It started out as something really easy so how did it all become so difficult?
A few weeks ago, after months if not years of procrastination, I felt I ready to write my first script. I was hoping it would be a comedy but it’s really a drama. In fact the process has become a drama in itself.
It was surprisingly easy to get it all going, I managed to rack up several thousand words without hardly drawing breath. I felt elated – over the moon even.
Over the period of a few days I kept thinking about the plot and then, in one sitting, wrote several thousand words more and a covering letter to the BBC Writersroom. Phew! All done and dusted, or so I thought.
The next day I showed it to someone who told me the it wasn’t formatted properly so would go straight in the bin. Not what I wanted to hear but actually brilliant advice – I didn’t want to fall at the first hurdle, it was back to the drawing board.
So being me, I taught myself how to edit a script and make it look like the real thing. And it does – that in itself felt like a real achievement, but the process is lengthy.
In my book, if you can teach yourself the ins and outs of blogging, it’s pretty easy to format a script but it’s bloody tedious work and a very deconstructing process. It was hard, my editorial style was reinvented as a series of shots, cut tos, scenes and locations – a whole new way of presenting words and speech. It felt like learning a new language.
gut wrenchingly boring week or two I did most of it and then let myself have a little break to clear my head.
When I returned to the story, I felt like I was meeting up with friends, the characters in my little drama were clamouring for attention. I had to reconfigure things slightly, and then yesterday, I felt triumphant again as I completed the final draft. It was done, I’d completed the process, or so I thought.
For a blogger, script writing feels very old school. I had to print it all off and over 70 pages pootled their way out of the printer, creating a big wad of paper – it felt substantial and important – evidence of my creative endeavour, a veritable brick sat in front of me. It’s still clunky and inelegant though.
And then I penned the
begging to be read covering letter and set out my stall as to how this wonderful story would evolve and establish itself as a series. It felt strange. Who was I talking to, who would be reading this, how could I articulate my thoughts in this way? I gave it a go.
Then I read the terms and conditons of submitting a script and the process it goes through. Mine is 1 of 10,000 that gets received every year. That’s about 300 a day. Blimey.
All the scripts get looked at and receive an acknowledgement. But if the reader doesn’t get through the first 10 pages without dozing off, that’s it, game over.
So having gone to the expense and drama of sending my packaged script from one postcode to another – I could probably have walked it over to be honest but I felt a bit sick and nervous about the whole thing – I felt a bit sad to let it go off into the wilderness and wave it off.
When I got home, I thought it would make sense to read the first ten pages with fresh eyes and a new perspective. My first thoughts were ‘Shit, bugger, bugger’ in that order, followed by an overwhelming urge to run and hide under the bed. How could I possibly expect anyone to read my work and find it interesting? I felt a bit foolish and humbled by seeking an opinion and a decision on this outpouring.
I’ve been really inspired and excited working on this new outlet for my writing, I face rejection square in the face now. What is the point? Why did I bother? I just don’t know, but I did it.
And so it goes. The experience of writing in itself is enough for me, it’s what I do, but I just can’t predict the consequences. Interestingly, I had the exact same feeling when I submitted a post for a carnival in the early days of blogging -I was in the throes of self indignation once I’d sent it off. It sounds bonkers but it’s just the way I’m built. (And I hope I’m not alone in feeling that way!)
So there it is. I know my offering has just been added to the pile and will be sitting under several hundred other scripts by the end of tomorow. It’s in the lap of the gods, I’ve got no control over the stack of paper I’ve kissed goodbye to. But I wrote it. I’ve put my head above the parapet and done something creative.
That’s why I’ll never stop writing.
In the meantime, while I await my fate, I’m already working out what’s going to happen in episode two and will pick it all up again next week…
I’m quite tempted to post it on a blog to be honest and get a round of response from my readers.
Watch this space for further developments!