Screenscribbler

Friday, 26 August 2011

Impressionist scriptwriting

I've learned a lot over the past couple of years through some lovely people I've met at writing groups, conferences workshops and of course on-line. And I know I know...too much exposition, maybe my characters carry a little too much cliché...I know...I've been all through that with my painting.



I used to paint for years, mainly for my own pleasure and relaxation, but I have exhibited and had commissions.
When my artwork really started to fall into place for me was when I began to study the work of the French Impressionists. Limited palette of colour and limited brush strokes (not so sure about Georges Seurat if you're counting his dots as brush strokes) was the way forward for me.

Knowing when to stop and less is more was a couple of axioms I lived by when it came to my painting...more or less.

Painting for me was a journey, something that gets built on, layer upon layer...light to dark if it's water colour or pastel and dark to light if it's acrylic or oil. The big reveal came with the finished painting and part of the skill of a painter is to decide when it is finished and avoid overworking it.

Writing for me was a natural progression from painting, building layers upon layers as the narrative and my characters develop. Scriptwriting was an absolute joy for me. When I started a painting I couldn't wait to get straight to the colour, and I was no less impatient with writing wanting to get so absorbed in dialogue...I love dialogue. Words, words, words...not exactly applying what I have learned from the impressionists.

Words are the brush strokes of the writer and writing is not so much about words as the imagery the words evoke.

I have been lucky enough to visit the back rooms at the National Gallery. There they have x-rayed many of the old masters. Even great artists like Leonardo and Raphael's final composition may not necessarily have started that way. X-rays have released the secrets that have lay hidden for centuries, the artist's struggle with composition to achieve the effect which would ensure immortality for their creative work.

Just as in the same way, writer's edit until they are certain their work is the best they can possibly achieve.

Hmm, I wander what the first draft of Great Expectations was like?