Friday, 3 December 2010

Henley's Ricotta

At last it's posted, the first 15 pages of Henley's Ricotta. The dialogue is almost sitting comfortably but it needs at least another draft.

At last I have some followers and comments. Hello and welcome to Nari, Judith, Deborah and Daspikster.
I will reply to your comments in due course and follow your blogs too which I will ensure is well publicised within these pages.

I've been reading a lot lately which has left me less time for writing. But it's not all bad, because I reckon I needed to recharge my batteries and what better way for a writer to do that than to stick with the written word and read books.

My current reading is something that I am reading for the third time in my life... Oliver Twist. Not my most favourtie Dickens story... but oh boy, even today his prose simply takes your breath away and takes you back to a bygone era in a way no modern writer could emulate. Social history as written by one who has experienced those times.

Finalising Henley's Ricotta is my next task... and maybe I'll try my hand at sending Fairfax to the Writersroom before Christmas. I also have some new stuff started.

I have been to the last meeting of the Screenwriters group I belong to until next year, which leaves me plenty of time to get something ready for them to critique.
I am lucky to be in such good company in my writers group, many of them involved or employed in the film and television industry.

I just hope there is still room for people like myself  with raw talent.

If you have read this please comment and you are welcome to follow. Always nice to associate with other writers.

Until next time, keep scribbling.

Monday, 8 November 2010

More rewriting.

I don't know how I'll ever have time for writing, because I'm far too busy rewriting.
Fairfax Goes To Ephesus was aired at my screenwriters group last week. The feedback I was given was that it was too well written, which is probably a polite term for long winded. Some of the historical facts were hard to follow, and I needed to put in more sound directions, as this has been written as a radio play.
All good advice, and I am really lucky to be in such a good group who give constructive, but never harsh criticism.
Learning to accept criticism I consider to be part of the skill of being a writer, and possibly one of the most difficult skills to acquire. Let's face it, generally when people write their ego comes to the fore in a way it never would in their ordinary life. No holds barred.
So what happens when your precious peace of work that you have previously edited until you think cannot possibly be edited anymore has reached as near perfection as it will ever reach, is given constructive criticism which no matter how kindly is delivered always comes down to the same meaning... COULD DO BETTER? Ego can come out in defense, before it's had time to consider what has been said. The inner turmoil this can induce can be like hell unleashed if you are a naturally creative but sensitive soul.
The best way to deal with critism, is  and learn to value it and to make full use of it is to just accept it and make sure you write down the comments in your notebook, taking care to date and name who has said what. Only then when you later have time to reflect, (I recommend no sooner than a week later), can you make sense of what has been said, and choose whether to agree with the criticism or not.
I'm going to see if one of my writer friends will give this latest (but maybe not the final) draft a once over before I send it to the BEEB.
Meanwhile I'll get to work on something else...oh and I've still got to rewrite Henley's Ricotta because I've promised a sample to this site.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Edit, edit, edit -it-or I will beeeee.

There's only one thing holding me back from my writing... it's my editing.
Stephen King, in his autobiographical writing guide On Writing, said "to write is human, to edit is divine". Okay, a play on Pope's "to err is human, to forgive is divine", but true nonetheless. It has become a mantra that haunts me, inasmuchas it will never allow me to let go of a piece of work and say those all important words THE END.
At my writers group recently, Ushabti was critiqued. Stage or radio... but not telly, I was told. Too much dialogue. One member of the group said that people don't talk like that...OUCH! Although I didn't flinch, and smiled back at him, inwardly I sulked for a couple of weeks. He was right. I looked at it again, using my ears, not my eyes. That's the problem for me. Read a script, you use your eyes and absorb the writing. People do indeed write like that, but they do not talk like that.
So what was wrong? Long sentences, too many long sentences. Unless you're a newsreader, preacher, politician or double glazing salesman, you do not speak in long sentences.
Good lesson learned. I listen to my characters. Their voices are in my head. I've told them they'd better shape up or else.
I have written yet another version of Ushabti... a radio play, and removed the TV version off this blog. That's all I've got to say for now... or is it? Maybe I'll come back and edit this post.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Message from Bulgaria

Enjoying a life of leisure, albeit 10 days on a package. It's a taste of how things ought to be if I became a full time writer. I've been spending my writing time editing rather than writing. However, as always, I have found that travelling never fails to inspire me with new ideas and this time has been no exception, watch this space. I have also made some very nice friends in our hotel, a retired couple from Harlow and a professor from Rumania.
Ushabti is undergoing another rewrite. Maybe not enough action for the big or small screen, but perhaps it has potential for a radio or theatre play. The second offering for this blog has a working title, "Fairfax goes to Ephesus" about a mother and her unemployed middle aged son on holiday in Turkey. Her son Fairfax, has done his homework preparing for their 'holiday of a lifetime' reading from cover to cover everything he can find out about the history of Turkey during early Greek and Roman times. He absorbs information in the manner of a prodigious savant, instead of the structured co-ordinated research of a true scholar.
His battleaxe mother Myrtle, a scathing no nonsense Yorkshire lass has not got a kind word to say for her son. But blood is thicker than water so they say.
I have written this play as a radio play. As an undiscovered writer, a radio budget could manage the far flung location of Ephesus. It would be too much to ask to send this one to a TV or film producer.

Friday, 20 August 2010

This is my first day as a blogger, so I need time to settle in and get to know you all.
As a newbie, you may find I'm a little off beat, until I find my blogarithm.
I will be posting new pages from time to time representing the first 10 - 15 pages of some of my scripts.
Today I have added Ushabti a light drama sprinkled with moments of hilarity.
I hope (if there is anybody out there who gets to read it) that you will enjoy it and send me some feedback.