writing 'my dad, the doctor'

Now I'm going to bang on a little about writing it, no doubt using more words than the actual story. Mainly because I love reading that kind of thing from writers myself and thought it might be fun.

The first thing to say about the story is that I didn't want to burn through an idea that could be used in the show. Having an actor pretend to be 'possessed' by Capaldi would be a real risk in live action, but in your head, the impression is pitch perfect, making the conceit work well in prose. Also, much of it goes on the child's head, all thoughts that would have to be vocal in life action, making it potentially clunky.

I'm going to post the pitch I submitted to get the gig. The thing to note about this is that I had misread the brief. I thought it was to be a 2000 word short story, not 1000 words. Because I am writer not a reader and, let's be frank, on this evidence, a little bit dim.

Here's the pitch.

Obviously quite a bit different to what we ended up with. Ideas I came up with while writing - the whole time loop involving the absent mother, the fact that the gender of the child is not revealed, sonic sunglasses instead of screwdriver and obviously a lot more emotional focus on the missing mother and the relationship between father and child.

This idea was approved and I started writing, still under the misapprehension that I had a whole extra 1000 words to play with. Even with that it still seemed a squeeze. I wrote the whole thing and was struggling for room, then I re-read the brief, realised I'd have to cut the whole thing in half, head butted the desk and started cutting it down.

This oddly made life easier and brought what the story was really about into focus. There was a lot that would just have to go. There was no room for the monster or Clara for example. Or the car. Or the cottage - well you get the idea.

In honour of what might of been, I will end with the beginning as it originally read. Enjoy:

Original beginning.