#wpad

24 July : Write what you know #wpad

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It’s the easy option, isn’t it? Write what you know, but it’s always a challenge to write about what you don’t know.

I’m only just starting out as a scriptwriter so it makes sense at the moment to write about what I know. First hand experience about a topic is like a nugget of gold as it means that emotions, knowledge and it being realistic will be key to the script.

At the same time I would love to develop my writing further which I know will attract a lot of research going into it prior to writing.

Working full-time limits the amount of time that can be spent researching, and add onto that a part-time degree. But, it’s not impossible and the internet and books provide a wealth of information on all kinds of topics.

This blog prompt made me take a few minutes to dig deep and think about what I do know that I could write about. Like everybody else we all have experiences, sometimes positive and some negative that could be turned into a story.

My current project takes on a vast amount of my life experiences within the context of the six-parts. When the characters were created some of them were based on actors, characters in other dramas and real life people. Some characteristics in the three main characters come from myself, either when I was a teenager and to how I am as a parent to a teenager.

Writing for female characters is also less of a challenge than writing male ones for the obvious reason. But living with three males offers it’s own research as I often will pass bits of dialogue and plot between them and ask if “would that really happen to a man?” However, I can see the benefit of having a writing partner from the opposite sex as both points of view can come through in the writing of certain characters.

Back to my current project, write what you know! The set is based around my nana’s home when she was alive.

I loved the fact that everybody on the estate knew who my nana was. She never locked her door during the day and folk would walk into her house to see her.

I recall during my rebellious teenage years being “chatted up” (am sure it’s not called that now – I must ask the teenager). Anyway I was chatted up by a young man in a nightclub who lived on the same estate as her. It’s a huge estate in Preston, and he lived at the opposite end but he still knew who my nana was – the woman was a legend! I wish I had known that back then and appreciated her more.

The concept of being part of a tight community is what prompted me to write the project.

I couldn’t tell you the names of my neighbours where I live, yet back when I was a child everybody knew everybody in the area. It would be nice to live in a community like that again.

I guess most writing comes from writing what you know, and it sure is fun to make up the other bits.

This is a post for http://www.writesofluid.com blog writing challenge. One blog post a day for all of July.
thurnham road

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23 July : All time favourite book #wpad

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old lady and fly

There was an old woman swallowed a fly.

I don’t know why she swallowed a fly.

Perhaps she’ll die.

This was my favourite book as a child, and when my son was a toddler I hunted high and low to find a copy (there was no Amazon back then).

A fabulous story, with a gruesome ending.

22 July : Advice to aspiring writers #wpad

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Hardly think it’s appropriate for me to offer advice to aspiring writers given that I am one of those myself.

However, there are a few things that I have done which have assisted me with my writing.

• Register for a writing course. It wasn’t until I began on my masters degree that I realised that I knew nothing about structure, characterisation, plot, narrative, genre and a host of other essential ingredients that make a good story. Local colleges and theatre groups also run sessions on writing which are not as expensive as university. I have undertaken two sessions of a Writing for Stage course which I found extremely helpful. It’s also good to be mixing with other writers.

• Start a blog and write about anything.

• Join twitter. I follow dozens of writers and it’s a great way to communicate with one another. There is also a valuable twitter forum called #scriptchat where a different member of the industry is on hand on a Sunday evening to answer any questions that are tweeted (in 140 characters though).

• Write for e-zines. The more articles you have published, the more of a portfolio you create for yourself.

• Write every day. I cannot stress that enough, the more you write the better you will get at it.

• Read.

• Make contact with other writers, it can be a lonely time so being able to communicate with somebody who knows what you are going through makes it seem all the better.

• For any scriptwriters, go to the London Screenwriters Festival in October. I went for the first time last year and it was well worth the money. There are so many guest speakers and workshops and I felt so motivated after the weekend. I cannot wait for this year’s festival, and I may just be brave enough to pitch my current project to industry members.LSF2

This is a post for http://www.writesofluid.com blog writing challenge. One blog post a day for all of July.

21 July : Second hand or new? #wpad

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This is a no brainer for me.

As a typical middle-child most of the things that I had as a teenager were hand-me downs.

I hated it. As a teenager you don’t really understand about the value of money, all I knew was that I didn’t want somebody else’s cast offs whether it be clothes, music and furniture.

I haven’t changed in the slightest. I don’t mind having second hand things for the house as I’m not particularly house proud. It doesn’t bother me if my table and chairs are new or not, or if my washing machine is a couple of years old.

However, personal possessions are a different kettle of fish for some reason. It is a standing joke in my home that I always have the most up to date phone and then there is a pecking order in how they are passed down. Husband first, then onto kids. Although the past year has seen them purchasing their own phones, and I still haven’t managed to upgrade to an iphone 5 yet.

I don’t think I would ever buy a second-hand laptop as firstly I am slightly OCD when it comes to putting my fingers on the keys where other people have been typing. Secondly there is something nice about having new goods. I always feel a sense of pride everytime I make a big purchase that I have worked hard to buy it so should be able to enjoy it.

Of course if money was really tight then I would have to change my approach somewhat but for the time being I will carry on enjoying nice, new goods.

What does everyone else think about the subject?


This is a post for http://www.writesofluid.com blog writing challenge. One blog post a day for all of July.

20 July : What motivates me #wpad

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Everybody has varying factors which motivate them each day.

In a work capacity it’s surprising to note that for most people a high salary is not a motivating factor in their job role. During a workshop in my day job I was shown the following video which is worth a look, even if you’re not interested in the content of the discussion, watch it purely for how well the artist can draw.

As a writer I am motivated whenever I am around other like minded people.

I often attend masterclasses, talks or short courses as I find it motivating hearing about other people. I’m not the best networker but I am forcing myself to escape from my introverted shell and try to put myself out there.

The weekend just gone is an example of that. I attended Writing for Radio workshop organised by Euroscript which was a full day’s session in London. Not only did I learn a vast amount about writing for the radio medium but I also made some useful contacts with other writers. A number of them are attending the London Screenwriters Festival in October so at least I will know at least a couple more delegates than I knew last year.

The workshop tutor was also an industry professional so hearing firsthand experience from somebody who has been where I am currently really motivates me too.

This is a post for http://www.writesofluid.com blog writing challenge. One blog post a day for all of July.

18 July : Word counts #wpad

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Love them or loathe them word counts are an essential part of being a writer and the thing we become obsessive about (well maybe just me).

• If I write five hundred words then I can reward myself with fifteen minutes on twitter and facebook.

• 45 minutes of radio should be approximately 7500 words. Heck I’ve written over 10,000 words – HELP!

• If I make the font size larger then does that mean that I can write less?

• If I make the font size smaller can I write more?

• Does anybody else think that word count matters?

• Does writing 140 characters constitute as actual writing?

I tend to be of the type that writes too much and then has to trim the fat from the script, rather than having to pan something out. I think being like this must be better than not having enough words on the page and then having to add dialogue to meet the word count.

Most writers are probably used to having to work to word counts anyway. Those who went to university had word counts drummed into them for three years (unless a Maths graduate etc). Any publication that is written for generally follows a word count too.

It’s a useful way to write anyway, given that it trains the writer to be economical with their words. I for one can waffle for England with my fingers.

This is a post for http://www.writesofluid.com blog writing challenge. One blog post a day for all of July.

17 July : Traditional or DIY #wpad

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As I frantically redeem myself and catch up on @sofluid blog writing challenge I am faced with the question of traditional or DIY?

The first thing that sprung to mind about this subject are weddings.

It is nearly every young girl’s dream to marry Prince Charming and have the big, traditional wedding, costing a small fortune and weeks of stress to plan the damn things.

Then there is the stress of the day trying to speak to all of your guests, pressures on delivering a crowd pleasing speech and trying to look immaculate all day.

I’ve experienced this with several of my friends who opted for grand, extravagant affairs.

Several bridesmaids, a brass band, expensive cars and lavish receptions.

Luckily for my Prince Charming, his Cinderella wanted none of that nonsense.

A telephone call to the registry office on the Thursday afternoon, and by Saturday lunchtime I was married. Two witnesses, both parents in tow and the next door neighbours who recorded the event and that was my fairy tale wedding.

No fuss, no expense and thirteen years on Prince Charming and Cinderella are still living happy ever after.

Unlike some of those who spent thousands of pounds and now have a decree absolute filed away.

This is a post for http://www.writesofluid.com blog writing challenge. One blog post a day for all of July.
prince charming