littlemissmandu


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First draft word vomit…

I recently met with someone who admired my bravery in pursuing writing.

They’ve known me since I was a small child and told me I’d always been writing. (They told me about things I don’t even remember writing.) They told me that they had wanted to be a writer when they were younger and still wish they could. When I asked what stopped them, they said everything they write is rubbish or seems trite.

I got news for you: most of first drafts are awful. It’s word vomit…

Here’s the good news: that’s okay!

You’ve got the ideas on paper or out of your head and in front of you. The more the merrier. That way you can work out what sounds good, what doesn’t sound good, what works and what doesn’t work. Just persevere and get it out.

That’s not to say it should all stay in the final draft. Hell no! sayeth I. But you’ve got out everything that’s been buzzing around in your head, you’ve laid the foundations on which you can build something amazing.

I recently completed a first draft of a sitcom. It was a sleep-deprived splurge of everything that had whizzed around my brain since I started thinking about it last year. Last year it was about a bunch of middle-aged men. Then I realised that patriarchy courses through my veins but I had a choice to write the same ol’ stories or write the stories I wanted to see. It’s now a female-centric sitcom.

The minute I hit send, the flaws came flooding in and the desire to consign it to the trash increased. I didn’t though. I didn’t do it because I’ve been talking about it for so long I have friends who want to read it so I can’t just archive it like I have with everything else. It’s time for me to be brave. To step up to the plate. To be the writer I know I can be. Without the wibbling.

I’ve got some feedback from an independent script editor so I’m going to take a break, take a step away, and go back to it next week.

There’s another project I’m working on for theatre to occupy my brain. I spent the entire day yesterday trawling through my research pile. I say pile because that’s what it is. It’s a pile of clippings, photos, postcards, scraps of paper, scraps of scenes and dialogue. I’ve found a lots of things I’d forgotten about. It was wonderful to go through it and rediscover gems, not to mention a rather cathartic tidy-up! So I think I have a direction to head in with a project two. I’m going to spend the rest of the weekend writing more scraps of dialogue, more word-vomit and a little digging through my collection of scraps and see what emerges.

It’s not that I think I’m a better writer than anyone else or that I might make a decent living from writing – far from it – I just have stories I want to tell.


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Writing is rewriting, 6 tips via @Raindance

Over the next few weeks I’ll be heading out and about to the various events being put on the London Screenwriters Festival and the Future Film Festival at the BFI. I’m a little bit excited and a little bit nervous – as it should be – and really must get cracking on actually writing, or more importantly editing. So here are some tips to get started:

Stressed? Moi?

1.   Remember:  The first draft of anything is shit

2.   Accept that bruises to your ego are part of the process

3.   Stop putting pressure on yourself

4.   Re-outline your screenplay

5.   Don’t be stubborn

6.   Find the tools that work for you

 

“More than a half, maybe as much as two thirds of my life as a writer is rewriting. I wouldn’t say I have a talent that’s special. It strikes me that I have an unusual kind of stamina.”

There’s a whole heap more on this so head over to Raindance to read the full article. You won’t regret it!

By the way if you  love scripts, sign up to Raindance updates, they often give away screenplays, for free! How cool is that.