MaxBarry.com
legionnaires' disease-free since 1990

Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.

Blog

Thu 04
Aug
2005

Syrup & the Rise of the Belly

Syrup So I’m almost finished writing the first draft of the Syrup screenplay. I did mention I was working on that, right? No? Oh. That’s weird. I thought I did. Maybe you just forgot I told you. Yeah, I bet that’s it.

Actually what happened is I was waiting until there was a signed deal before I announced it—since until there’s a bit of paper, there’s always the chance that an agreement will fall apart. But that took so long to get finalized that I just started writing. Now I have 90% of a first draft, and the bit of paper is on its way from Fortress to me.

Working on the script has been an amazing experience. I wrote Syrup (the novel) in 1997, and eight years later I get to go back and fix the parts I wish I’d done differently. I still feel very close to the two main characters, Scat and 6, and I love being able to play with them again. Then there’s the challenge of deciding which parts of the story should make it to the screen and which should be left on paper. I’ve never had to confront that before, and it’s been fascinating.

I also have a hard deadline, in the shape of Jen’s ballooning belly. Once those contractions hit I don’t expect to touch a keyboard for a couple of weeks, so my draft had better be finished by then. I’ve been working pretty intensely for a while now, which is probably why these blogs have been a little less frequent than usual. (You noticed, right? Come on.)

I wish I could post some of my script here, because, well, I’m damn excited about it. But I’m not allowed to. So I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it: it’s going really well, and I’m loving it.

Comments

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Coolet (#37)

Location: Goshen, Indiana
Quote: "Man who goes to bed with itchy bum, wakes up with smelly finger."
Posted: 3330 days ago

*shakes fist*
SCURVIES!

Deb Cupples (#489)

Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Quote: "Deb finds cool stuff"
Posted: 3330 days ago

I feel so good that you are such a big deal. No sarcasm...just adoration from a woman who has decided that this is the year that she will write her novel that has been living in her head for over ten years.

Tim Ashwood (#595)

Location: Sydney
Posted: 3330 days ago

A couple of weeks? You think weeks?
Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha <insane laughter, wipes tears from eyes>.

No, but seriously, weeks?
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Narain (#824)

Location: Los Angeles, right between civilization and a desert
Quote: "NI!"
Posted: 3330 days ago

You'll make a post the second you get home from the hospital, right? Because we're practically family, and we're sorry we all can't be there, but we still want to see all the pictures, so don't forget about us!

Peter N.Bernath (#1041)

Location: Stockholm - Sweden
Quote: "Errr... Is that a tree growing out of your head? - Fallout 2"
Posted: 3330 days ago

Wohooo!! Finally the better of the two really great books makes it to the screen, or atleast, a giant leap towards it. I bet we're all looking forward to both your film and the stories your baby will inspire you to write. ;)



// Desperately waiting for Company... //

Andrew (#1279)

Location: Texas
Posted: 3330 days ago

Syrup is a Great book and i can't wait for the movie!

ARghh when do you think it might come out?

Gregor (#1182)

Location: Toronto
Quote: "The righteous man is beset on all sides by the tyrannies of evil men."
Posted: 3330 days ago

Yeh Max. Tim A is right.
A couple of weeks.
We all have to laugh at your perfectly normal naivety.
You'll be inspired mostly to create stories about sleep deprivation, olympic record diaper changes, and how protective you will begin to feel. I say inspired, you wont actually have the energy to write though until normalcy resumes. Get it all done now.

OverlordBill (#1197)

Location: ~2B, -4B
Posted: 3329 days ago

When you have to change the diaper for the first time, don't be pitiful. My father tells the story of his first encounter with changing my diaper. Apparently he thought you had to seperate the poo from the old diaper before you threw it out. And then he couldn't figure out how to put a new one back on, so he used masking tape.

At least that's the story. Thankfully I was too young to remember it for myself.

Oh. And there's the story of how I had explosive diarrhea one day while my mother was changing me. She says it was all over her hands, on her clothes, in her hair, on the wall, on the floor, on the dog, you get the picture. Watch out for that.

You know, I wonder if I should see a psychologist about all of that...

JacksSmirkingRevenge (#1324)

Location: That place where Billy Elliot was comitted, England
Quote: "What can the harvest hope for if not for the care of the reaper man?"
Posted: 3329 days ago

I can't think of anything witty or even interesting to say in response to that OverlordBill...

shabooty (#637)

Location: D.C./V.A/M.D.
Quote: "I will shake your foundation. I will shake the f**cking rafters. Nobody'll be the same -Danny Bonaduce ....& go visit my blog @: http://www.shabooty.com"
Posted: 3329 days ago

let me guess
you are going to star in and direct it too? :)
and let me guess you are going to be jen's midwife, eh?
you multifaceted mo fo (:
(I mean that in a good way)

Hobbie (#1359)

Location: Cornwall, England
Quote: "There was a little man in his hair!"
Posted: 3329 days ago

Multifaceted like a mo fo. That's just too talented by far, oh how can we ever compete?

Still, it would be pretty cool if you get to cameo in any movie Max. Maybe just pop up at random like Peter Jackson is fond of doing, then spend the entire DVD commentary yakking on and on about the 2 and a quarter seconds of screen time you have.

Jonah (#1462)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "That little story your writing... with the developing plot... and the antagonist..."
Posted: 3329 days ago

You could have we, your loving fans, star in your movie. Modern actors these days are overrated anyway.

Machine Man subscriber Neil Miller (#510)

Location: Davis, CA
Posted: 3328 days ago

Post movie, can we expect the screenplay to be published? Or posted?

We don't do sheep (#1497)

Location: 919 miles away fom the Aussies "New Zealand"
Quote: "I'm the Jesus Of Suburbia"
Posted: 3328 days ago

Wicked // I'm waiting for 6, sad thing she has Scat....

Yenzo (#829)

Location: Secret underwater pyramid base in the Pacific
Quote: "In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe (Carl Sagan)"
Posted: 3327 days ago

The first few pages of your script looked just fantastic. I'm already looking forward to the movie and especially to the changes you've made. Those things give you more insight into the writer's mind than any documentary you could possibly put together.

Looking forward to the first pic of your kid, Max... have fun. And throw away all the books about babies.

mark henderson (#1502)

Location: uk
Quote: "pah"
Posted: 3326 days ago

does anyone care that the cover of COMPANY is copied from an already-published book? doesn't this matter? I mean, it's not just a donut - it's the same damn donut.
see:
http://www.hungryyears.com/

Hobbie (#1359)

Location: Cornwall, England
Quote: "There was a little man in his hair!"
Posted: 3325 days ago

Maybe you can't read or something, or maybe you're just a moron Mr. Henderson. But that is not the same doughnut, as Max has gone into some depth into explaining in older blogs.

poeticallybored (#158)

Location: Gainesville, FL
Quote: "My lack of self-maintnence is the closest thing I have to self-deprecation."
Posted: 3322 days ago

I read Jennifer Government awhile ago, but just last week got around to picking up a copy of Syrup.

I had trouble falling asleep last night, so at 4:00 AM I started to read it. No matter how interesting a book, eyes shirting over text at the wee hours of the morning puts me to sleep.

But... I didn't fall asleep. It's a little after 9:30 AM and I just finished the book. It was really great, and now I can't wait for the movie.

Posting this message is the second thing I did after finishing the book a little bit ago. The first time I did after finishing it was write to a friend doing a marketing internship, warning her not to become a twisted fuck.

Budda (#1535)

Location: The Sky
Quote: ""i once had the key to life, but i lost it with my innocence.""
Posted: 3312 days ago

hmm, interesting site. nice books. screenplay huh, have fun with that. although i find it alot easier to write books than screenplay for some reason. (yet ive been told that almost any book can become screen play.) your a good writer and i commend you for it. keep up the good work.

Jennifer (#1643)

Posted: 3246 days ago

HA! I knew Jennifer Government would be a movie after I read it, waaaaaaaaaaay before I knew about this site. So, it doesn't surprise me that another one of your books would be a screenplay. I hope that the movie, in all it's many facets, does the original justice. Good luck!

Machine Man subscriber David (#1456)

Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote: "Why are the pretty ones always insane?"
Posted: 3230 days ago

Well I finally got around to reading "Syrup" after buying it a couple of months ago (thank God for second-hand bookshops; ah, I guess you'd rather not hear about that...) and it was just great. I sure hope the movie gets made (preferably before Winona, Gwyneth and Tom retire) and it's your script that's used.

So now I'm up to date with the Barry backlist and looking forward to Company -- as soon as it hits the second-hand bookshops (nah, just kidding).

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