YES! In my LSF newsletter, there's a link to their Breakfast Club and the theme this week is: "Stop reading structure books and start writing "
Thanks for the unexpected backup, John Yorke: He will be talking about “The Curse of the Screenwriting Gurus” and how decades of “how to” books have destroyed the serious study of structure."
Perhaps not exactly the problem I'm having, the deluge of information, but I think John and I are on the same page (nope, never met the man - but I can tell).
I'm going to make a huge effort to stay away from these 'how to' websites and just crack on with my writing again. I've read hundreds now, some have been interesting, some have been really helpful and some have been downright confusing, but we'll see if any of it has sunk in!
Meeting Hayley McKenzie next week to discuss my mega-prize of mentoring, and I absolutely can't wait.
Today though, I have a day with my writing buddy.
Ps - the motorbike has NOTHING to do with this post, clearly! It's nice to have a picture though, to break the monotony - and as I love both bikes and writing, I took a liberty and added my next motorbike, funds allowing.
I’ve been reading a lot recently. I’m attending the London Screenwriter’s Festival, and the website is choc-a-block full of resource. After the 2Phil’s writing weekend, we all joined a Facebook page and exchanged emails, and I’ve received a plethora of writing ‘stuff’: Articles, blogs, forums, videos… a wealth of information on ‘how to’. How to plot, create characters, organise structure, decide genre… create a beat-sheet – a flood of information that I’m struggling to process!
Not only is there so much advice out there, there are so many rules to follow. I am at saturation point, which is blocking my writing. I’m trying so hard to force a scene into a setup for a reveal on page 65, or does my inciting incident fall at the correct stage in the script? Are my Acts fitting a pattern?
I rang poor Philip Shelley yesterday, in despair about all the rules I’m trying to incorporate – and that I struggle with detailing my beat-sheet prior to starting a script. He advised that I will (and I can confirm this!) ‘go off the rails’ of my story if I don’t have this planned out before starting, but I didn’t want to hear that! I do really wonder if perhaps, as part of the learning curve, one needs to lose the flow of story-telling, whilst learning the various rules – my theory is that one comes out the other side when this is ingrained and can then address the story again, without being preoccupied with the rules… you’ve got to know the rules before you break them, right?
Philip was, as always, very informative, we agreed a common ground that TV and Feature writing is very different.
To be honest though, at the moment I feel like Cinderella’s ugly step-sister, trying to squash my big, cumbersome writing-feet into elegant, beautifully proportioned glass slippers, which are giving me blisters, corns and huge pain.
I am ecstatic about winning the Script Angel mentoring competition, although I really hope Hayley McKenzie hasn’t bitten off more than she can chew in selecting me! I am hoping she will help me answer some of these questions, so what a fantastic opportunity. I shall take her advice and hope she will assist me in becoming a professional writer, who can write on demand. How lucky am I? ACE!!
Ooh, I say
Utterly fabulous news - I won the LSF script competition, run by Hayley McKenzie of Script Angel:
"Hayley was hugely impressed by Rebecca’s writing. The opening ten pages of her script combined exciting action and edge with strong characterisations and poignancy."
And no, I didn't make that up
Bit nervous now…. New followers on Twitter, some of whom might come onto this website. I’m not used to my idle ramblings and general bollocks being read by anyone but me! Let’s hope Hayley doesn’t click in here, or she might well retract the offer
Actually, this is wonderful timing as I have been on a bit of a downer. The harsh reality of getting a job in writing is hitting home. Rejections – pah! I can take them, People who don’t like my style – pooh to you. BUT just say I do get 'skilled-up' (we use that phrase a lot in IT. Horrible), what happens next?!?!?
The UK tv market is teeny-tiny, and our film budgets vanished in the Olympics then Budget (or lack thereof) mayhem, so it's pretty darn impossible to get anywhere unless you can start a career as a runner or similar and work your way up – which is out of range to me at my vintage.
I have a mentor now, who can hopefully help me navigate some of this, whilst helping me craft my TV calling card script – which is another way into this tricky world of scriptwriting.
for samples of my work