Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Earlier in the year, I challenged myself to write a new screenplay once a month for a year. Added to this I also planned to rewrite another screenplay each month and write my first novel until it was finished.

January and February went well - one new spec TV drama pilot was completed and also a rewrite of a sitcom. Then it all went a bit tits up (it's a technical term)!

March started well. I had the spec TV crime drama pilot all plotted out in three days and the first act flew from my fingers onto the page over the next couple. Then I stalled. A week went by and I worked on nothing but my novel. Then another week passed with no work on the spec. I went back to it in the fourth week, rejigged the first act and managed to get another twenty pages done. Then I went on holiday to Spain for a week... massive mistake.

On my return, it took me a further week to catch up on my emails and get back into the swing of things. By the end of April, I had both the first and second act done and was about to start on the third. It was then I realised my problem. I should have spent more time plotting.

The first two weeks of May were spent going over what I had written and replotting it and the last week and a bit rewriting like a rewriting ninja on speed (Dear Police, no actual drugs were taken in the writing of this screenplay unless you count tea and coffee and the occasional chocolate digestive). Today, finally, the first draft will be finished.

So why did I have such a problem with this screenplay?

It's my first multi-protagonist story. I've never written one before. There's a lot more to think about. I tied myself up in knots trying to get it right. I also didn't know my characters well enough. I struggled. But I learned fast. And now I'm confident when I write the next one I won't have a problem. Sometimes, things take a little longer to get where they're going.

And the novel progressing brilliantly, even if I have no idea how it ends.

Writing surprises you constantly. It's one of the things I love about it.

Happy writing!

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