition to pumpin Nikolas for information, Elizabeth has a run in with Patrick. Michael tries to deal with his uncle’s return as he recuits a director for his ELQ charity, and the PCPD decide it’s time to find out just why Connie pulled Lauren’s birth certificate in the first place.

And did I mention Jason and Jake have their reunion? There’s a ton happening.