Wednesday, 18 July 2012

It's been a (cough) while since I first decided to join in with this blogging stuff...but then I gave you -

- Nothing -

- Then nothing -

- Then more of nothing...

So what have I been doing? - Taking the mantra just write scripts just a tad too literally? 

Well yes and no.

Quick update.

I have been writing scripts, but I've also been reading scripts, reading other people's blogs and books about scriptwriting and scripts, and engaging with other writers and generally realising that the more I examine the world of sreenwriting the more I see I have to learn, as is ever the way of things.

I've also been entering competitions. After being short-listed for the BBC Writer's room Rapid Response Bread and Roses  and finding that none of the final six had matched the vision of the judges I dusted myself down and entered a few more, the most recent being the Welsh Drama Award.

A month ago I thought I had it all sorted in the form of my script, Waste Not. My first script, Waste Not/Waste  (still not made my mind up)  has undergone many many transformations. 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 110 minutes, 90 minutes... Characters added, characters taken away, plotlines added, plotlines taken away etc.

It has also been read by three different professional readers and has grown and improved with the work done after each reading. So now surely all it needed was a quick re-read and a bit of a polish? Yeah?  Yeah?

So I showed it to my screenwriting group. 

They were complementary - 'tremendous potential'?  BUT the general feeling was that it needed more work. Perhaps the clue was in the word 'potential'.  Whilst I wasn't cockahoop to hear that I needed to work on it some more, when they started pointing out some of the issues with it I had to agree it wasn't quite there yet.

So what did I do?

First, I'm sorry to say,  I indulged in a bit of 'oh I'll never be any good at this - perhaps I should give up now' sorry for myself bollocks...

But after I'd done that I told myself not to be so defeatest and gave myself a pat on the back for leaving the script in the bottom of the virtual drawer for a few months. Creating that time space enabled me not to feel overly precious about making changes. If it needed changing then I was up for it. Then I took a deep breath and set about re-reading the notes, all the while thinking hard about how I could address the concerns raised and if should I address their concerns?

Two weeks later I had something - something I felt I could show someone but,with one week left, who? Here a fellow screenwriter I'd met at the LSF proved invaluable. Having read a script of hers I knew she was good (very good). She also owed me a small favour...

So more brilliant notes (briliant like all the notes I've been given) and amongst other things a reminder of a piece of advice I've been given numerous times and still find hard to follow  -  find the story you want to tell and ditch everything else.

Another intense re-write later and Waste Not is sitting in a BBC office waiting to be read by the writer's room team. I don't know if it's good enough to get anywhere with this competition but I do know it wouldn't be half the script it is but for the people who have helped me along this journey.

So a big teary Bafta/Oscar etc thank you to all who've helped Waste Not on it's journey -

Fiona Owen
Katy Board
Lucy V. Hay
Jez Friedmann
Michelle Goode
Sarah Lambert
The Aberyswyth Screenwriting Group, esp. Debbie Moon, Sandra Bendebow and Julie Grady, and
Vanessa Yardley.