Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Gardening Scriptwriter

Sunday I was gardening, mainly because it was sunny, but also because the weeds had taken advantage of my week's holiday in Norway. It looked like they had had a party, a few friends round, even though they denied it. You know the sort of thing. Cheeky little buggers! While I was yanking out a rather stubborn dandelion root a sudden thought struck me, right between the eyes, made my eyes water I can tell you. My revelation? Scriptwriting is like gardening.

In the spring your garden is a mess, weeds everywhere, with the occasional shoot of a plant trying to battle through. This is your script at its conception. You have a mess of ideas floating around in your cranium with one or two showing promise. So you weed out those bad ideas, giving the good idea room to breath and grow. Then it blooms and you have your story and your garden is looking delightful. Now you can relax and enjoy it, right?

Wrong! Those weeds come back, becoming underdeveloped characters, clunky dialogue, threatening to choke the life out of your beautiful garden. Time to weed all over again. The more you weed the more weeds you notice hiding away waiting to shoot up when your back is turned. It's no good relaxingly, you have to keep on the boil, constantly going back to the garden, pruning, weeding and turning the soil to maintain the garden the way you want it.

But it doesn't matter how many weeds you dig up, when you have visitors over they'll always spot those one or two persistent weeds you failed to find. And there's always some bastard who kicks the heads off all your daffodils on their way home from the pub!!!!!


Lucy V said...


Scriptwriting is not like gardening

It's like cookery

Possibly ironing

Definitely sex

So there

Dominic Carver said...


I don't get sticky and wet while writing...and a script lasts longer than three minutes.