What Do You Aim To Achieve By Writing Your Play? June 10, 2012
This is just my response boiled down. I never aim to write a boring play (true not to everyone’s taste) but if it’s what I want to write and explore, then it’s what I want to write and explore.
Whiteboard Wisdom/Reminder June 3, 2012
Something so simple, but I’m prone to forgetting. Writing is written to be read. Someone’s taken the time to spill their head/heart/gut on the page. Give those words the credit they deserve, it’s not a race.
How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Deadlines May 29, 2012
My freelance job has increased over the last few months which I won’t complain about because a) I love it and b) this means more people are paying me. Niceness. But what this means is that I suddenly have to approach the time I dedicate to writing differently. And by differently I mean more structured. And by more structured I mean actually having a plan. Some weeks I have a whole day to attack the different projects I’m juggling, other weeks I have a sparse few hours each evening to select the most important script to work on.
This is what I do and so far I’ve beaten every deadline with loads of time to spare. Sizeable chunks my friend. Simple as that. I’m not breaking new ground here, I’d like to think that most people do this. But this is the method that I use to juggle and it’s the most effective approach so far. I used to dedicate whole weeks to different projects but that was when I was writing to my own time scale. Now I’ve got people asking for work I’ve had to change and refine it. My most cherished writing tool, the humble whiteboard, becomes littered with the week ahead broken down into the days with corresponding items on the agenda to do. And they’re achievable things. A day’s breakdown recently was as follows:
* Sketch down some ideas for that person
* Re-read draft 3 of that film script
* Research that particular myth
* Print out the map for that recce
* Think about a title for this play
But the important thing is I write down small chunks of stuff to do for each day that I know are possible for me to actually do. The point of this exercise is having the foresight to know you can achieve them. What will happen is that the chunks will be so small in comparison to tackling your project as a whole, that you’ll more than often end up doing the next chunk because you’re motivated and focused. And that next chunk you might’ve planned it for in a few days time or the following week, but it doesn’t matter, this is a good thing. If you’re ahead of yourself things can only get better and your morale will be lifted. If you’re falling behind it’s because your chunks are cut too big or you suck at actually writing something that interests the author: you.
We all need a deadline whether it be self-imposed or if someone else is banging a desk demanding it by five o’clock. I’ve never actually had someone banging a desk but I’ve had someone sending me an email asking for the latest draft… I’d say that’s the modern day equivalent. The best thing to do is embrace that deadline and treat it as your deity. Take it out for a spin, show it the sights, buy it a drink and take it to bed because it’s going to fuck you either way. It’s just up to you whether it’ll be good or bad and if you’ll come back for more.
[I look pretty vacant in the photo, I had just planned a whole narrative over five whiteboards...]
Whiteboard Writing Question (crass) April 15, 2012
This has remained on the whiteboard for quite some time. Provocative. And a reminder. There are more poetic ways of putting this statement, but that’s the point – if you’re not after poetic why dress it up in words that your character would never say?
Whiteboard Writing Question April 8, 2012
I love whiteboards, I love my whiteboards. I have four of the bigguns mounted on my wall and some spare ones that I can move around the house to boot. I have a tendency to write fragments of ideas and snippets of dialogue. But I also have a whiteboard for questions. And I tend to spew things out on there about my project that are either unanswerable or I already know the answer. I think it helps to answer inane questions just so you can prove to yourself that you know them. And sometimes I write down what seems to be a seemingly naive question and it leaves me a little stumped. This is one I wrote earlier this week. And it’s definitely got me thinking.
I’m sorry… Ask me how many… July 9, 2010
… Saturdays I have left to work. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of this soon.
This post was sponsored by backwards writing, Atlas by Battles, the thunder fly that decided to die behind my iMac screen, a cheap imitation of sugar free Red Bull and an extremely dry sore throat.
Chipper Dandy, Thanks For Asking… May 15, 2009
Forgot to mention about ‘editing’ now being referred to as ‘perfecting’. This new phrase has come courtesy of Helen Thornber whose blog can be found (looky, looky) here. Whilst in good ol’ Twitter formation today she casually threw this into conversation. It’s a term I very much prefer because it means that what you have is already of worth and you are tweaking to craft it better. And in writing that sentence and generally watching these videos back of myself, I realise the word ‘craft’ is said, written and thought of a lot. I should start to keep track of my own vocabulary. So just so you can all spread this new terminology, it’s not an editor you’re after, it’s a perfector. Perfect.
p.s. Yes, my phone does bleep at the beginning, what can I say… I move with the times.