Ever nearing completion, I’m currently on the 5th draft of my screenplay, Grand. In fact I will have the 5th draft done this week and, all things being equal it’s really just a case of tiding it up. The story itself has undergone many changes from its initial inception and I’m really pleased with it as a whole. What happens next is the bigger question. The writing process has taken roughly 7 months, from treatment to (hopefully) final draft. Obviously the concept had been floating around for a lot longer but putting pen to paper is, unsurprisingly, when the real work begins. Grand is my first feature length film, written as part of my MA Scriptwriting with the University of South Wales, and has seen me go from thinking “how am I going to do this” to “why didn’t I do this years ago”. I’ve always been involved in writing in some shape or form but over the last few years I’ve really wanted to give it ago and try to take it to the next level. So far I’ve been met with varying degrees of success, but the main thing is that I’m trying and learning all time. The last few years have been a hugely transformational process for me as a writer, not coincidentally tying in with many personal changes in my life. The practical skills I’ve learnt are massively important but overall the biggest change has been the “doing”. Simply put, being more disciplined and actually writing, rather than pondering it. This goes hand-in-hand with self belief and developing my voice as a writer.
My folder of story ideas on the backburner is ever increasing, a good thing in most ways, but every time I add another file to it I wonder how the hell am I going to get through them all. Evidently, I won’t get to work on all of them but it’s tough to decide which one to work on next (and why). I love the feeling of excitement I get when I’m really happy with a new idea, or when something within an existing story falls into place. Thankfully, there’s an abundance of competitions to enter throughout the year and I can often use an existing idea if it fits into a brief. I find that competition briefs are a great way of generating new ideas too, even if I don’t end up entering the competition itself. Deadlines are always good for me, as I work better when I’ve a clear goal in sight. My immediate plans after I complete the final draft of Grand (besides a little celebration) will be to map a time line for my next project- I certainly want to return to playwriting and there’s an upcoming competition that I plan on entering, so that seems like the next logical step. That said I really need a holiday, so I’m taking a few weeks off in September and heading to sunnier climes to recharge my batteries. After that I’ll be ready to start my next big project. At least that’s the theory anyway.