2011: My year with writing

This time last year, I reviewed where I was in my writing career. I thought I had written the penultimate draft of Steampunk Assassins. I was writing the first draft of The Greenwich Problem. I was planning to write a romantic comedy termed Baking Lawyer (which I abandoned due to fatal flaws). I determined that Military Monster needed a complete overall (which is still awaited.) And I put everything else on hold. And then 2011 happened. In January, I finished the first draft of The Greenwich Problem for the BBC's Laughing Stock competition. In February, Realm Pictures won the Raindance/Pepsi Max competition. This started them on the road to The Underwater Realm. In March, I was longlisted for Laughing Stock, which caused much excitement. In April, I attended the London Comedy Writers Festival, got some great advice and met some awesome creatives. I also wrote another feature script for Script Frenzy. In May, Realm House hosted the first UWR big production meeting. In July, Dave, Jon...
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Along the byway

Of course, it's the time of year for summaries and conclusions, personal achievement counting and reflection. I have finished Steampunk Assassins. By which I mean it's with my beloved director and editor friends and I suppose there might be One Final Draft to complete. I have made a start on The Greenwich Problem for Laughing Stack 2011. I ran the logline past my director, extrapolated the plot of the pilot and shaded in the main characters' traits and tics. He was very enthusiastic - and, as I trust his tastes, this pleases me greatly. I'm also going to try my hand at a Rom Com feature spec - we'll term it Baking Lawyer. That has a beat sheet but nothing else at the moment. Military Monster needs a complete overhaul before it can have anything going for it. I need to take a step back on Asylum and write a beat sheet for the pilot before I sink further into the intricacies of plotting...
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December Deadlines

Happy Advent! Today, I change job description and work hours - hence, why I'm awake at this time of the morning. Ugh. It's also a month until my self-imposed deadlines kick in: two polished specs. As TBSR reminded us yesterday, it's all too easy to miss those targets. And I am two spec scripts down. One needs another draft and polish, and the other needs an overhaul draft. I need a Nano-style to get those done - but the holiday season also brings train journeys! (One day, I'll set up a carriage in my living room). Anyone else falling short on their deadlines?...
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Not crazy – just a little unwell

I am on a sick day (night?), so I'm catching up with my blogomarble. Not writing, alas, because I feel like I've been used as a punching bag, but reading about other people writing. Things that have intrigued me: Firstly, Amazon launch a film-making forum - could be very good, could be a vehicle for Warner Bros to screw some people over. If some pros sign on, it might be worth an early look. John August tells us to scratch our own itch - write the films we want to see. I can honestly say, hand on heart, that if I heard about a steampunk assassins movie, I would be there like a shot. Some other projects - well...maybe not so much. While I love my Military Monster project with a passion, there was some part of it that came from "there is a gap in the market that I would like to fill". Except that it appears Jason Arnopp beat me to...
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Square One

After all the pressure of competition deadlines over the past few months, I've gone back to the specs. Having finally transferred all my work to Celtx (even if I haven't resolved all my formatting issues quite yet), I've set Steampunk Assassins and Military Monster down to rest for another week. I've also actually written an outline for the Asylum pilot, because stumbling around Military Monster led to some bad creative decisions and a lot of words I had to unwrite and I like to dance to some kind of beat. I have another long train journey tomorrow, so hopefully I'll drum something out and flesh out my characters. Then, for the journey back, I'm going to pick up Steampunk Assassins and tear that thing to pieces. I really need to learn to love editing - writing is rewriting, after all. ...
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Competition short shorts

I was a hyperactive child. This should surprise absolute no one who's seen the list of projects I've been "working on" this year. When it comes right down to it, I don't have a single finished, polished script. This is a Very Bad Thing. However, I am determined that Steampunk Assassins looks good by Christmas. Preferably, the Military Monster pilot should also be screen-ready. But...these little short-short competitions keep distracting me! First, there was London Screenwriters Festival Short. That one is a day away from readiness and the deadline is Friday. Then, Kulvinder Gill's post about October Opportunities drew my attention to Crash Pad - take a news story, write five pages with two characters, submit by Monday 18th October. And now Kid In The Front Row Screenwriting Competition 2010. Which, on the surface, looks amazing but the limitations on the thing are crazy! There are named characters, named locations and a line of dialogue to include. And the deadline is Thursday 21st October. Meanwhile, my other...
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Sounds like carnage

Previously, I wrote on discovering my soundtrack with reference to the dust-gathering apocalypse novel. Today, John August's playlist post pops up on Reader. A few synapses fire and I think to myself "y'know, I haven't done that lately". Seeing as it was such a good idea the first time around, I thought I'd give it a go. If anyone has any tracks evocative of the British military, savage monsters tearing the place apart, or young women on journeys of self-discovery, drop me a line. So far, I have the angsty My Heart Is A Fist by Papa Roach, the wistful Airplanes by BoB feat. Hayley Williams, and my old favourite The Kill by 30 Seconds to Mars. And...just in case you wanted to be me for a day instead of Laurence... 1. Have a strange mash-up of Airplanes and Love The Way You Lie circulating the brain 2. Spend your afternoon hopelessly link-clinking on TV Tropes 3. Maybe go to work for a few hours, or something. 4....
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Red Planet Panic

So, the Red Planet Prize shortlisting announcement is "mid-September". The optimist in me says 'Great! That gives me three weeks to rewrite the rest of my script!'. The pessimist in me says 'Yeesh, just put me out of my misery already and let me move on with my life'. Regardless, I now have a definite plan for my train journey tomorrow. Huzzah for trains, the only place where I can be utterly productive. I just hope the Bank Holiday crowds allow me a seat to work......
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It all started when…

I'm very privileged to have been tagged by the lovely Laurence, so I will share with you the answer to this burning question: How did I get started on screenwriting? I've loved writing since I was a child. I used to utilise my "news" exercise book to tell colourful stories about finding crocodiles on the beach and robbers invading our house. I wrote my first novel as a pre-teen and it was shamefully All About Me - and my friends and crush and love rival. Somewhat hilariously, said crush and I became good friends and he is known on this blog affectionately as my director. I was peripherally involved in To Swim With Angels, which was a best-forgotten first foray into the film world, where my main role was peacemaker and herder of extras. I was also on the sidelines during the development of Zomblies, including a memorable script draft where I demanded an increase in female ass-kickery, as is my wont. This is...
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