Motive for writing is one of those things that comes simple for some people. There are writers who embark on a pilgrimage with the pen to expose truth, expound upon beauty, or balk at the evil of others. I cannot say that those are, or are not, any of the mitigating factors for why I feel compelled to get up at 2:30 a.m., some nights, to stare at a blank screen. Like most people, my reasoning for screenwriting is tied in many different arenas. I write to entertain, I write to inspire, and, in some cases, I write to be remembered. In any event, the centering ethos for my writing career revolves around crafting a character in a construct that best allows the full potentiality of human expression and interpretation to be explored in relation to prevailing themes.
The genres I find myself most often utilizing are Action and Adventure, Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Romance, although I don’t like to fully limit myself to those veins. That being said, there are reasons why I keep coming back to those areas. Action and Adventure reinforces life. There always is a sense of spectacle in a story that thrills the readers or viewers, taking them on a journey which explores not only the character’s desires and apprehensions, but their own. Science Fiction and Fantasy is a premiere device to tell intimate human stories while separating self and stigma from any repressive mores. Providing a story with a realm of possibility that explains characters in relation to society, often in ways stories routed in realism never can, is a service to humanity. Lastly, Romance is probably the strongest genre or, at least, theme – as it often finds its way into whatever I write – I identify with. A good Romance story is a misguided, overly idealistic, outwardly reductive, passionately defiant, and limited encapsulation of the existence between humans that has to keep being written. If there is no love in this world, or prospect for it, I do not wish to live in it.
My strength as a writer is featured in my dialogue. In any genre, I’d hope to craft a story in which the reader or viewer is mesmerized by the conversation or thoughts the characters omit. That’s part of the heart of capturing a compelling narrative. In Action and Adventure implementing tension is a technique I, as anyone should, tend to utilize. Tension heightens drama and manipulates narrative pace, creating a roller coaster of feeling within the text. Science Fiction and Fantasy stories by Nick Christian can range from realist modern accounts with a pseudo-science flourish, or they can be set in a world fully created and dictated by the systems I put in place. The Romance tales I tend to focus on are usually character based, with interest in the origins of each character and their individual operation within the relationship paradigm. Accentuating flaws or character quirks in a hyper-realist allows opportunity to highlight relationships in context to society or societal issues.
There are a lot of writers that have influenced me greatly. Woody Allen is someone I often study. While from a filmmaking standpoint there are many interesting things that a movie like Annie Hall may do, much of Allen’s true weight is in the words and thoughts his characters set forth. The opening scene serves as a reminder to spend a little extra time delving into a particular neurosis because it always provides insights to character. And those digressions are seen throughout Allen’s work. Kevin Smith is another writer/director that I really admire. Chasing Amy is on my list of favorites namely for the monologues multiple characters give throughout the film. The great thing about those instances of dialogue is the interchange. While each character may be expressing their own will, a third entity is created from the expression of their content – an unspoken connection of characters that can die just as quickly as it is created. In Smith, this also happens in films like Dogma and the Clerks films. Lastly, J.J. Abrams is someone whose work I’ve always gone back to and who I respect as a writer (and director/producer). As someone who wants to not stick within a specific genre, Abrams is a good person to emulate; in Armageddon Abrams meshes a Science Fiction and an Action and Adventure approach, in Alias Abrams crafts a unique group of characters and uses a narrative that features Action and Adventure, Romance, and Science Fiction plotlines, and in other works like Fringe, Lost, Mission Impossible III, and Felicity. In the work I hope to do, I will set out to create the worlds Abrams does, the characters Allen makes, and that feeling Smith evokes.
There is a bit in Baz Luhrman’s Moulin Rouge where a group of bohemians ask the protagonist, Christian, what he believes in. They ask, in no particular order, if he believes in freedom, beauty, truth, and love. Christian replies, to paraphrase, “Above all things I believe in love. Love is like oxygen, love lift us up where we belong, all you need is love.” If there is any value or world view I have, it revolves around that concept. Directly in my line of sight, next to my writing space, is a little wooden sign that reads, “Love with save the day.” In no matter what I write: if it is intense with action, explores new planets, or is just a bunch of people talking, the driving thought of my work will always be Love will save the day.
I don’t know if I have a pragmatic endgame or roadmap in relation to my writing endeavors. While I am a detail-oriented person, any time in life I have actively said A is going to happen before B, or C is going to happened before E, I usually end up feeling F’D. The pleasure I’ve always sought is engaging with a story and passionately advocating for people to listen to it – whether it is words I’ve written or something I’ve produced. If I am telling stories in innovative and engaging ways, then I think I will be giving a positive service to the world.
If people watch a Nick Christian film, or read a Nick Christian story, as I am not totally discounting the method of telling story, I hope they feel. They can be inspired, energized, sad, happy, and horny, it doesn’t matter so long as I can convey a response that elicits some type of feeling. At our core, that’s all we have in this world.