Monday, August 23, 2010

x of the Best

So I was hunting high and low for an awesome blog post I remembered reading and I suddenly thought, "Say," (I always think with Humphrey Bogart's voice*) "I oughta publish a list of swell blog posts."

This is it. It is in no particular order. Eat these posts and absorb their power.

EDIT: Greetings from the shining future world of 2011.

Screenwriter extraordinary James Moran has just posted a list which smashes this one to tiny blog pieces. I think there are some links below that don't appear in Uncle Jimbo's list, but you should still definitely check his out first!

Thank you, people of the distant past. Edit ends.

Phill Barron - It's not fair

Danny Stack - Professional Screenwriter (This is a link to step 1 - read all ten.)

Lisa Holdsworth -
Welcome To Real Writing

James Moran - The Big Writing FAQ (Uncle Jimbo's blog is solid gold reading for struggling writers, especially the early years.)

Michelle Lipton - The Path of the Freelance Writer

Jason Arnopp - Your script is not a lottery ticket

Piers Beckley - The other writing secrets

James Moran - Writer's Block, or "getting stuck"

Michelle Lipton - Structure

Jason Arnopp - Five lines henceforth banned from scripts (Especially the comments!)

Hope this list is of some use to someone. I'll add to it as and when I find/remember something cool. Any suggestions are welcome.

* I wish this were true. Instead I'm stuck with Marvin the Paranoid Android.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Return to the Red Planet

I knew it would be hard to work while looking after a tiny baby but there is a difference between knowing it and living it. It is impossible to prioritise anything over time with your child, especially when you have a full time day job too.

In my incredible naivety I actually thought the third week of my paternity leave might be used for some intense writing. Ambitious for a first time parent, eh?

Gradually though, the new addition to the family has settled into a routine now he's three and a bit months old (of course, now he's teething that routine could be screwed but there are no guarantees in life and if there were we would grow bored even more quickly than we already do).

An invaluable tool in helping me get back to work has been the Red Planet Prize competition. This is easily the best competition for writers in the UK. I haven't entered since the first comp in 2007 (and they took a year off) so I was determined not to let this one pass. It didn't hurt that before JR was born I had completed a first draft on a TV pilot that I though might be a good fit for Kudos even before I knew they were involved with Red Planet '10.

So I had a couple of months to get back into the swing of things; going over my concept for the potential series, the script as a whole and most especially the first ten pages. I need to do some more work on the rest of the script, just in case I'm one of the lucky ones, but I'm keen to crack on with some new projects. I feel good. Re-invigorated even. Mega thanks to Red Planet, Kudos and the mighty Danny Stack for helping me get back into the zone.

I love this script. It's a reworking of some ideas (and a couple of characters) I used in short stories years ago. I think it would be perfect Saturday night fodder and I think it's probably the best script I've written. Which is all very nice but will the readers share my enthusiasm? Will the concept excite a potential audience? Is there enough of a hook in the first ten pages? Is it a big, steaming pile of pooh?

I guess this is where I start to find out...

*crosses fingers*