Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Heimlich Manoeuvres in the Dark

Right. Forgive what follows, but I've got an awful lot of plates spinning at the moment and need to find an efficient way of prioritising them. Finished the third draft of my TV pilot script yesterday, and have already gotten feedback on it from my mentor. There's a few lapses into misplaced humour that need stripping out, the openign few pages could do with streamlining and I've still got a lot of work to do between pages 30 and 40, but... it's getting there. There's another draft and lots of polishing to do after that, then it'll be time to seek feedback from elsewhere, get some Power of Three action going.

It's my last month on the mentoring scheme run by the Scottish Book Trust's words@work scheme, and I've gotten a lot out of the experience. I highly recommend applying to any writers based in Scotland who want some help with a particular project they've been nurturing. I'm abandoned a lot of social activities [and earnign opportunities] to get the most from the nine-month mentoring period, but it's been well worth the sacrifice. I'll soon have a TV pilot script I can use as a calling card, along with Danny's Toys and my 10-pager. By the end of the MA screenwriting course I'll have added a 90-page screenplay to my script portfolio.

Best of all, I've got half a dozen ideas for further TV pilots spooling around in my head, waiting for the chance to escape on to a page or computer screen. But for now they'll have to stay where they are in my subconscious, as there are more urgent calls upon my time. I've got to rewrite a Phantom script for Egmont Sweden today, and devise the synopsis for another Phantom tale tomorrow. I've got to continue progressing my research dossier for the research methods module on my MA course - need to nail down another fistful of annotations this week, otherwise I'll have too much to do in the final few days.

I need to write a step outline for my final MA project this week, leaving myself enough time to write a treatment for the same next week. The treatment's due in by Friday, but I'm away down to That Fancy London at dawn on Thursday for the Script Factory's Storylining for Soaps two-day intensive workshop with Yvonne Grace. [I've also got to set some time to prep for the workshop, otherwise I won't be getting the best out of that experience. Gulp.]

The good news is finishing my TV pilot script's third draft gave me a solid writing sample to submit with my application for the BBC Writers' Academy. More than 500 people apply every year for only eight places, so the odds on being selected aren't much better than one in 100. I'd be chuffed if I made it far enough to be shortlisted for interview, so my expectations are low, low and lower on that front. I agonised long and hard about applying: thirteen weeks away in London would be a wrench, and Grud knows how I'd fund it, but selection is the fasttrack to TV writing, so I'd be a fool not to try.

Enough rambling, I've got no shortage of things I need to be progressing. Apologies in advance if blog postings are brief in the coming week or three: it's going to be pedal to the metal from now until June 1st, when the research dossier's due to be handed in. After I'll subside into a state of collapse before going on holiday for a week. Sleep may be possible in the future. I'm scheduling time for that on June 5th.

1 comment:

Jason Arnopp said...

Can't wait to see what you make of the soap-storylining class, sir, as I've signed up for the one in June. Mainly did it to see how I enjoy the process, as well as learning all about it, of course...

Wow, good luck with all this other stuff you've got going on... Plates are indeed a-spinnin'.