Welcome Distractions

That’s not my actual desk up there, but you get the idea.

I’ve taken a little break from writing my book recently. I know, I know… I have a deadline. I haven’t forgotten about it (February 4th, completely self-imposed) but I have still been writing, so that makes delays acceptable, right? Anyway, I am going to finish the book so let’s not worry about it.

What am I writing that can warrant a break from ‘The Manuscript’? Short film scripts. Several of them over the last couple of months, as a matter of fact. This is a real departure from my usual method of sitting and staring at a blank page in a notebook for hours with no ideas forthcoming. I’m not usually an ideas man. I usually write in collaboration and an idea is formed collectively. In the past when I have written on my own, I’ve normally wound up with things half done and incomplete, or things that just weren’t very good (I mentioned the aptly titled ‘Untitled Mediocre Project in my last blog). That’s changed recently and I have no idea why. It must be practice and perseverance. Now I seem able to have an idea of my own, flesh it out sufficiently, make it half decent and then write it in a way that does the original idea justice. I seem to have developed an annoying habit of starting with a title and then I make an idea fit with it. I know that this doesn’t sound like the most practical way to write, but it’s working so far.

Of course, I’m not going to assert here that everything I’ve written recently is earth-shatteringly brilliant nor will I say that any of the scripts are going to shake up what we expect from short-form scriptwriting. What I will say is that I like them and I think they’re good enough to at least be seen by others, if not to actually be produced by someone.

It’s for that reason that I’ve set up a profile on IdeasTap to showcase some of these scripts. IdeasTap are a charity organisation that helps to find people in the arts work as well as providing access to competitions and funding opportunities. You can also build a network of other creative types and recommend each other based on you relevant experiences. I’ve used IdeasTap to enter a short script competition (I say ‘enter’ when actually the word ‘spammed’ is more appropriate). For the first time, my work will actually be judged by people who I don’t know. Exciting and terrifying, but I think it is necessary. How can I get any better without feedback?

One thing I have definitely learned from writing these things recently is that I really don’t want to produce or direct professionally. What really excites me is the writing. The creation and building of an idea is what I enjoy. I especially like writing dialogue (I don’t really know why where that preference came from but it probably has something to do with enjoying Kevin Smith films) and allowing characters to be wittier or more clever than I ever am able to be in real life.

The goal with all of this, really, is that I want to go pro. I need a body of work and I need to be judged. Contests are a good way to start. Maybe someone sees it, thinks it’s good and passes it on to someone higher. Maybe. One can dream.

Once all is said and done, we’ll see if my scripts take and whether anyone wants to take a shot at them. After that, I guess I’ll get back to that book of mine.

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