Monday, 31 August 2009

Life is what happens...

Ok, so yet again it's been a massive amount of time since I last wrote anything on here (or anywhere else for that matter). I'm seeing a pattern emerging. If I was some kind of Tony Robbins fellow I might say that I have some sort of behaviour that needs to be re-framed so that I can succeed in life. But i'm not, so I keep being lazy and making the same mistakes over and over again.

Well, it seems that life keeps getting in the way everytime I come to the stage where i'm ready to start writing again. John Lennon was kind of right.

Yeah, the new development which is halting my progress is that me and my girlfriend of three years have just split up. So, now i've got to find somewhere else to live, and generally sort my shit out. So, I kind of haven't felt like writing at the moment. There's still some logistical issues too (I still need to buy a new computer). But hey, all this emotional torment is sure to enrich my writing. Now all I need is another ten break ups or so and my writing might be worth a damn! (maybe I will try to pen an episode of Eastenders or something...I might now be depressed enough!).

What worries me though is my ability to completely switch off my emotions about the whole situation. Either i'm losing my ability to emotionally invest in someone the older I get, or in a few years' time i'll take a semi-automatic weapon into my place of work and mow down colleagues and co-workers alike. It's probably 50-50. Maybe it's like in High Fidelity- "If you wanted to really mess me up you should have gotten to me sooner".

But needless to say, i'm holding onto what emotions I do have and hoping that I can channel them a little more and use them productively in my writing. I'm listening to The Smiths and Neil Young alot, which is helping.

Yesterday I bought some new trainers. The girl at the till asked me, "Do you want a bag for life?" I replied, "Hmmm, i'm not sure i'm ready for that kind of commitment. I'm not really looking to settle down with just one bag yet." Maybe i'm just watching too much Seinfeld.

Monday, 22 December 2008

The Naked Civil-Servant

Ok, so now i'm writing with renued vigour- i've got a little 9-5 civil service job, which is working out nicely, and will bring in some money so i can now write guilt-free in the evenings. Also on the blogging advice from Danny Stack's blog (Screenwriting in the UK- which is an absolute Godsend, by the way- i've made some enquiries into script reading work, and have got a couple of positive responses. So i'm going to plow ahead with my script because i think it'll be good for me to get back into the routine and thought processes of writing, and as well, it'd be nice to have some more substantial examples of my work, should anyone request them.

As you may have read last time i was gutted when i found that the most up to date version of my latest script hadn't been saved, which meant i lost some of the best written scenes of the script...

So, anyhow, when i found out that the script was somehow lost in the innards of my parents computer (long story, but i'd been using their's to write on for a while) i set about finding ways to get this information back.

So i looked about for a bit and found some company that specialised in retrieving lost files. I decided that this seemed like a good idea, and told my folks about it, seen as technically it's their computer, and here's how it goes...

"Hey Dad, i'm thinking of taking the computer in to one of those file retrieval places in Manchester. Would you be ok going without your computer for a few days while i get it sorted out."

"Well, me and your Mother don't mind....But, are you sure you want some stranger looking at the computer?"

"Yeah, i don't mind. As long as it gets the files back, that's fine."

"Ok.......well, are you sure there's nothing on there that you don't want anyone seeing?"


(Alarm bells start slowly surfacing at this point. I'm thinking "I'm certain there's nothing dodgy on there-if ever i've been sacheting through a gentlemen's website I always do the old delete-the-history-trick)

"Look, i'm sorry to have to bring this up, but your mum was looking through the computer the other day and she came across was a picture of you with no clothes on"

(Oh shit. I remembered. I took a stupid naked photo over a year ago when i was messing around, and somehow i'd forgotten to delete it. Now, my parents are ultra conservative, and my upbringing was painfully stiff in regards to the birds and the bees. So much so that up until this point, my most embarassing moment was when my mum had two glasses of wine at Christmas and laughed at a rude answer on Blankety Blank.)

"Now, don't worry Son, we've all been there and done that.....and i've seen alot worse"

(Reassuring as my Dad's efforts were to aleave my embarassment, he goes on to make it much worse by carrying on trying to emphasise his own 'crazy experimental' youth. Even though i'm pretty sure his genitals pre-date the camera obscura. And so it is that in trying to to rescue my failing script, I turn my relationship with my father into some kind of straight to dvd American Pie knock off.)

and now my mum's seen my cock. Oh joy.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

The Unbearable Dullness of Being

Ok, so after fiddling around on blogger for a bit it seems that there's loads of great blogs out there for people interested in writing/screenwriting.

I've now got a list of all these blogs on this page (on the sidebar). Check them out, they're mostly ace!

And here was me complaining that there were barely any resources for aspiring UK screenwriters!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Game on

Ok, so another long lay-off with no updates (and cruicially no writing)- but i think that i've turned another corner now. (Jesus, i'm 'turning more corners' than Lewis Hamilton).

Basically, i've managed to get a job. It's not a great job by any stretch of the imagination (and it's nothing to do with anything i 'actually' want to do in life, but it'll pay the bills, and it's one less thing to have to worry about.

So, i'm going to resume proceedings on my screenplay.

And now for the bad news....

About two or three months ago my computer crashed, and totally wiped everything out- all photos, music, documents, programmes, everything! But, i was sure everything was alright, because i had my work backed up on USB and i had a hard copy of my work so far. But, having decided to get the ball rolling on stuff last night, i've found that the hard copy and the backed up files are not the most current version of my script. As it turns out, the last (and wouldn't you fucking know it) best written scenes aren't in the version that's survived. Somewhere, floating through the ether (or trapped in my shit hole of a hard drive) are ten of the best pages i've ever magiced out of my chubby fingers. Gone.

Oh well.

Anyhow, i'm going to start back on it A.S.A.P- i read some great advice recently, spoken by Rob Long in Toby Young's 'The Sound of No Hands Clapping'

"Listen, you’re thinking way too much about this. Writing for the movies is easy.
There are only two rules: Make sure something interesting happens on
every page and make sure the character changes. The character has to
change. Don’t worry about the three-act structure or any of that
bullshit. And for God’s sake don’t read any of those goddamned screen-
writing books. That’s the kiss of death."

PS- Here's a link to a screenwriting forum which looks quite useful

Thursday, 18 September 2008

The Wages of Fear

Ok, so yet again it's been an absolute age since i've last posted on here. Well, i came to a slight decision recently to put my writing on hold for a little while. You see, being a man i find it incredibly hard to multi-task. Maybe i should explain; At the moment, not much has changed from the last time i posted- I'm still unemployed and sort of stuck in a rut. But now, me and my girlfriend have a house in Cardiff, which is great. It's been bought and all the paperwork is going through now, and the estate agent estimated that we'll move in by the end of October. So with this in mind, i decided that i should shift the focus of my priorities a little; i decided that seen as i totally can't concentrate on more than one task at once, i should really concentrate fully on getting a proper job. Writing is not going to pay the bills anytime soon, so i'm having to work hard on trying to get a job instead for the meantime. It's taking ages to find a job as well- who knew that a degree in Film and Philosophy from a tiny University wouldn't see employers beating down my door to give me a job!?! So once i've got myself a job and the money starts coming in, then i'll be back on board with the writing.

As for the writing, i'm still labouring on the second act. It really is a quagmire in there. I need to really concentrate and strip away all the meat and get down to the bare bones of my story- i have to find what is the driving force behind the narrative, what makes the story my story. I came across a great quote from Bertrand Russell the other day which really seems to sum it all up;

"Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise"

When i started out on this story, i thought i knew it inside and out, but the more i try and examine it, the more it eludes me.

Anyway, in true 'me' style, i already have the basic outline for my next script (it would probably be a good idea to finish the first one first!), which will basically be a development of something i wrote during my degree. Yep, barely one script in, i'm already cannibalising my old ideas! The shallow well too soon dries!

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Second Act Blues

Ok, so it's been a fair while since i last left a message. So, i'll give a quick update on what's going on....
Lots of stuff seems to have happened in my general life (was nearly evicted, lost my job, etc), but in my writing, not a great deal has happened.

So, i guess this must be my first real experience with writers' block. It's strange, i have this feeling like i know exactly how to solve my screenplay problems; they seem strangely tangible, like i could almost reach out and touch them. But the more i try, the more ellusive they become, fading away into nothingness.

I'm basically hung up at the start of the second act. I'm having a real problem nailing my ideas down. I think that what this mainly comes down to is my lack of preparation in the beginning. I feel that maybe my initial outline wasn't fleshed out enough, and that now, it's slowly slipping away.

The first act has changed a great deal since my outline- i've made lots of changes with structure, plotting, pace, and characters, which has all had a knock-on effect for the rest of the story. Now, what would've happened in the second, and third acts, is no longer valid, so i need to lamost go back to the drawing board, and really nail down in what direction i want this to go in.

You see, i'm almost in two minds as to how to proceed with this. I want the script to be commercial enough to sell, but i think that it might be becoming too 'genre', sinking into cliche-infested waters. But i'm having a real problem in making something which is largely intangible into something scary, which is why i think that i have snuck down the more obvious horror path.

Oh well, i think i'm just going to have to go back to the beginning, and really hold a magnifying glass up to the structure of it- maybe even go back and write another outline, based on how i have written the first draft.

Sometimes writing can suck balls...

Sunday, 10 February 2008

An Invitation to the Dance

Ok, so this weekend i decided to lay off the booze and avoid a repeat of last weekend's blackout.

Went out for a work friend's birthday, which was good fun- managed to have a decent time despite having to explain to a whole new bunch of people why i don't dance (The short answer is i look ridiculous, the longer answer is that i just DON'T GET IT?!?)

I hate the way people sometimes make you out to be no fun whatsoever if you don't want to dance! It's crazy, like the only way you can have fun is by dancing! For those of you who don't know me, i've never been in danger of not having fun. ever.

Anyhow, the writing's been going well. I'm up to around 28 pages- almost finished the first act. I'm pleased with some of the stuff i've got down- managed to go over some stuff, and insert a couple of needed scenes in there to provide character motivation. All in all, i don't think the dialogue's anything to write home about yet- but hopefully i'll get it a bit cuter and smarter in the re-writes. All i'm looking for now is words on paper, and for it to make some sort of internal sense.

So, i was feeling pretty good about myself, and then BAM! Phone call off my landlord- he's been hit with a bill for lots of money, and unless i can sort this whole Uni/registration situation out soon, i'll be liable for it. I'm hoping that it'll all get sorted out very soon, and i'm doing everything i can at the moment to hurry everyone along. But jesus, i feel like this'll be a close one!