A few months ago, I was presented with the opportunity to edit, and write the introductory essay, for a screenplay by my good friend, and fellow City Knight, Patrick Noel. Recently, I sat down with him and discussed One Night Stand, his writing process, and what the readers can expect from him in the near future. Check it out.
C.P– Without giving too much a way, tell the readers what to expect with One Night Stand?
P.N– Well, there is a lot less sex in it than the title would let on, but the play itself is about heartbreak and coming out of the dark place that we all enter when we lose someone that we love. We’ve all had one person we loved so much that, without them we’ve had this void, this gaping hole in our hearts that cannot be filled, and the places we go with that hole in our hearts can lead us all down different paths. This is the story of the path that Sincere took. We get to see where a broken heart got him, and follow an adventure where we can laugh with him, cry with him, and reminisce on the pain. Sometimes you need that as a reminder for just how far you’ve come.
C.P– At what point did you decide that you wanted to write this screenplay?
P.N– After a conversation that I had with an ex. I used to write a lot of poetry for her and I had originally planned another play, a story dedicated to that love. But life happens. In one of our last conversations to each other, she told me that she felt bad for me because of the fact that I’d never be able to write anything like the stuff that I wrote about her. So I scrapped the original play, and in a flurry of emotions, wrote this one. I wrote until I worked everything out as far as what happened to her and me, and after that, I felt healed and hoped I could share this story with others around me going through similar situations.
C.P– The language of the play is a mix of urban and Shakespearean, which is brilliant by the way. Why did you decide to twist up the language that way?
P.N– I’ve always been a huge fan of Shakespeare and his work. At City College H.S., I had my first introduction to him, and with it we would watch movies, both modern adaptations and classical productions of his plays. Between The 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet and the 2000 version of Hamlet, they made me love the language even more. And the fact that Shakespeare added over 2,000 words to the English language. It gave me a goal, something to look forward to, so I decided that I’ll make sure that I leave my mark just as he did. He had absolute freedom and control over the words that he used and he was able to make people feel, for two centuries since his death. It’s a dream of mine to one day be remembered as he is, to influence others, and continue the art form.
C.P– Let’s get real here, what is One Night Stand really about because I could definitely sense a personal connection there?
P.N– There definitely is a personal connection with this. One Night Stand is an adventure very similar to the real one based on the events that took place in the weeks leading up to its creation. I had been in a long term situationship and had fooled myself into thinking that it was real love. But when the seams began to rip apart and that world collapsed on me, I went soul searching. While soul searching, I found a better me much like he did. So Sincere’s story is not too far off from my own, but the adventure he has is painted in a way that the world around him shifts and shapes to go along with where he is mentally.
C.P– Tell me a little bit about your writing process.
P.N– My writing process works off of my emotions, or whatever quick thought that I may have for an idea, depending on the idea itself. For every thought and idea that I have, I save a note in my phone, whether its bits of a poem, or a full poem that I can write in one sitting; or a story idea or ideas for other things I want to work on and publish or do creatively. It starts with whatever that thought is, and in that moment, I picture the best way to present it. At times it could be a poem, a full story, comic book, video game, or even movie script ideas. I think of a bunch of different things constantly throughout the day, but I have a horrible memory so I save them all in notes on my phone and computer. From there, whenever I have the time to work on things, I drown out in music and let it all flow from there.
C.P– What was the most difficult part about writing One Night Stand?
P.N– The most difficult part of the writing was finishing it after the emotions that birthed it changed. When I started writing, I planned on proving a point to somebody that I didn’t need to. I was angry, bitter, and needed to vent the best way that I knew how, so a large portion of the play I was able to work through as therapy. But after a while, when I moved on and began to focus on myself, I took a step back from it. I told myself that I didn’t have anything to lose by sharing this with the world, that they would either feel me as they’ve been there, or not. But either way, I’d get it out there and I’d make sure that she and the rest of the world knew that no one person could ever have a hold on my creativity and I will use that to get through whatever I deal with, as I have for so long in my life.
C.P– How long have you been writing?
P.N– I’ve been writing since the 12th grade, doing short stories and poetry. Once I got to college, I took English electives and writing classes and continued on from there.
C.P– How does it feel to have your work published and out there for public consumption?
P.N– It feels amazing. It’s something I never thought I’d actually get to do. Since I was very little, I’ve always wanted to publish a series of comic books but never once did I even think of publishing a play. And now that we are in an age where you can do a lot of things like that on your own, it feels amazing to work for me and to be able to publish my work on my own terms.
C.P– What was the publishing process like for you? How did you decide on where to publish it?
P.N– The publishing process was actually fairly easy. I found out from another author. K. Griffin, author of the Gone off the D series, who told me about Amazon’s publishing company and how Createspace is a great platform for people to do it by themselves. So with that, I went to work on with making sure that the story was finalized, so that I could find someone who I trusted to really do a good job of editing. I turned to you and you did an amazing job. If not for you, I’m sure One Night Stand would have had four times as many commas as it does now, so that was the most important part of the process for me, to make sure that, with it being timeless, that its actually correct. From there, it was just making the cover art and piecing it all together for them to review. I knew I had to publish with them, as I wanted to avoid having to work through a company that would constantly expect work from me. Because of how my process works, I have to really be in the mood to write and if the emotion is not there for me, then I won’t write the words. So with this place, once I got to a point of feeling better about my situation, things were at a standstill until I decided to continue my mission. I had a point to prove, no longer to her or anyone else, but myself.
C.P– Tell us a bit about the cover art? Did you design it yourself or did someone else do it for you?
P.N– The cover art is very simple. I went for a retro look, but I wanted the best way to give a flash of elements from the play. I put together a picture in the box art style of Grand Theft Auto. I designed it myself but planned on having a painting of the play done once things fall into place better for it overall, as a treat to myself for its success. The teddy bear evolved from an old graffiti tag that I used to do, and it has been a character in my life for a long time. I used that as the main symbol to mark each Sincere story, and separate them from the rest that I plan to put out.
C.P– What can we expect from you in the future? What other projects are you working on?
P.N– I’m working on making Sincere’s story a trilogy. The events of One Night Stand are just the beginning for him, things have happened to him since then. Like every relationship and every breakup, there is a cycle, so we will all get to see him grow and find out more about love and life as he does. Things will get even crazier for him, so I wanted to tell those stories too. Outside of that, I do have one other play that I’m working on, a time piece for our generation against everything that’s going on in this country and world, to hold a mirror to it, and hope that the reflection is enough for change. I’m also working on a comic book, a full series based around a group of people tired of being oppressed and they have the powers and abilities to really do something about it.
C.P– That sounds amazing! Tell the readers where to find you on social media and how to download One Night Stand?
P.N– I officially have a page for One Night Stand on Facebook @onenightstandpn, where you’ll find updates from me, things I think that are topical to the work, poetry or tidbits of other works that I have, concept art for what the characters will look like for production, and news about what’s to come for me. Outside of that, there is my personal page Micah Darko, or my Snapchat: Micah_Darko, a pseudo name that I’ve been going by for years now. So any new outlets that I add will all be under that name.
C.P– Go and buy One Night Stand on Amazon. The links are below.