Monday, 25 October 2010

Spring Cleaning before the freeze sets in

So having found out that I didn’t shortlist in the LSWF shorts I decided to have a little spring clean of my writing head.

I’ve spent the last day or so pulling out all my old scripts, completed and partial scripts dating back to around 2003. My first baby steps in the world of scriptwriting are there from when I begrudgingly had to write a script as one of my modules on my MA in Creative Writing. Then about a year after I completed my MA and reviewed the start of the novel I had begun for the MA I had an epiphany. As I looked at the dialogue heavy pages I thought, maybe just maybe I was a scriptwriter. Damn it, I’d done the wrong course and should've done the scriptwriting MA.

So for the next few years I wrote scripts.

Looking at the scripts now, a couple of TV plays, several radio plays, a feature film , two theatre plays - I know one thing for definite, I have written a lot of CRAP over the years.

Even glancing at the scripts I can see too much dialogue, scripts with huge structural holes, two dimensional characters everywhere, exposition, exposition and more exposition, paragraphs of action that go on for pages, plots that don’t make any sense. Mistakes everywhere. It wasn't that I was a bad writer. I just didn't have a clue.

But to take something positive from it, because I am a glass half-full person after all, I have found the following
I’ve got better (couldn’t get any worse)
I’m a better script reader (I can tell that they’re crap)
I’ve had a lot of good ideas (just didn’t know what to do with them)

So okay to move on from this whole experience and get back to my plan. The plan. The plan that started this whole blogging thing in the first place. I still don’t have a set of scripts that I’d be happy to show someone as an example of my work.

I keep getting distracted by deadlines, writing half baked ideas up into scripts that have not been given enough attention. Chasing dreams of some miraculous moment when I get plucked from nothingness and recognised as a WRITER. I have to stop doing that. I know better. This is a dream that will only be achieved by hard slog. I am going to focus on the scripts and then once they're completed I will decide what to do with them.

1 comment:

  1. One thing that really really helped me when I was starting out was reading other people's scripts. I read telly scripts, film scripts, radio plays.

    I also read fellow writers' scripts and offered feedback. Somehow their mistakes jumped off the page at me while my own myriad failings were only apparent after they'd returned the favour for me.