Thursday, December 18, 2008
"Are you currently writing short stories, novels or plays, and have you ever wondered what it takes to write for Film and TV? After the success of last year's course, Scottish Book Trust is pleased to announce the launch of Screen Lab 2009.
Screen Lab will show you exactly what it takes to break into one of the most competitive and lucrative areas of writing."
The course is on from Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd February and is being led by Adrian Mead. There's a breakdown of the course content for those who are interested, and you need to apply for a place by 2nd February, 2009.
I've been on a couple of the courses Adrian has run in Edinburgh, and both were very useful. I haven't been on this one (nor will I, but only because I did an MA!) but based on my previous experiences at his classes I'd happily recommend this one to writers from different fields thinking about screenwriting.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Also got attacked by a T-Rex:
Chased by a skeletal cat:
Surrounded by santas
and saw Vanessa Feltz (no pic, you'll be pleased to hear. My word, that lady is awfully tanned for December.)
An interesting trip, then.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
DO YOU type slowly or make lots of spelling mistakes?
ARE YOU simply lazy and want someone else to write down your ideas, like a grand old dame?
If so then my spangly new invention - the WRITE-RIGHT - could be for you.
The WRITE-RIGHT was devised after months of painstaking research and experimentation, after I realised it would take far too long to get the ideas that swim in my head onto paper.
As you can see from my sophisticated diagram, the machine is very simple to use.
You attach two patches to your forehead, which pick up your 'idea' brainwaves. These patches are delicately fragranced - the adult version with red wine and desperation, the younger writer version with sugar and enthusiasm.
Your brainwaves are transmitted to the WRITE-RIGHT converter, otherwise known as the BRAIN BOX.
The BRAIN BOX converts your brainwaves into text, and transmits this text to the WRITE-RIGHT program in the format of your choice - screenplay, novel, story, play, radio etc. (It doesn't seem to work with poetry yet, but I'm working on that.)
As you imagine it, your idea will appear on screen, as if it's being written by a MAGIC HAND.
Some editing will be necessary, of course, and at present it is best to use the WRITE-RIGHT in a darkened room with no other distractions, but I think it's a step in a new, exciting direction.
The small print:
*It's highly inadvisable to use the WRITE-RIGHT when sleeping, as such an experiment blew up one of my prototype machines after a dream about talking cats and Icelandic ghosts.
*Poetry, as mentioned, does not appear to convert correctly. I can't think why this is.
*Sex scenes are also inadvisable to think of at present, although I am working on an expansion - the LOVE-THANG - to help with this.
*This is merely a story, the ramblings of a loony. Maybe I'll invent it one day, when I capture Iron Man and use his mechanical genius to do my bidding.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Phillip Pullman has answered some reader's questions on the BBC site.
Some of his responses are very short and to the point, but a few go into more interesting detail. Worth a look, anyway.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
When you start to work on the offending piece once more, you will have no idea what you were talking about.
Either finish a sentence then close the program, or don't start the sentence.
That is all.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Instead of the usual half hour of different subjects, this 50 minute episode was dedicated to TV writing, and the wonderful Charlie interviewed some very notable guests: Russell T Davies, Tony Jordan, Graham Linehan, Paul Abbott, Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain. (No ladies, sadly.)
They talk about their own writing processes and it's interesting to see the differences in the way they write and approach a screenplay. For some, outlining is imperative, for other's its not important. Some can't write without exactly the right characters, for others the characters simply pop into their head, fully formed.
My favourite two snippets came from Tony Jordan and Graham Linehan (who looked very shifty, sitting half in shadows with his fringe hiding his eyes).
Tony Jordan said that if you want to be a writer, you write! The clue is in the title.
Graham Linehan compared getting a script on the page to doing a poo.
It's available on the iPlayer until 9th December, 2008.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
I wanted to write a quick post about a scheme going on for children this Christmas in Edinburgh.
"Blackwell's are working with City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh Women's Aid and Edinburgh Young Carers to help make Christmas a little better for disadvantaged local children. The scheme means that children who will be living in difficult circumstances at Christmas, who have caring responsibilities beyond their years or those who won't be at home for Christmas and will have few personal possessions, will each receive a book to treasure."
Blackwells, (the one at South Bridge) have a tree hung up in the Childrens department, decorated with shiny slips of paper, each bearing a child's request for a book. Some are requests for specific books or authors, some are just for a book, and the age range is quite broad. You choose a tag, buy the book, and then your book is attached to the tag, wrapped by the staff and given to the children.
I just thought I'd use this blog as a forum to tell others about it, as it seems a lovely scheme and I'd like to encourage other local folks to take a look.
You can join the Facebook group to find out more information.
Monday, December 01, 2008
"ENTRANTS should write a poem or story (max 1,000 words) inspired by a work of art in the permanent collection of the National Galleries of Scotland."
You can enter up to 5 pieces, and different entry categories have been set up - Under 12 years, 12-15 years, 16-18 years, Unpublished adults, and Published adults. If you're not able to get to one of the galleries, you can get inspiration from the Online Collection.
Winning entries will be published in the Scotsman, and the deadline is Friday 23 January 2009.
I have a few favourite paintings and tapestries in the National Gallery at the Mound, so I think I'll take a saunter round one day and select something to inspire me.