Tuesday, January 31, 2012


And here I am at the end of my 31 day journey. The final touches were made to the first draft last night and it has now been emailed to the producer and director for their notes before the second draft gets underway. This is where the nerves kick in. Is it good enough? Will they like it? I know it is and I'm sure they will, but for now I'll worry a little, then forget about it, then get on with the second draft when the notes arrive.

It's been a busy 31 days, somewhat emotional - frustrating - hard going - hilarious - and satisfying in places, but a fun journey overall, one I have enjoyed sharing with you all. I hope you enjoyed the journey too and learnt something along the way.

Normal weekly Wednesday blogging will resume next week. Thank you for following me these past 31 days.

Monday, January 30, 2012


I have notes.

These will be the last before the screenplay is sent to the producer and director...I'm a little nervous!!! It would be different if I was writing something of my own, but writing a screenplay from a story by someone else is a little scary. What if they don't like it? What if they actually hate it?

But what if they DO like it?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012


Still waiting for notes...

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Email from the producer last night chomping at the bit to get her hands on the first draft....she'll have to wait a bit because it's not the agreed deadline yet. Now just waiting for notes on the screenplay as a whole from the script editor.

I also realised last night I haven't read the screenplay all the way through yet. I might do that this afternoon.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Just when I thought I had two days off the script editor gets his notes to me in double quick time...

So begins the first rewrite.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I finished the first draft last night writing 14 pages in a day. The script has now been sent off to the script editor for his notes, after which there will be a quick rewrite and then it will be sent to the producer and director. I hope they like it.I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out and it's certainly one of my better first drafts.

It's great to finally get my first paid feature under my belt and I can't even begin to describe the relief that brings. It's certainly given me more confidence and a stronger belief in myself, which I can now use to progress my career further.

It's worth pointing out this opportunity and the next I have lined up came from networking. Lost Soul was offered to me purely on the recommendation of a writer/director who read my coming-of-age feature Faith and thought Lost Soul was the kind of script I write well. My next feature was a direct result of networking at the Screenwriters' Festival last October. So it just goes to show spending a considerable amount of time devoted to network will eventually pay off. If you don't put the work in, you won't get work out of it. The more connections you make the better your chances of finding work.

Monday, January 23, 2012


I'm back. I took a couple of days off in the end, just to recharge my batteries and to take stock of my rapidly escalating year.

The meeting I had on Saturday for another feature went very well and the producer wants me to go ahead and write the screenplay, after the contract is sorted out of course. It's a fantastic opportunity for me and a brilliant idea that I can't wait to get stuck in to. It's the kind of story I write well and love...but I will have to tell you more about it at a later date. First I must finish Lost Soul.

Better get to it.

Friday, January 20, 2012


I will be working tonight, as we have visitors for most of the day. I was able to write a few pages last night as well, just to help things along. Not long left to go now.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I'm beginning to flag. I really need a break, but I won't let myself have one until the first draft is in the bag. Who ever said this writing lark was easy needs to be shot...


Wednesday, January 18, 2012


This was the day I planned to finish the first draft, but after being told to slow down by the script editor I now find myself about 30 pages away from finishing. I'm hoping I can get it completed by the end of the week, so I'll have 10 days to do another quick draft. I'm also meeting up face to face with the script editor on Sunday and it would be fantastic if he was able to read the finished draft the day before. Let's see if I can do it.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Another day of marvellous writing done and another ahead of me. Things went well yesterday, some good scenes and some fantastic imagery.

Best get to it.

Monday, January 16, 2012


I'm now entering the part of the screenplay I always struggle with, the section just after the midway point where the inspiration suddenly dries up and things almost come to a stop. Luckily with this screenplay I have more ideas for this section than can possibly fit, so I know my real problem will be what to cut out.

The other problem I have is that the second half of this feature is set in a hospital and there is a great danger that it could get very talky. I've got to keep on my toes and keep thinking visual to stop it turning into something all too common in many screenplays I read. It's not too bad in TV scripts to have a lot of talk, but in features it's a killer. Being visual is the key.

On a separate note I would like to congratulate Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Steve Thompson, Toby Haynes and Paul McGuigan for bringing us the FABULOUS Sherlock. Last night's episode written by Steve Thompson and directed by Toby Haynes was spellbinding TV and an example of genius writing, the kind that makes the rest of us writers look distinctly average. You are all incredibly talented bastards and I thank you for such glorious entertainment.

Right I have a cup of tea, the eldest is at nursery and the youngest is having his morning nap - time to get to it!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


At the desk nice and early (on a Sunday...I know...I must be mad!), let's see what I can get done.

First up: notes from the script editor on what I've written so far.

First point: He's worried one of the two main characters looks a little weak along side a secondary character who is very strong. I agree and will go back later and correct this.

Second point: He is worried the second half of the screenplay is becoming a little too talky and isn't visual enough. I also agree and it was a problem I've seen coming for a while. The second half of the screenplay takes place in a hospital and it's very easy to fall into the talky trap. But I've got to think big, think visual and come up with a different way of showing these scenes.

I had better get on with it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I've got blurred vision - too long staring at a computer screen, so I'm taking the day off.

Normal service will resume tomorrow.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Friday the 13th......I might just stay in bed.

But then again I'm not being paid for that, so write I will.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Not much progress made on the script yesterday after the call from the producer, as I had to rewrite the synopsis and go back over the script to change little bits. The knock on effect of that is I am now worried they aren't going to like the draft I hand in. I know I've done a good job, but still the doubt is there again.

It's silly really, doubting myself after all the hard work I've put in over the years learning my craft and improving my writing every day. However, the self doubt pushes me on and makes me even more determined to be a better writer every day. I won't ever let it cripple me, or beat me, I will use it to better myself.

A full day of working on the script today and nothing else. Onwards!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Yesterday I reached the midway point - YES!!! Very pleased with myself! Best of all it reads very well and I'm very happy with the quality.

Time to get down to it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Changed the scene the script editor wanted me to yesterday then I decided to scrap it, because it was rubbish. I wanted to show a character's journey into violence, just hinting at it in this new scene, but it turned into a full on riot which was too much. The plan is to do it a different way today and see if that works better.

In other news my website has now been updated and you can see the new version here:


If you have any suggestions on how I can improve it please let me know.

Better get to it.

Monday, January 09, 2012


Easy day yesterday. Knocked the page tally up to 37 and will aim to make it 45 by the end of the day, despite the script editor telling me to slow down. I now just want to get it done so I can get on with other things.

My fingers are hovering over my keyboard. Ready. Steady. Go.

Sunday, January 08, 2012


I didn't do much yesterday because, as I thought, family time got in the way. Amazingly enough I'm not feeling guilty at only doing 3 pages yesterday and as a bonus the dear lady wife sent me up to my office straight after lunch to get on with the screenplay. It's fantastic to share my life with such an understanding woman.

By the way, I watched SUBMARINE last night; what a bloody brilliant film!!! Go buy or hire.

Better get to it then.

Saturday, January 07, 2012


Just emailed the first 31 pages to the script editor for his notes (he's just text me to say he's got them) and I've already started writing today. Full day of family stuff so I'll be dipping in an out, but let's see what I can get done.

Ready to rumble.

Friday, January 06, 2012


Yesterday was a hard slog. What I was writing was rubbish and no matter how many times I tried to change it, it didn't seem to get any better. In the end I think I sorted it, but I must have written at least 15 pages most of which ended up being deleted. Because of this I decided to take the morning off and play with the kids. Now I'm back.

26 pages done and hopefully I can get 5 done today to keep me on track.

I'm going in.

Thursday, January 05, 2012


6 pages done yesterday making a total of 21 pages.

Lovely email from an agent at lunch time interested in representing me, which did distract me a little.

Anyway, let's see what I can do today.


Wednesday, January 04, 2012


So 6 pages yesterday. I did set myself a target of 10 but decided to get a couple of other things out of the way, like my Red Planet entry. Very happy with where I am today. The eldest boy went back to nursery this morning so I should be able to write 10 pages easily, as I won't have to contend with him interrupting me every five minutes.

Wrote my first really meaty scene yesterday and it was great fun to finally get to the emotional core of the story. I'm also really pleased about the ending to the scene I came up with, it's really powerful and sets things up beautifully. The great thing is it just came to me as I was writing it.

Right, no time to waste, must get on with it.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


Feeling a little better about yesterday and I'm determined to do at least 10 pages today. Time to crack on.

Monday, January 02, 2012


Really buzzed about writing today after watching the marvellous SHERLOCK last night...how does Mr Moffat do it???

Just had a quick read of yesterday's pages and to be honest they're not bad. One minor tweak to help the audience connect with the protagonist, as he was looking too troubled too early... that comes later.

The threat of Swanage still looms to add to the self imposed pressure of another 5 pages planned for today. If I can do more I will - if the writing is flowing really well what's the point in stopping when I complete my target number of pages? If it goes well I'll stay at home and write until my fingers drop off, if it doesn't I might as well go and get some fresh air and clear my head.

I'm going in.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

And So It Begins...


A piping hot mug of black coffee on the desk next to me (my first of 2012), outline printed, Final Draft open, document open, page one, cursor flashing... and I'm ready to go.

And so starts thirty-one mad days of writing the first draft of THE LOST SOUL, my first commissioned feature screenplay of 2012. I'll try and blog every day so you can follow my progress. The aim is to show the first draft writing process warts an all so you can be there to see how many pages I've done, or haven't, if and when panic sets it and how I'm feeling throughout the process. I am aiming to be brutally honest with everything I say, which will quite possibly mean most of what you read won't be pretty.

Are you ready? Then let's go.