Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Land of Our Own Before Time

I've been finding it difficult to concentrate for the last two days... I'm shambolically busy to the point where I've had to start keeping a food diary so I can double check what's been eaten in the last 72 hours and balance up my horrendously poor diet by binging on protein and carrots ever 3rd day.

Today I went to Milton Keynes and played producer for 7 corporate interview videos being created... I left Milton Keynes exhausted and with a little less love for the world at 4pm and dashed home to shower before my weekly radio spot on London Festival Fringe Radio. That finished at 9pm and I've raced home ready to start an audition over skype (yes, that's right you heard me...) at 10pm.

To top it all off, tomorrow I have to be up at 5am to go to Bournemouth for a meeting... will the merry go round ever stop? It's crazy but, I suppose, a craze entirely of my own making. I wouldn't have it any other way.

But the reason I haven't been able to concentrate is that a script I've been mulling over for some time, is finally starting to take shape and come to life in my head. For almost a year now I've been trying to work out how to turn my experiences as an elf in Lapland into a 6 part sitcom for the televisual box. I think I might have finally cracked it.

What this means though, is that the characters are now jabbering away at me in a fairly schizophrenic manner and demanding to be heard now that I've worked out who they are. They keep coming up with witty one liners and silly situations to put themselves in. This necessarily leaves me diving for a pen and paper with which to record their antics before they're gone. I reckon this must be how proud parents feel when their child does something incredible and they want to catch it on video...

There's something really incredible about feeling a piece of writing taking shape. I don't know how other people do it, but in my experience the idea for what I want to do has to stay very vague and firmly off paper for a very long time. I have to carry the idea around with me and just see what happens that could fit within the canopy of my idea.

Then the characters turn up, they have to stew. I have to leave all the character ideas in my mind and let them grow and evolve into people alongside all the influences I have in my life. Then, finally, when my brain is bursting at the seams with their ranting... I just write and write and write. This writing has no shape and is just masses of dialogue pouring all over the place. It can be edited later, but this is where the chemistry appears and where I start to work out how the balance of the piece is going to run.

It's exhilarating and terrifying... and very difficult to explain to people why a script won't necessarily 'do as it's told' even though you are the author.

I hope this piece that I've got brewing now will be at explosive writing point within the month... the characters are getting louder and the structure has finally found something to hang itself round. Watch this space.


  1. This is awesome news. Hopefully you get to stop, sleep, sit down, eat and do this writing thing.

    Obviously I am on the market for outside eyeing, as always, at least or co-writing if that holds any interest (though I suspect you're a solo writer type so it probably won't but I thought I'd put it out there even if you want someone just to put things in order or something).

  2. Hi Laura. Well done on writing a a sitcom script. As you know I am a wannabe screenwriter myself and was wondering if I could take a look and see what you are doing with it? I can also help you with it in any capacity... if you like. I do wish you the best of luck with it.

  3. Even if you don't want any help, is it ok if I take a look? I've always wanted to write a sitcom and haven't yet. I am interested in seeing what you are doing with it. Oh by the way, myself (Guy1) and Guy Patching (Guy2) are planning to write together. It will either be a total mishap or work wonders... only time will tell :-)