Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Where does the time go?

In this last week I've been concentrating my working time in what I laughably call the 'garden'. When I moved into this place in West Somerset at the start of March the first thing I did was remove the (approx.) 20 tons of concrete from the courtyard garden and try to level it.

Now that we're near the end of the project and the only trade we have in is the guys lime-washing the exterior (looking damn good), so it's time to finish the landscaping. The base for the steps have been cut out and the posts and gates have been set, secured and hung.

During all this time the writing has been shelved somewhat, although I'm trying to set aside a fixed time per day to concentrate on it. As Bill Martell says, if he can write 5 pages per day, then in no time he'll have a full length first draft.

What writing I am doing is being concentrated on a supernatural mystery feature set in the 1920s (I used to help run actual events like this and have made up my own take on it). I've broken down the main sequence blocks, the three acts etc etc, but find that I write scenes that are far too long. After feedback on other pieces I've written I'm determined not to get too hung up about it. I've decided that for the first draft I'm simply going to write as I see fit, whatever the length. Once I've done that and stepped back from it for a while, I can then go back to it with a scapel (probably more like a chainsaw) and trim it down and tighten up the scenes to help with pace etc.

I've no idea if this is a process that other writers use, or would even consider, but I think it'll work for me. I keep reading that no one particular style is THE STYLE.

I'm also trying to read two scripts per week from a list I've downloaded from the Net. I've quickly got the idea that some of these so-called scripts have been written off DVDs etc and are very bad examples of certainly what a spec script should look like. Until you are a name the best you can do is spec scripts, but there seems to be little, sorry that should be no spec scripts that you can read to get the feel of what is expected of you. The first couple of pieces I wrote and laughingly stored in my 'Completed Scripts' folder, were based on such internet scripts, and once they were professionally reviewed/critiqued, I found out how far off the mark they were from the accepted norm.

I hope that in my short time writing I have learned what is and isn't accepted. Perhaps I haven't. Time and future scripts will tell.

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