Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Praise the lord and pass the ammunition

I'm not one for To-Do lists, but sometimes resort to them when I feel the many plates I've got spinning are getting out of control. That was me last Friday. Too many projects, not enough time and in danger of running like a headless chook between them, instead of focusing on and finishing one task at a time. Being a freelance writer, I'm often doing work for multiple clients. You don't want to let any of them down, in case they choose not to employ you again, but you also need to ensure a steady stream of income [not something I've achieved with any great success this month].

The good news is that as of this morning I've crossed two things off my list and bumped another, non-urgent project into next week. The big achievement was finishing the first draft of my TV drama pilot spec script. It's a project I've been developing under the help of Adrian Mead, thanks to the Scottish Books Trust's words@work mentoring scheme. I'm under no illusions about the amount of rewriting that lies ahead - there's that repeat beat at the end of act four, and it could well be missing an obligatory scene or three - but the relief at nailing down a first draft was palpable. Typically, I laboured for weeks over the first 35 pages and wrote the final 25 pages in a two-day frenzy, driving myself to reach FADE OUT.

Getting that off my To-Do leaves a thousand-word article to write [once I've finished the research], a three-page plot synopsis to devise [ideally accompanied by a clutch of single-paragrpah story pitches] and the small matter of writing my next piece of assessed word for the MA Screenwriting course. In the next ten days we have to deliver a premise, outline and detailed synopsis for what's planned as our final project. My problem? I haven't written any of those things yet. To make matters worse, I'm still vascillating between two potential stories - a contemporary horror comedy, and a historical murder mystery. I think I'll probably write a premise for both and take them to college on Friday, see if the rest of the class can help me make up my damned mind.

In the meantime, I've research to do and a Phantom plot synopsis to write. Onwards!


Laura Anderson said...

I have been having a similar problem with my assignment for next week...

We can either do 25 min piece or start the feature. I'm doing a historical murder mystery as well (ooh, how exciting) but using my research project for that. I was going to do a sitcom pilot this term, but hadn't done any work and just wasn't feeling the love for it... yesterday I sat and wrote a synopsis for a completely new idea in about an hour, it was great. Needs some work, but it's a start.

I think taking both ideas in will be good, get a feel for what everyone else thinks.

Pillock said...

Thanks for telling us about Adrian's course, btw. He mentioned he was mentoring a 'graphic novelist' or something like that and I realised it was you. I think you've fallen on your feet there, mate.