From The Writers' Room Featuring Bookburners

Margaret Dunlap on writing Bookburners S2E12: “Coming Home”

BB_SII_Ep_12_ebook_600x960I can’t believe that season 2 of Bookburners is nearly over. I also can’t believe that I didn’t listen to my past self who told me I really should write up these notes as I went during season 2 instead of after the fact like I did in season 1.

Oh well. If we were perfect, there would be nothing left for us to strive for.

Looking back on two seasons and twenty-nine episodes, I can’t help but feel lucky that I get to be part of this amazing team of people who make Bookburners happen. From the writers; to our narrator, Xe Sands; to everyone at Serial Box and now Saga, the story you’re reading couldn’t happen without every one of them.

Process Notes:

Originally, the weird of the week for this episode was going to be a huge confrontation with Liam and Christina in a virtual world where…

…and that was as far as I got before my brain kicked in and said, “Dude, in episode four you had Liam on a virtual Silk Road, then he spent the entirety of episode nine in a virtual Irish village. Maybe you should let the poor guy do something in the real world for once.”

Which was an annoyingly valid point. But it left me stuck in a non-vitural L.A. coffee shop staring at my screen. Because I had no ideas for where the hell Liam would set up a final confrontation with his ex-lover and current adversary, Christina.

Eventually, my table mate, TV’s Javier Grillo-Marxuach, looked up from his own work and noticed that I hadn’t moved in ten minutes.

JG-M: What’s up?

Me: I need a place to have a climactic confrontation.

JG-M: How about an abandoned amusement park?

Me: I need it to be somewhere in Belfast.

JG-M: So?

Me: I don’t know if there’s an abandoned amusement park in Belfast.

JG-M: So?

Me: Fine. I will make up an abandoned amusement park in Belfast.

JG-M: Happy to help.

And so, Lucky Fun Land was born. Given the name, I envision it as a horribly cheesy kind of place that no self-respecting Irish person would ever set foot in, which was exactly Liam’s brothers’ intention when they set it up. After all, you wouldn’t want throngs of customers showing up at your thinly-veiled front, now would you?

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