Tuesday, September 02, 2008

That seemed like a long month, didn't it>

Spent much of August writing the first draft of a new project. Contractual obligations forbid me from giving away too many details, but I'll tell you what little I can. My working title includes the word 'Atrocity', so you know in advance the story will be a laff riot. No, of course it won't. It's another tragic tale that ends badly for lots and lots of characters. Another bittersweet bit of storytelling, full of death and pain and suffering. Hurrah.

I've been doing other things at the same time, but this project swallowed the bulk of August - hence the lack of blogging lately. Happily, I've been doing some paying work the last month or three so my financial situation is not quite so parlous as it has been. But I still need to earn a few quid now it's September. Birthday season looms, closely followed by the financial black hole that is Christmas. For now, I'm not eyeballs deep in overdraft.

So what would I like to achieve during September? There's my Red Planet Prize entry to polish and submit, including the all-important single page outline. If honing the first ten pages of a script until they shine is challenging , crafting the perfect pitch doc can really bake your noodle. You want it to reflect the concept you're hawking - not just content, but also in tone. Thriller pitch docs should be thrilling, comedies funny, etc.

I want to write my first feature and am trying to set aside a goodly part of this month to achieve that in time. It's for the RISE Summer Challenge [although summer turned into another damp squib of rain and showers]. Suspect I'm being too ambitious by not giving myself enough time to do the best job possible, but that's no excuse for not trying. Even if my efforts miss the deadline, better to have a rough first draft for future rewriting.

There's another opening I'm pursuing, and several spec script ideas I'm nurturing. The rest of September goes to paying gigs and their pursuit. Need to develop more story of the day ideas for Doctors. Got a meeting down in That Fancy London later this month about a project for which I pitched back in January [freelancers play the long game by necessity]. Need to tweak a submission for a new novel, and pitch more Phantom comic script ideas.

That'll be September largely consumed. Of course, there'll be other bits and bobs along the way. I can expect plenty of notes on the big August project leading to the second draft. If the London meeting goes well, that'll no doubt require a lightning fast response from me. The same applies to sundry other opportunities I've been pursuing. Most never bear fruit, but you have to be ready in case they do. Deft and swift must the freelancer be.

After all that there's three months left of 2008. Been a while since I've written a novel, so that itch will be in need of scratching soon. My next novel will be my 20th, and I'd like it to be something special. Want to rewrite the script I developed for the BBC writersroom Sharps scheme. There's a lovely yet macabre story buried beneath some flubby, mannered writing - so that needs sorting. And my perpetually delayed radio drama efforts to revive.

Gonna be a busy few months. Onwards!

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