Tag Archives: features

Writing Naked

And now for something completely different…

…Writing Naked.

Is there a better way to write? I don’t think so.

I can’t be the only way who likes to do it, in fact through a few conversations I know I’m not. I reckon every writer must have done it at some point even if it’s not a regular thing. There’s just something about it right… right?

I’m not saying I always do it, or can always do it for that matter considering how often I write in coffee shops (my favourite of all clichés), but there’s just something about it. I find it almost helpful. Freeing might be a bad word to use here, but I struggle to think of another way to say it (Although I’m sure if I got naked right now I would come up with several better words).

The words just flow that little bit easier. Maybe it’s because it really is just you and the keyboard, or because of some vulnerability or freedom. Or because you’re at your most relaxed or it’s fucking cold and you just want to get the word count complete so you can get dressed. But I don’t know. There’s just something.

I’ve practically written whole scripts this way. I know a musician who told me she wrote her whole album that way. It just gets the creativity flowing. Maybe it’s just being in that natural state. There’s just something. You know.

I haven’t done any research on the subject which maybe I should as it interests me enough to write a blog about it but I’m sure there has to be some biological or chemical reason for it. It just feels right. It can’t be coincidence that I can get some of my best work done this way. That others have too. It’s not like it works with everything I’m sure, but with writing it’s like it’s meant to be done this way at times. Right? Right? You get what I’m meaning right? Just something… Something 😉

There are draw backs, especially when writing on a computer in that way. You’re only ever a click away from some form of distraction. And getting up to make a coffee can be a struggle, especially if you share the house as getting dressed and then undressed doesn’t feel as right. Like it breaks the naked momentum or something. So it isn’t always practical even in the comfort of your home. But these are minor setbacks I think.

Surely the creativity and word count created by the state far outweigh’s these drawbacks. Maybe I will do some research. Like I said, there must be a reason it works. Or am I crazy and it’s just me. But like I said I know others, but they’re also slightly crazy. But then most creative people are crazy so it can’t just be me. But it doesn’t sound normal at first. But it does feel normal. Natural. I don’t know. Where was I…

… Oh yes. There’s just something about it…

 

Stephen.

(Working out what image to use for this blog was a struggle).

 

What I’m Working On

So as it’s still the beginnings of the new year I thought I’d do a quick update on what I’m currently working on, and what I’m looking to do in the near future.

Recently I finished a new horror script that I’ve gotten proof read and am handing it out to a few people to read. I’m a little uncertain whether it’s finished yet (which means it isn’t) as there are still two scenes that I think I could do a little more with. Maybe just be a case of putting it to one side for a month then going back to it with fresh eyes as have worked close to non-stop on it the last several months.

Alongside this I’ve been working on a feature script that I’d love to direct myself, maybe next year. It’s definitely a simpler script than my previous, but also more dialogue based so a little more challenging for me. Have had this idea in my head a long time and completely failed at the first draft many years ago, but have since worked it out. Feels like my most personal script and definitely one that I would love to me my first directed feature. A long way to go with it yet, but it’s starting to take shape and is something that I will work at through-out the whole year.

That said I’m looking to have a little break from feature writing come February and work on a few shorts instead. One is very far along, the other just starting, but would like to create a bit of a slate for myself. Want to direct 2-3 shorts before I make the feature film as not only practice, and a showreel, but because I love the ideas and feel the need to make them. All three are slightly different but carry similar tones to the work I’m looking to do so in a perfect world (I Know) it will all come together nicely.

Have an idea for a web show of sorts that I’m working on with a friend as well but for the moment that’s more of a hobby. Will see what drafts I can get written in my spare time, or down time (Because I’m so addicted to writing that’s also how I spend my down time) and reassess it probably at the end of February.

So plenty of writing ahead over the next six weeks and beyond but progress is being made. Want to have another good crack at trying to sell a script in March and the proceeding months but for the moment I’m in writing mode.

Have learnt over the years that when I get into a rhythm of writing every day and feeling good about the work to not interrupt it and just keep it going as long as I can. There’s definitely other projects and things that I would love to give some attention too but now’s not the right time. For the moment it’s all about the writing and I will never have a problem with that.

Stephen

 

Blogging Next Year

So for the first time I’ve managed to keep my blog going for a year. Was a little gap in the middle of the year when life got in the way but I’ve mostly updated it regularly and feel like I’m improving and expanding with it.

My question to myself is what would I like to do with it in 2017.

Am always looking to improve the quality so would like to spend a little more time on the posts which I believe I can do, and maybe look for a set amount of posts a week along with certain set days that they come out.

Have a lot of ambition for 2017 that isn’t just scriptwriting so think that the blog will end up being more than just a scriptwriting blog and would cover a lot more of my other creative endeavours, but feel it’s already going that way anyway.

Know that it’s best for a blog to really centre around one core thing but that’s just not the way my brain works.

Would like to write more about past writing and filming experiences so will look to do that. Will keep up to date with my script writing and any thoughts I have on the subject along with trying to be as transparent as possible about my script writing career.

Have plans on making plenty of music videos and short films next year so that will become a bigger part of the blog along with a little more about my photography. Alongside this I’m looking to put a lot more work into the film review channel so will write about, and promote, that more which I’m sure will also lead to a couple more bulk review blogs.

The idea of the blog was always to track my creative progress and give a little insight to who I am and that remains the main idea. I want to share anything I learn and experience in the writing and film world while also sharing stuff I love and am passionate about.

Feel like next year has to be a big one for one, although I do feel that every year. Have a few things lined up that could really make that happen and will share as much of that as possible. Recently finished (I hope) a new feature script so will be looking to do something with that later in the year and have another one ready to get out there.

Going to make things happens, one way or another. Feel more confident about my writing and where I’m at with it and have made big steps forward this year behind the camera so now need to do something with that. So have my sights set firmly forward.

So thank you to everyone who’s been reading this year. Have had far more readers than any other year, in fact probably all the previous years and blogs combined don’t come close to this year so that’s been awesome and hopefully will only get better.

Stephen.

(This my final blog of the year most likely, but will be back super early next year)

 

Stuck on a Scene

I think I’ve got better over the years at knowing when not to hang around on a scene that’s not working for too long in early drafts.

I plan a lot before I start a script. I’m not someone who takes a blank page and goes with it. I know exactly what I’m going to write. But no amount of notes and index cards can read the same as an actual script so there’s always scenes that just don’t work.

I like my scripts to be tight. For everything to work together and towards the same goal so if this happens I know it can throw the whole script off-balance. This used to mean I’d basically get stuck until I find a solution and would occasionally mean abandoning the script until the right idea hit me.

While this approach didn’t overly cost me time because I’d always be writing and working on something else, it has meant giant gaps between drafts and being stuck on weird page numbers.

What I’ve learnt now is that simply you can always come back to it. Just move on to the next scene and get to the end of the script. Writing is rewriting after all and that applies to scene and structure as much as dialogue and action.

There’s always a solution and sometimes it means having to change other scenes or sequences but that’s part of redrafting anyway. Is better to have the whole thing to work with than part of it otherwise you could have a problem with a yet unwritten scene that directly affects this one.

The script I’m currently working on I’ve tried 3 different ideas for a particular scene. A different one in each draft because every time I’ve reached that point I’ve known the scene didn’t work. Took me a while to work out that actually the scene before needed to change a little and the scene after.

I’ve now gone back to my original idea for that scene that never made the first draft. Funny how these things work. The scene needs tightening as it feels like a first draft scene not a third. But it flows with the rest of the script now and that’s the most important thing.

Gone are trying to make each draft perfect. Just doesn’t work like that for me. That’s why they’re drafts. I’ve found it more Important to just always be moving forward. Everything can be fixed and corrected and made better at different times. Doesn’t need to be all at once. As long as it comes together for the finished product what does it matter.

This realisation has stopped me hopping around scripts so much. Like I said, hasn’t made me write more or less. Just means I’m finishing things one at a time rather than having nothing for a while and then a few things at once which I think will definitely help in the future when I have actual deadlines instead of self-imposed ones.

Great thing about writing. Will always be learning and improving.

Stephen

Can’t stop the Writing

So I tried to take a month off. Managed to last 2 days. Well 1 and a half. Then on went the MacBook, straight to final draft and the start of the third draft of my latest horror feature. Just can’t help it. Can’t switch off. And to be honest… That’s probably for the best.

I really wanted to switch off. More felt like I needed too after a long and difficult year, but guess I just can’t stop the writing, and nor should I. I’ve still managed to watch quite a few films these last few days in between my job job but my thoughts where never far away from writing.

Had idea’s swirling away in my head, was making notes on my phone for the next draft every spare few minutes I got. Was thinking about the structure of certain scenes on the way to and from work. All the normal stuff I do, while trying not to. Guess at this point it’s just instinctive and part of who I am.

So I’ve started the third draft. Although in truth it’s closer to the tenth. I’ve had this story in my head for years now and have reworked it plenty of times before I even typed the first word in the first draft so very much know what I want from it. Think that’s one of the reasons I can’t leave it alone at the moment. I feel like I can really crack on with this one and get it finished in relatively good time and ready to get it out there early to mid next year.

Have a lot of other ideas that I’m eager to move forward with but obviously away that I can’t rush a script. So instead of rushing it, it makes more sense to me to just carry on writing it when things are going well. Put in the time if I feel the quality is there, which at the moment I do. Having gone through  lean patch a few months ago it seems a waste not to attack my scripts when I’m feeling good about my writing. Kinda one of them situation when you have to cash in when things are going well because the last thing i want to do is take time off when I’m feeling good about my writing only to come back to it and find the moment has passed.

I’d still like to take it easier in December, I do need that rest, but think it will be more in the sense of not putting pressure on myself. Just consider that anything I do achieve this month is a bonus rather than any self-imposed deadlines that I normally live by. Still aiming to watch those 100 films despite not watching any today. On 12 so far as started a day early and watched loads on my day off. Finally caught Cool Hand Luke, a film I’m embarrassed to say that I hadn’t seen all of before, so least there’s that.

As always, just need to get the balance right.

Stephen.

 

Have 2 new reviews up on the channel this week I Saw the Movie

 

 

My relationship to music while writing

Been listening to a lot of music again of late. Especially when writing. It’s something I’ve always flip-flopped between doing. I guess a lot of the time it depends on the project itself rather than my own process. I’d love to be one of those people who always listen to music while writing, I love the romance of that thought, but I don’t always find it practical.

Anything that’s a very dialogue heavy scene, or project, I never really listen to music while writing. I’ve tried it,  I want to be able to listen to music all the time, but it doesn’t work for me. I prefer to be able to have the conversations in my head and hear my characters. Work out the pace and rhythm of the conversation more naturally. Just struggle with these scenes if I’m listening to music. Breaks my concentration. Wish it didn’t, but the writing has to come first.

None dialogue scenes are where it’s at for me musically. But I tend to listen to something that reflects my mood at the time rather than the mood of the scene (not sure if that’s odd or not although my guess would be it is). I don’t look at music when I’m writing as something that I use to capture the vibe of the scene, or put together a playlist of songs that would fit the project, it’s more about me. How I feel.

I think I use it more to relax or entertainment myself. Keep my spirits high. Express how I’m feeling in my life rather than on the page. The two different arts don’t really mix together as one for me during the writing process. I can easily listen to some chilled out Dashboard Confessional song or something a little folky like Lil’ Ashes while writing some nasty horrific horror scene as much as I can listen to something like Pretty Reckless or Solemn while writing a quiet cute romantic scene. The horror I’m writing at the moment couldn’t be further from the Taiwanese Indie music playing though my headphones but represents my mood perfectly.

I enjoy a great score in a film or a fitting song and there are some soundtracks out there that I’ve listened too a lot, but for me its all about creating the right atmosphere and vibe when I’m writing. When it comes to the future and I’m making films (writing and directing) I often wonder whether I’d approach the writing the same way and use music for myself during the writing process or whether I will go a little more traditional and start thinking about the sound track early and listen to music that fits the scenes.

Either way, hope I get the chance to find out.

Stephen

 

As a side note have started a new YouTube review channel. Here’s the link: I Saw The Movie

 

You Tube Channel Started: I Saw The Movie

So the day has finally arrived that we’ve launched our YouTube Review channel. Has been something that I’ve been meaning to do for some time along with a friend, and now it’s happening.

We will no doubt review a ton of Asian films and world cinema and have plenty of ideas for series of reviews and other playful stuff on the website. Will be loads of American films on there as well.

Have started the channel with my review/love fest for Jason X.

Going to have a lot of fun with this channel and dedicate plenty of time to it. Looking to upload a couple of reviews a week. Can’t wait.

So… Here’s the link for the site,  Enjoy:

I Saw The Movie

Stephen