The Writing Blog Tour

Writing is not a mystical process involving tea leaves and libraries of how-to books. At least, not in my (somewhat limited) experience. However, the choices individual writers make about what they write and how they write it can often seem inscrutable. I've always been interested in how other writers go about their business, mostly in the hope that their words of wisdom will somehow improve my own attempts. So, thank you, Mysterious Person Who Began "The Blog Tour". You are the reason why I am writing this post today. Because I am a glutton for punishment, I agreed to be tagged by Phill Barron, screenwriter extraordinary, and become part of The Blog Tour before passing the dubious honour of baring their writing souls to two more unfortunates - I mean highly-privileged writers. But first, let's talk about Phill. Phillip Barron is a UK scriptwriter who's had nine feature films produced. In addition to movies he's written for BBC3's BAFTA and Rose d'Or nominated sketch show,...
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#scriptchat Multi-Platform transcript

Thank you to everyone who joined us for #scriptchat last night - it was frantic and exhausting, but I really enjoyed blagging my answers to your questions! You can find the Storify transcript of the chat here (because Wordpress won't play nice with Storify code)....
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The Writer’s ADHD

I was a hyperactive child. My parents are very polite about it, but I suspect I was an absolute nightmare and the surviving video from that era bears out my suspicions. When I discovered reading, I calmed down and learned to channel my energy more creatively. However, I'm still easily influenced by orange juice or a sugar high, and I probably talk more than is strictly necessary or desirable. When it comes to writing, I often struggle to focus. Not on time = words = pages particularly, but more on chasing my next project instead of actually finishing the one I'm meant to be writing. (As evidenced by the fact I'm writing a blog post instead of adding pages to my latest screenplay...). But this even bleeds into those two writing basics: Format and Genre. It's the first words of your pitch - "a half-hour TV sitcom" or "a ninety-minute science fiction feature". More recently, perhaps: "a two-minute horror web series" or "bi-weekly fantasy...
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2012 in review

This time last year, I looked back at 2011 and made some resolutions: "So, in 2012, I will: - Final FINAL draft Steampunk Assassins and send it to producers - Edit my Cyber Crime Sleuth (NaNoWriMo) novel and send to publishers - Finish my Asylum pilot, enter it in Red Planet Prize, and send it to producers - Make a short film - Get an agent - See Realm Pictures take Raindance 2012 by storm - Get married XD" Let's see how I got on: In January, I was given the opportunity to write for Persona and started developing my story. In February, I started developing a short film (which unfortunately came to nothing) and learned that I can take notes. In April, I adapted a screenplay into a stage play with Jack Ayers for the Brighton Fringe Festival, and I signed my first professional contract (for a project that went nowhere). In May, Persona aired, Small Chances was performed in Brighton, and I heard that Bryn Celli Ddu was being made...
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May: Persona, Small Chances and It’s My Shout

My secret New Year's Resolution for 2012 was simple: Get Something Made. Because, essentially, all your validation as a writer comes from people liking your stuff enough to bother about filming it/performing it/publishing it. It was my birthday on Friday (a belated Happy Star Wars Day to you all). And I could look at the month ahead of me and feel proud for all the work that went into it. And that, y'know, I smashed that resolution in Month 5. Persona Season 4 is currently airing through the smartphone app (get it for iDevice or for Android). As I haven't seen the final footage, I'm excited to see how it turns out. First ep looks better than I could've hoped! In Brighton this weekend? The play I co-wrote with Jack Delaney is premièring at the Brighton Fringe Festival - get your mitts on tickets here! And now for something completely different. While I was on the train to London on Friday, I received a phone call...
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Megan’s PERSONA

It's here! Allow me to present the trailer for Megan's PERSONA, my contribution to the awesome Persona app drama. I'm really pleased with the way this has come together. The fantastic Jack Delaney, talented crew and brilliant actors have done far more for this that my scrappy words - go Team Megan!...
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Going Pro

April is an exciting month for me! Persona Season 4 airs on Monday and rehearsals are starting for Small Chances. I also signed a contract for my first paid feature. While I'll admit to being a little nervous, I'm mostly excited. The project is currently under wraps, but I hope to get more information out in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, I'm getting my teeth into this treatment and seeing where the ride takes me. Of course, unless I'm suddenly inundated with requests for specs and the BBC banging down my door (dream on), I still have the day job and this is just one more step on a very long journey. Still feels awesome, though....
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Take note

I was very flattered to read that I'm both ace and adept at taking notes. I blushed a bit and felt the warm fuzzies of a job well done. The giving and receiving of notes is the process by which a script grows into a film. I've enjoyed that experience with a fair few folk now and it's completely different every time. I don't think there's necessarily a right way to do it. With my friends I've know for over a decade, I know I can be brutally honest. And they have the same freedom with me. With a director I'm working with for the first time, we have to learn how to talk with each other - particularly when a lot of our correspondence is by e-mail. However, I think there are some general "good practice" rules: 1) Thank the note giver before you read the notes. Your thanks should be genuine. 2) Read the notes through once and allow yourself to react. Be...
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My Persona

[to the tune of "My Sharona"] I've been relatively quiet of late about what I'm working on, but that's because I've been consumed with a couple of exciting projects. You may recall me waxing lyrical about Persona last year, the app-based drama that tells four snappy stories in a month via your smartphone. At the time, I was hoping to write one of the arcs but due to various happenings in the process, that all got swept to one side. But Phill Barron, awesome guy that he is, kept all us wannabe writers in the loop about what was happening with the drama. So when he sent out an e-mail looking for a writer, I leapt at the chance. I've been working with Cameron King, director extraordinary (you can see for yourself here) on a story that pushes all my buttons and about which, of course, my lips are zipped. Suffice to say, your knuckles will be white as you clutch your phone, aghast....
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A Whole New World

I've been knee-deep in development work for my projects this past month, responding to some thought-provoking notes on Steampunk Assassins from Ste Russell at Loves Me Not Films and attempting to whip The Greenwich Problem into shape before sending it out to producers. However, three opportunities came along this week that had me dusting off old projects and exploring their potential. The first was a call for feature screenplays based in and around Europe, which required writing a treatment for said screenplay. This seemed like a perfect fit for The Local, my Script Frenzy screenplay about an English doctor joining Welsh villagers in their fight against a construction company. A very "local" European story! Unfortunately, I loathe treatments and I haven't done a pass on The Local for about four months, so I needed to re-familiarise myself with the ins-and-outs of Act 2 to try and sell my story. Still ongoing, but my personal editor is on it. The second is news of a...
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