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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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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The Importance of Relaxation to the Writer

I've done well this week. I'm on 48K of my 80K target for NaNoWriMo, which puts me bang on track. I caught up while working night shifts, despite the upheaval of being abruptly pulled off nights yesterday and thrust back into a day shift today. The neurones don't fire too good on four hours sleep mid-afternoon. I've also heard back from one of my Speed Pitching contacts from LSF, so I know my script has safely reached the hands of a reputable production company. This gives me butterflies, but We'll See. So, tonight, I'm going to kick back and watch Children in Need with an extortionate pizza. Sure, I could eek out another two thousand words of novel, but I have the whole weekend to write and I've earned my pizza and my Doctor Who trailer. When you work a day job, it's easy to feel pressured to spend all your free time writing. I firmly believe you should write every day, or you...
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Why the London Screenwriters Festival is necessary for London and Screenwriters

It's been one week since I journeyed from deepest, darkest Wales to attend the London Screenwriters Festival. I was nervous, I was anxious - what if I forget my loglines? What if I meet proper writers and clam up? What if nobody likes me? Thankfully, while I did ramble at one poor producer, I did meet proper writers without mishap (they had been drinking) and some people seemed to like me okay, or well enough to chuck their business cards at me. So, why the grandiose title, London and Screenwriters? Am I being absurd to call LSF vital to the hearbeat of the city and the screenwriting community? No, and I'll tell you why. I can honestly say LSF consisted of the three most valuable and positive days of my writing life. I gained practical, insightful advice from writers, producers, agents and readers - from those who attended as speakers and from those who were attendees. I honed my pitch in the sunshine...
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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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Darling Goals of May

Having returned from a relaxing break away from my day job and my tech, it's time to knuckle down and return to work. Script Frenzy and Realm Production Meeting are over. The screnzy script is in a drawer and I've knocked together some audition sides for the Underwater shorts. So, what now? These days away have been great for percolating ideas and five brand new plots sprung fully-formed from my thigh...I mean, brain. But, like fine wine and decent cheese, these ideas need some time to mature. Therefore, my goals for this month are: - Final draft of The Greenwich Project, ready for sending to a comedy prodco - First draft of new children's tv project Origami Stories - Penultimate/final draft of horror short And now I've declared them, so I'm trusting the internet to hold me accountable. Finally, one more May resolution: do not attend production meetings before drying hair. Especially around sneaky DOPs. Evidence in video below: [Also, there are some awesome people talking about a breath-taking...
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Waiting for Go

I hate waiting. I am an extremely impatient person. The acquiring of a smartphone was such a blessing because I finally had something to do while waiting for appointments, friends to show, trains to arrive. Right now, I'm waiting to hear back from six different writing opportunities. Two - Laughing Stock and Phill Barron - have graciously kept me updated at regular intervals. Another is one of my friends, who I know has started a new job. One month of waiting down, probably another one to go. There's a competition I submitted for that I haven't heard a whisper from, so I'm assuming a silent rejection on that front. And then someone I hit up for a short collaboration and an answer to a Mandy.com ad, which left my inbox barely two days ago. Obviously, I'm not expecting a response to those just yet, but they're adding to my pile. Surely, someone wants to e-mail me! Then I remember that it's Saturday and normal people have lives. Time...
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An octopus in a pie factory

You remember that New Years Resolution to concentrate on one thing at a time? Yeah, guess how well that's going. Still reeling from my Laughing Stock second round status (unbelievable squee), I ran straight into a horror short about the Tube. Which is perfect for creepiness. Oh, and I'm working on a webcomic idea with an incredibly talented artist. More on that when we've decided on Strip #1. For now, I'll say three words: Victoriana. Spirits. Steaaaaam. And there's that other horror short? Why am I so in love with horror shorts? Horror films make me freak out. I should probably actually finish Steampunk Assassins off, yeah? Also, sticking my nose into my friends' script will probably just end up in more work for me - though there may be a whiff of a credit. I need to make like squash and CONCENTRATE....
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