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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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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“DRAGON CHASERS” / “BRYN CELLI DDU” – From Script to Screen

It started with a holiday. In December 2010, my then-fiancé and I went on holiday to Anglesey. I was living in Wrexham at the time and, having gawped at and photographed most of Edward I's castles, I was eager to show my partner the same. As a side trip, we decided to visit one of Wales' older monuments – Bryn Celli Ddu. From a distance, it doesn't look like much – a "grass igloo" in a field. But when you arrive at the place, it is resonant with its own ancient magic, the idea that this place was once special to many different people. When I got home, the magic percolated for a while before I wrote this note in March 2011: Three teenage boys raise an army of undead Celtic warriors to battle the Neanderthal bullies at school. But when the warriors wreak havoc on their nerdy surban lives, it'll take a White Witch to bring them down. This is actually for a film...
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The Dying Art of the Storyteller

I went on a shopping trip with my nieces and nephew the other day. All under ten, they asked the adults in the car to tell them a story. A made-up story. My partner volunteered me. So, I decided to cheat. I started telling them the plot to one of my feature scripts. However, I came unstuck at the first line: "Jack is the son of a blacksmith." And the inevitable question comes: "What's a blacksmith?" I realised this may be a problem in a film primarily about swords. However, I soldiered on and ended up diverting into a tale of adventuring, bandits and the relative merits of the longbow over the dagger as a weapon when you're a child in the woods. Not sure I meant the moral of the story to involve imitable violence, but that's what happens when you do these things on the fly. Anyway, for my next story, I went with Bryn Celli Ddu. Adapting a story about teenagers into...
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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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