Thursday, 22 April 2010

Thoughts on text-based character-driven theatre

I like words and I like stories. I like how words and stories play out across different mediums; theatre, film, radio, internet and television. I like how physicality frames words. I like how images create words. I like how a thousand words can be created by an image. I like how one word can say a thousand things. I like characters, I like to follow their words, their moments, their stories. I like how a single image or a single words can tell you a lifetime of stories about one character. I like words and I like stories.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

It's a marathon not a sprint!

I’ve just realised, as I sit down to write a negative blog, that my blogs so far have been about positive moments. I read a lot of books and blogs about writing. Yesterday I read two new blogs that referred to things writers do wrong. As I read the references I found myself saying, “I do that”.

Write here, Write now is Lucy v Hay’s networking and tips blog for her Bang2write Script Reading service. The blog, The Final Hundred Metres, is the blog that deflated my, previously quite effervescent, writing ego. The thing is, I hate making predictable writing mistakes. There is so much information out there about writing, so many blogs, books, articles, courses. I have no excuse for being amateurish particularly when it comes to common mistakes.

But The Final Hundred Metres has got me so sussed its scary. I absolutely, “default, just before the finish line”. I absolutely send out scripts that are “not the best they can be”. I also have a real tendency to get a script back from rejection and put it into the terminal drawer because I can’t face trying to throw myself into trying to resolve the problems. I always begin another script instead. Arguably each script gets better but that’s not the point.

Then I found myself reading Kim Revell from BBC Writers Academy blogging on BBC Writersroom about the incredible experience she’s had during the last year.

A few things she said had a little too much meaning for me,
“I thought I was a writer before I went on the Academy. I wasn't. Not really. I was playing at it. Winging it with a knack for dialogue.”

“Thinking structurally has really transformed my approach to stories. I used to always get stuck... stories that began as promising ideas all too often fizzled out, ran out of steam, lurched to a grinding halt.”

Again I have lots of stories that began with promise but ground to a halt before being consigned to one of my many crates marked “Ideas”. So pulling these two things together it means I’ve always been rubbish at beginning and finishing a project properly. Effectively I’m grinding to a halt just before the finish line.
What do I need to do about it? I need to work more, I need to think more, I need to write more and I definitely need to polish more! I need to stop getting it wrong and start getting it right.

However in an attempt to pick myself up and move on from this I want to believe that this is all to do with the old me, the pre-New Year, pre-room of my own, pre-blog me. I am a new writer who is developing new ways of working. I think I've already made the changes needed to make it to the finish line. Hopefully it's a marathon not a sprint.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

I love it when a plan comes together

A strange thing happened a couple of days ago. I was working on the other blog and needed to write a quick profile of myself. I decided the best thing to do was a quick summary of the 3 projects I'm currently developing, so sat down at the computer to attempt to summarise each project in a few words. In just a few moments of writing the synopsis for each was finished. The strange thing was, in trying to sum up the mountains and oceans of thoughts and ideas I have about these projects into a few sentences I'd managed to find the core of the play. Each of the plays had suddenly clarified for me.

The synopsis of each of these plays can be found here