NaNoWriMo Owns Me

I originally started this blog at the end of 2009, when I wanted to write 100,000 words of my Apocalypse novel in two months, Nano-style. That novel's word count currently stands at 18,041. That's because someone pointed out to me that the concept was exactly like 'Good Omens'. Disheartened, I shelved that novel and moved on to screenplays. However, I'm still passionate about the novel, and when I got the idea for an agoraphobic, techno-whizz detective and a streetwise ex-con fighting crime, how could I say no? And, oh look, it's November. And hey, I've won Nano twice before - 2006 (Vivid Images - never edited) and 2007 (Deus Ex Machina - partially edited, one of my favourite stories). So, I think to myself, I can do this 50k thing. Why not make it challenging? 80,000 words. That'll be a walk in the park. Yeesh. I'm only 5k behind schedule, giving me, at this moment, 21,859 words. Which, for those of you who can't count, is...
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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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A question of perspective

I quite like my Red Planet Prize script. It was my first television screenplay, so I'm sure it contains novice mistakes, but on the whole, I'm proud of it. Danny Stack made a post today about RPP entries: "...there were a grand total of 1,574 entries!" !!! "We're already immersed in the reading and the standard is proving to be very high indeed, making the 2nd round decisions all the more difficult." ... "...we're typically very tough on what gets through. In previous years, it's been around 20% of the entries..." Well, damn. Back to the novel then....
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Everything old is new again

I have successfully moved across Wales - go me! New job officially gets going next week, and while it's going to seriously cut into my writing time, it also pays pretty well. Still, like all amateurs, one day I dream of going pro. However, I take Michelle Lipton's caution that it might not all be hearts and roses when I get there. I signed up to The Bitter Script Reader's collaborative writing project. I think the last time I did something like this was at a sleepover when I was a teenager and we were trying to plan a rom-com-esque date for two oddly-named characters on a concertina piece of paper. I'm the third writer in Team Chynna, so I should receive my portion of the assignment mid-late August. In another piece of nostalgia, I completely agree with Laurence's ravings about Sherlock. I want to be that writer. I'm going to pick up some of my old projects now that the Red Planet Prize...
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Too many fireworks

I just submitted my entry for the Red Planet Prize. I've spent the past two days angsting over it, bombarded with feedback from my editor and director, and tonight, I just let it go. It's done. Tomorrow, I move to a new town. And on Thursday, I start a new job. Everyone just comes along at once, doesn't it?...
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The Read-Through

So, while draft three is with my editor, I'm eyeing up the looming Red Planet Prize deadline with dread. There are plenty of people with professional screenwriting credits going for this thing. People with talent and creative networks and Scribosphere contacts. And then there's me. Therefore, I've decided to attempt what any smart screenwriter would: a read-through. Get a bunch of people in a room who can read. Give them your script. Ask them nicely to read it - aloud, in character. Listen. Listen good. Receive feedback. Watch the whole thing back and wince repeatedly at how stupid your character voices sound. Redraft. Lather, rinse, repeat. I've mobilised my director, who decided that our little gang of film people weren't enough and has started hitting up the local acting talent. This scares me a little bit. It's fine giving my script to my friends, who know me and will coach their criticism in terms of "it's okay, sweetie, we'll get through this". These are people...
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Outlining the outline

Thanks to two train journeys, my first draft of the Military Monster pilot was completed and, after feedback and a bit of hack 'n' slash, draft two is back with my editor. The pressures of the deadline! Last week, Danny Stack, screenwriter and co-creator of the Red Planet Prize, posted a few more tidbits of info. This included highlighting the need for a "short synopsis", which may be for the episode or the series - "whatever you think best sells the idea/script/show". And I haven't the first idea how to write such a thing. In my head, I know the theme of the first season, the general character development and the bad guy(s). I've also jotted down some notes to myself, including potential directions for Season 2 and 3 (because, hey, dream big, right?). Yet, is that what's required? Or does this synopsis require episode outlines? And, if so, how many episode outlines? Six, like Hustle, one of Red Planet's shows? Or Thirteen, like...
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Patchwork Post

I'm back from my holiday in sunny Italy - and it's raining and overcast and generally homely, which is nice. I do like it when the weather puts on a homecoming parade. However, this does mean I've been parted from my beloved laptop and my affair with Space Precinct for a week. This would mean a kick in the nads for my Red Planet Prize screenplay were it not for the fact that I boarded a train today - and therefore knocked out twelve pages. What is it about trains that makes me so productive? I need to build my own railway just to do some work. Projects are ticking over. Steampunk Assassins and Old!Robin Hood are with my director, poolside, and I'm musing over resurrecting a complicated novel with new people, culture and language that's been simmering on the hard drive for a couple of years. We'll call it Overambitious Island. In other news, Ada Lovelace is my heroine, being a queer Christian...
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