Monday, 12 April 2010

Oh, get him...

Yes, I've still yet to have anything on the telly, and yes I'm still offering advice. I know. And I've even said this already, but in the words of Fell In Love With A Girl, it bears repeating.

Outlines then. You need to do these, and practice these, and do them and practice them some more. I say this to any aspiring/baby/beginner writers passing through as if you've had a commision, you'll have experienced this already: you spend very little time writing scripts.

And when I was writing entirely on spec (which don't get me wrong, is still 99% of what I'm doing, and yes, I know I started not only a sentence but a whole paragraph with 'and', balls to you, I don't do prose) I practiced only scripts. Now, it pays to be good at scripts. This much is true. You're unlikely to get much in the way of script writing work if you can't do this, but... outlines. Nobody will let you get anywhere near a script without a decent outline. Unless you're big and famous. Which you won't get to be without getting good at outlines. Seriously, people won't let you write the script without one. And that's what you love doing, right?

... I'm repeating myself now, aren't I? Anyway, practice outlines. Worth it. I'll stop now.

So I haven't spent much time commenting on popular culture recently, so I'll just say a quick hurrah to the new series of Doctor Who, and post two videos that I've link-whored from other blogs. Will that do?

Thursday, 8 April 2010


The crane fly infestation of yesterday, and Lexi's subsequent tales of her Ladybird (Ladybug for any passing Americans...) infestation, which sounds delightful but I am sure is horrifying and like something out of Arachnaphobia, only with glitz and glam that only a certain kind of bug can provide, has put me in mind of the wood louse infestation we had in my house as a child.

Wood lice would pootle around in the lounge, mostly, and mostly at night when they suspected that all good humans should be in bed. I have it on good authority that they're terrible for houses and were all eventually gassed, which puts a grim coda on an otherwise nostalgic ramble. Anyway, I always though they were kind of cute, like mini armadillos, what with their banded bodies.

In Cornwall, we call them Grammersells. Apart from me, I mishead that and called them Grammersows, which means that not only was I talking in dialect, I was talking in a dialect understood only by me, and how's that for exclusive.

Rewriting on the children's TV episode continues in earnest. It needs to be shorter, and accomodating all the necessary changes so far has actually made in longer, so I've now printed out a copy and am heading to bed with a red biro to heartlessly cull favourite moments.

I had far too much coffee this morning, and have spent most of the day feeling unpleasantly awake. Not that you'd be able to tell from all the run on sentences...

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Well, that's better...

If Jane Espenson has started bloggin again, I'd better too.

Things are going rather sparklingly well at the minute. The first draft of the children's TV script I've submitted has gone down well, which ace because a) it just is and b) because it means I'm energised and encouraged to write as I can crack on with the second draft. It's a lot...

... sorry, got dragged away to rid the house of a couple of Daddy Long Legs by my recently thirty year old wife. Where was I?

Ah, yes... fun. It's a lot of fun. Mad cap, great energetic kids stuff (the whole series, not talking up my ep, trying to keep ego in check these days).

Another script, again a children's script which seem to be my bread and hummus these days, has also been very well recieved, and will hopefully shortly be read by two rather famous comedians (to product it, not be in it...).

The spec which was mentioned a few blog posts back has been parked for a while whilst paying work comes in, but the beautiful thing about spec writing is that you're not paid for it, so I can a) quite happily park the motherfunster and not get a grilling from anyone / fired and b) I can go back to it inbetween paying work, so it's part writing exercise, part surefire future blockbuster. Truth be told, I'm actually working on three spec movies in various states of development, and your guess is as good as mine as to which will be finished first. One was born when a friend of mine jokingly called me up pitching a movie idea and I bullied him into co-writing. Never pitch me an idea. I will make you write it.

Finally, a slightly belated happy birthday to my wife (don't worry, I said happy birthday to her on the day, this blog isn't a surrogate birthday card) who turned a mighty 30 years old yesterday. We had a very fine tea at Fowey Hall, apparently the inspiration for Toad Hall, but failed to find Mr Toad. Perhaps we shall have better luck at locating Piglet when we visit Ashdowne Forest in July.