It’s been a long time since I blagged but (bizarrely) I’ve had lots of contacts from new writers, maybe recognising a kindred spirit. I keep writing the same mails back to them so maybe I’ll post it here as well:
“It's a long road, writing, and I wish y’all the very best of luck.
I plod away at it pretty much every day and the best advice is to just keep doing it ...
... and get feedback.
I'm a member of a writer's group that tries to meet 2 to 3 times a year who I met through doing courses at Raindance , which are great and affordable. Training is good and I’d also recommend the fabulous 2-Phils course, whatever your level. Plus they're really nice guys and I still chat with the people I met on the course 3+ years ago (there's also a closed fb page for attendees).
And then there’s the London Screenwriter's Festival. It's pricey but you take LOADS away from it, plus meet loads of other writers and you START the slow process of meeting 'people in the industry'.
I also work with a writing buddy - we don't (yet) co-write, but try to meet up regularly to read/review/critique each other's work. It's amazing what having another writer around can do - when you're stuck or even having them ask why a scene is there... with edits, I sometimes cut so much that I leave orphan scenes, or get so bogged down that I forget my point! An objective eye really brings out these things much quicker than doing it alone.
I've also started investing in an editor as I plan and write, for the last coupla years. Hayley offers a mentoring service through Script Angel - she's really positive in her critique, manages to tell me bits are shit without demoralising me. I've used other editors at the end of a script (I recommend this before you send out/submit to competitions) and they've destroyed me! I've felt utter crap after reading their feedback.
That’s it really: write, write, write… cut, cut, cut and get feedback all the way. When you feel like a fraud who’s complete rubbish, write some more. I’m told everyone feels like this…"
Sermon over. Hell, what do I know anyway!
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