The script for my feature, Grand, is now tipping the edge between treatment and screenplay. To be honest, I’m chomping at the bit to get stuck into the actual script but I’ve been making changes to the story (and working on my scene-by-scene), all of which I’d rather have as solid as possible before I progress any further. I’m still happy with the story but as usual, any changes, no matter how small, have a knock-on effect to the rest of the script. I’ve already gotten rid of one character (goodbye, Nadine) which has challenged me as a writer for find another way to get the story across that Nadine was a mouthpiece for. In fairness, she wasn’t as one-dimensional as that but in the end she wasn’t really necessary to the overall story. Since then, I’ve decided to be more ruthless and at least one other character will be getting the chop in the coming week (sorry, Dan). Some feedback I’ve received has been that my characters are “too nice”, so this is something that I’m also working on even if I don’t wholly agree with it. I feel that some of the niceness will be lost once they open their mouths. That said, I am making one of the protagonists a little nastier than previously imagined but she’ll redeem herself as the story unfolds.
My last weekend in Cardiff was, in effect, my last weekend in Cardiff. I won’t actually be finished my course until September but my May residential will be in Gregynog (can’t wait!), so I might not actually be back in Cardiff itself for the foreseeable future. Which is kind of odd, now that I’ve gotten used to their wily Welsh ways. I made a point of going for a decent stroll around the city and the bay, as I never really got the chance to do so over the last two years or so. As part of the weekend I had a pitching workshop with Catherine Linstrum, which combined with the pitching workshop I attended last winter, means I’m now an expert pitcher (I wish!). The two workshops were actually quite different, which provided me with many different angles from a pitching perspective. One thing that particularly stood out for me in Catherine’s workshop (and I’m really going to be paraphrasing here) is to “introduce your script as though it were someone you really loved”. This clicked with me. While it’s by no means revolutionary, it makes perfect sense and it’s always good to be reminded that we should love our stories. If we don’t, who will? Admittedly, that can be hard at times, especially in the process of editing when it feels like you’re doing the same thing over and over again, often with the input of a producer or director. At these times, I take a mindful moment to remind myself that I love writing. That this is my choice and this is what I want to do. I think of all the millions of horrible things that could be happening and I become grateful for the process of writing that I’ve the privilege of being involved in. And I hope I remember that in the coming weeks, as I prepare to have my script workshopped in May.