It’s been nearly two years since I finished my first novel and I still hate it and the characters. I’ve spent those two years focusing on other mediums…. film, theatre, TV, web… basically anything but prose. The concept and characters of this new book are familiar ones and they should be because it’s actually a book I abandoned in 2011 because I didn’t think it had legs. I’d written nearly 28K before I realised that something was wrong with it. This year I figured it out. There were multiple “things” wrong with it. 1. Genre I’d placed it in YA but the more I wrote the more my characters felt like they were pushing for more adult themes… for more
On the 29th January, Better Than New: A Ten Minute Musical was performed, script in hand, in front of a small audience. Unfortunately, my body decided that Sunday was the day I needed flu. So I missed the performance. I was able to hold on long enough to see Huw and Aled run through the newly edited script before I had to get myself to bed. Of course, I recorded it. Warning – image quality isn’t the best. More 10 Minute Musicals to come Leeway Productions have another two 10 Minute Musical projects planned this year: commencing 23rd July (Welsh medium) and 12th November (bilingual). I have also just discovered that four of five pieces will also have
2017 started off slowly on the writing front. That thankfully resolved itself quickly and all because Angharad from Leeway Productions talked me into participating in the 10-Minute Musical project a year early. Essentially, over three one-day workshops, five writer-composer teams are tasked with creating a 10-Minute Musical and presenting it, script in hand, to an audience at a showcase on the final Sunday. The goal is to inspire the creative process and allow the development of new ideas without fear of perfection. The pieces we present don’t have to be complete as this is about works-in-progress. Before this, I’d never worked with a composer. I’ve always wanted to and it’s been on my to-do list for years. But
2016 was supposed to be a year of getting things done. Projects were to be finished, pieces were to be redrafted and forgotten so I could move on to write more stories. I had a plan for this year And part of that plan dictated that by this point in the year, I would have completed all prep on my next book – or more the rewrite of a book I started in 2008. That hasn’t happened. I was going to spend the entire month of November barrelling through 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo). But without the prep, I know I’d end the month with 50,000 useless words. I would have to start all over
NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS Every year I make a resolution of some sort and I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen any of them through. Read more books, loss weight, finish this project or that project, spend more time learning this language or that language. Despite these attempted resolution, I have gained weight, my languages are becoming a dull memory and I still have a never ending project list. This year, I decided to take a new course of action. I realised that until now I have only ever set vague resolutions which might not have been the best route to success. Therefore, for this year, I was specific. This year, I set myself a target. A daily target.
Last week our degree classifications were finally released. A Merit in MA Scriptwriting is definitely a good place to start my writing career. The only trouble is now I find myself with more free time than I know what to do with. Without the restrictions of course deadlines to push me to work, I’ll admit I’ve enjoyed a little bit of a break for the last two months. Possibly too much of a break… I’ve binge watched a lot of shows I somehow missed and re-watched far too many shows I loved. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have projects to get moving on. It means that I’ve managed to justify my procrastination. 8 months working on Coping Ugly.
3 Am and I’m still sat here…. …tweaking Coping Ugly while my eye swells up thanks to some unknown allergic reaction. I’ve begrudgingly accepted that I won’t be able to submit the perfect draft of Coping Ugly. It won’t be stageable. There’s at least another 10 drafts, a character death and a possible style change to come before it’s perfect. I spoke to Stapes briefly today and he asked if I’d started pulling my hair out yet or would I just throw caution to the wind and submit the play early. As I’m sure those who know me can predict, I answered with a resounding no to the latter. Stapes knew full well that I’d already been pulling my
So yesterday I finally finished the third draft of Coping Ugly. I was optimistic for the first time since the writing process began 6 months ago. It seemed to actually do something that I approved off…. And then the dust settled and the perfectionist came out. A full 24 hours later, I’m finding myself right back at square one with less than two weeks to the submission deadline. So many problems and I’m struggling to see a solution. Or more the solutions I can see are so daunting they make me want to crawl into bed for a week so that I can avoid the headache. One of those alterations involves cutting a character. A decision that admittedly
Last Tuesday, I bit the bullet and handed the first 10 pages of Coping Ugly over to my writing group in Cardiff Bay, Tuesday Night Writes. Now, at no point in this long drawn out process has a single draft of Coping Ugly solved the problems I inevitably identify WHILE writing a draft. So as you can imagine, I was extremely nervous to hear my work read by new and credited writers. Everyone was wonderfully constructive and what could have been a soul crushing evening resulted in renewed motivation. I learnt a lot that night. For example, that my instincts for the story are accurate and driving in the right direction, my characters are strong enough and real enough
Meeting Papatango At the end of July, I went up to London for a workshop with Papatango. The long bus ride reminded me that I’m so far behind in my posts that I still haven’t typed up my notes from the first time I met George Turvey and heard of Papatango (too the point that there’s another workshop next week). So I’ve been digging through my notebooks for my notes from the session back in February… I found at least five other sets of notes that I need to type up but I’ll get to that. Promise. For now, however, Papatango. Papatango is a theatre company whose goal is to invest in the careers of new, talented writers.