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Beware of The Title

There’s been a lot of chit-chat about titles on this blog recently, particularly about duplicate titles with regards to the BSSC and whether people’s scripts are the same ones listed on those that made it through the first round; Oli too mentioned a script called WHALE FARTS had made it through the Quarter Finals of Scriptapolooza and I entreated bloggers and writers not to call their scripts TEENAGE KICKS ‘cos I must get three or four a year. So well done to Anya who spotted that the BSSC does in fact have some duplicate titles: there are apparently two called… Read More »Beware of The Title

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Don’t Waste My Mutha*$%*^* Time!

Love that line. Al Pacino in HEAT. I forget the mechanics of the scene exactly – I think he was questioning-stroke-threatening an informant – but that’s what good movie moments are made of in my book: you may not remember the whys, you remember the how. And Al Pacino was so manically exhuberant here, repeating the line just enough without becoming irritating, that it stuck in my head and undoubtedly countless other viewers’. We all want these moments in our screenplays – those lines and moments people repeat to each other, out of context. It’s those little bits of movie… Read More »Don’t Waste My Mutha*$%*^* Time!

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Structure and Pace

Yesterday I talked about Story and Plot, how they were ultimately married yet lead very different lives: I’m reminded here of me and my husband, for although we are married (durr) and have some stuff in common like the kids and cats, we couldn’t be more different: I like to write. He likes to run wild on the moors like a savage. Really. So it comes as no surprise then that Story and Plot’s kids, twins Structure and Pace, are also very different. Structure is male and ego-centric; why wouldn’t he be, when people talk about him all the time?… Read More »Structure and Pace

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Story Vs Plot

So Phill Barron has this post about character vs story, with a hilarious (not to mention foul-mouthed) paraphrasing of Tony Jordan’s assertion that it’s character, not story, you should start with when coming up with your ideas for scripts. Yet should you start with character? This is an interesting point. Certainly when I was at university I had a lecturer who was absolutely positive it was character. He would bang on about the fact we had to know EVERYTHING about our characters, even what they “had for breakfast”. We would get character sheets where we would have to write character… Read More »Story Vs Plot

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If It Wasn’t For those Pesky Kids…

This Power of 3 malarkey, how to do it and what constitutes good feedback has got everyone talking, it seems. Since posting on Thursday I’ve had a deluge of emails and IMs and have noticed a variety of conversations on blogs, message boards and forums ranging from concurrence to the faintly bemused to the full-blown attack on amateurs and newbies. The “newer” writer – as in, the writer who has written only a few scripts – will always get a bum deal it seems. Sometimes it would appear that the more experienced a writer becomes, the more they forget what… Read More »If It Wasn’t For those Pesky Kids…

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Power of 3 Ruckus

Even if you have never been to an Adrian Mead class, there’s a good chance you will have heard of the famous Power of 3: it’s bandied about in The Scribosphere as bloggers appeal for each other to help them with their work. And why not? It’s a good way of getting feedback, for free. Whilst I’m never one to do myself out of a job, I do happen to believe that writers should get the best value for their money. Whilst there are always writers who prefer to work with Readers from that very first words-on-paper draft (and why… Read More »Power of 3 Ruckus

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A Dream Within A Dream

Hello to Script Pete, who emailed me the other day with this question: “Character is institutionalized…..deluded into imagining she is a singing star! Do you consider, beginning @ page 49 the next 26 pages are mixed over 60 pages…..too many in dream? Dream scenes I was told is difficult to put on film? 109 pages total ie: 26 dream 83 real…” I find the difference between dream sequence and “reality” in film a bit of a contradiction in terms; whenever people talk about reality or realism in film, I wonder if there is any such thing, philosophically-speaking? Edgar Allen Poe… Read More »A Dream Within A Dream

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What Kind Of Writer Are You?

Many thanks to the intriguingly-named Billy The Kidney who emailed me asking what type of preparation is “best” before diving into a draft head first. Before I begin, I should probably offer some kind of disclaimer, but you know the drill: writing is subjective, so preperation – and what constitutes preparation – is also subjective. I had a writer friend once who believed that preparation for a night’s writing included snorting four lines of coke, drinking innumerous bottles of Bud and smoking fifteen cigarettes. He would then write for approximately twenty hours solid and produce about three pages. He’s now… Read More »What Kind Of Writer Are You?

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Arena, Part 2: Resonance

Some interesting comments and questions were raised yesterday, proving that what constitutes an Arena is not only a little controversial, but touched with a soupcon of subjectivity. I made Shell’s brain melt yesterday (Hi Shell) by suggesting that Arena goes beyond the “world in which your story operates”. To recap, I suggested that Arena can not only go beyond your actual story and become a reflection of the theme and/or message behind it, it can also become a character in its own right, suitably freaking our Jason out to boot. Before I begin, I should point out that perhaps I… Read More »Arena, Part 2: Resonance

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Arena, Part 1

Many thanks to David, who asked I blog about Arena. Arena is a term I use with abandon, since until quite recently, I thought it was universal in that “everyone” knew what it was. I learnt it first at university and it was then reinforced for me through working for both literary agents and writing initiatives, where it often comes as part of the actual report templates: How does the writer reveal/use arena in this script? etc etc. So Arena is important. People are looking for how you use it in your script. But what is it? Well, the dictionary… Read More »Arena, Part 1

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Your Script Is A House

So the vendors didn’t accept our offer. I thought I would be disappointed, but the vendors were such 24 carat WANKERS that I’m just mad as hell. The price they wanted for a house that needed that much work was totally unrealistic; I went off it in seconds. I don’t watch Kirsty and Phil and Sarah Beeny for nowt you know, you can’t pull the wool over my eyes punks! They’re the ones that lost out, not us: we can find something a hell of a lot better than that with more potential and less work. It had salt and… Read More »Your Script Is A House

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The Edge

No, this isn’t a post about how close I am to the edge of sanity, though you’ll notice my flat has sold already, despite being on the market only three days so I suppose you could make an argument for it, especially as we now have approximately five minutes (really) to find a new place to live as well as a school for my son. Wow, that was a long sentence. Anyway. We’ve had all the posts about finding your voice, practice makes perfect, etc etc – but now, I’m thinking of those writers who have gone beyond the beginners’… Read More »The Edge

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