Unworthy: Notes on the Final Release

And so it’s come to this.

UNWORTHY: A high school student struggles with his newly discovered feelings for his best friend.

Releasing a piece of art is about as scary as anything a person can do. You spend months in isolation crafting something vital to yourself, something that reflects your deep thoughts and feelings. You wind up expressing yourself in ways that even you don’t understand. And in a matter of moments it’s cast into the harshest light possible to be dissected  by the world. When it’s all said and done, all those hours of work may not have been worth it.

Except that can’t be true. Not when the work is crafted for the right reasons. Unworthy, as I’ve decided it should be known, exists because I wanted it to. I wanted to tell this story. I wanted to craft this world. I wanted to dwell in this mindset for five months roughly. And I had fun doing it.

This is a project that I spent 15 years on and off trying to crack. And in three drafts, which I am including as well, I came to a version I’m satisfied with. The key word there is satisfied. It’s wildly imperfect. I think there are issues I still can’t quite get right no matter how hard I try. I won’t say what they are though, as not to prejudice the reader. There are issues in the earlier drafts that are fixed though.

I do want to make a few notes. One question I keep getting asked is who the real life Felicity is. I mean, to carry this idea this long there HAS to be a real one. There isn’t though. I think the genesis of the project was my confused feelings about love and friendship in general. Friendship was something I had such social anxiety about growing up. This project stemmed from that. Felicity does draw a bit from a real person though. I modeled her intelligent, constantly challenging nature on Amanda in these drafts.

I also took cues from online friends. There’s a diverse mix of characters which I’m glad I decided to throw in. I included multiple races and added a gay character because it’s more honest. Much of these choices were just what fit as I wrote. It literally changed nothing about the project. If my heroes were different races, I wouldn’t blink. Was this a perfect attempt? No. But I’d rather try.

I also figured I’d make what amounts to a soundtrack. These songs fit the tone of the work. I’ll try to tread lightly on why they were chosen.

  1. 311-Flowing. A song about the nightmare of insomnia.
  2. Jane Child-Don’t Wanna Fall in Love. OK this one might be too on the nose. Not caring. It rocks.
  3. Sister 7-Know What You Mean. This is the utter pit of fear in my protagonist’s head. This is what he thinks. Confession: without this song, this script might not exist.
  4. DC Talk-Consume Me. I know, it’s not a “love” song. I’ve discussed it before. It still was one of the songs that I listened to for tone.
  5. Tove Lo-Out of Mind. Consider this the backing for the dream sequences. There’s a ton of conflict in the song which fits those.
  6. Moby-Rushing. I wanted a Moby track. This one is lesser known but fits the tone of awe in some scenes.
  7. Creed-Are You Ready. A song so counter to the actual tone I wrote about change that it’d provide ironic contrast. Because no, nobody in the script is ready.
  8. Ben Folds Five-Do It Anyway. Another song to underline the change theme but much more on point with tone.
  9. Collective Soul-Compliment. Frustration. Just frustration.
  10. Smash Mouth-Waste. There’s a clear section to play this.
  11. Andreas Johnson-Glorious. Play this at the end. Yes the title gives away the final tone. I’m ok with that.

All but #5 and #8 are songs I was listening to at the time of the first version. They still fit though. They’re not supposed to be what the characters are listening to mind you. (I would be ok adding in some Taylor Swift!) They’re what I listened to.

So, here I am. Here it is. No more. No less. Eager for feedback.

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