The Highs and Lows of Finishing the First Draft

A big red rollercoaster with a carriage of people about to descend

I’m not entirely sure where all this time has gone. I think it’s been sucked into a vortex of disturbed nights, madcap days and juggling three too many things at once. But… I finished the first draft of my screenplay! On June 15th to be exact. It was momentous. I’d had the initial idea over 10 YEARS AGO. It still makes me twitch to think about the time that’s passed, not to mention I’m getting to an age where I can speak in decades quite comfortably…. anyway, it felt great. What have I been doing since? Well, first I cut …

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Why Bother Pursuing Your Dream When the World’s Falling Apart?

Little toy people on a pebble beach hold aloft protest signs that say: "no war" and "arts" and "free river". Cute and peaceful.

I’m a little behind on the blog writing due to our now 18-month-old boys going through a perfect storm of double-dose teething and developmental leaps. Matt and I have endured many a night-waking these past few weeks. Such fun. However, I’m relieved to say we’ve made it through, four teeth apiece have sprouted in their little mouths and they seem to be making lots of (immensely cute) chitter-chatter progress with speech. So, with a full 7 hours sleep (it could’ve been 8 but I’ve just discovered Dexter on Netflix) I’m back and I want to address another challenge along the path …

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What to Do When the Blank Page Unhinges You

A film still of Gandalf the Grey from LOTR at the point where he faces off with a Balrog and shouts: You Shall Not Pass! We see his head and torso and two staffs that he's holding aloft.

After several years and a couple of false starts, I’ve finally broken the seal and started the screenplay. Egads! I’ve somehow slowly made my way through Act One over the last fortnight. It’s very rough but it exists. It’s there on the screen in black and white. Words. Characters talking. Action. The slow birth of a story. I’m even moving into Act Two (!) and having an easier time of it now I’ve started. But it was weirdly tough to begin. I was surprised to find myself paralysed in front of the blank screen. What a cliché. I have little …

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Plotting a Path through the Wild

Colourful wooden slats laid down to make a gently winding path though a wild, dark green forest

I’m on the cusp of starting my screenplay. I’ve been immersed in the story for a few weeks now so the characters are keen to come out, interrupting my thoughts with flashes of action and snippets of dialogue. My brain is making connections, imagination fired up. It’s the Muse in motion, skipping along merrily and I, the scruffy intern, follow after, notepad in hand. My reluctant (and enlightening) pitstop at structure Admittedly, I wanted to skip the part of the screenplay guide (Save the Cat) that talked about structure. I’d already sketched out rough scenes (about two years ago) and …

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Why we don’t do what we dream

A snail crosses the void between two stones, body half adhering to one stone and then the other.

Anyone who’s known me long enough will tell you I’ve had a longing to write stories for some time, especially screenplays these last few years. It’s something I’ve always come back to even if life has taken me way off course. So why haven’t I done it? Self-doubt, confusion about how to approach it, prioritising work and salary-making jobs, house stuff, raising humans… Right now isn’t ideal either, but no other time is guaranteed, is it? In this moment I’m lucky enough to be alive, healthy and willing so it’s the best opportunity I have. It’s got me thinking about …

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