Writing begins

Draft one of the script is written.

Well, I say draft one. It’s kind of draft 6, depending on how you look at it. I wrote this story in my head a few years ago, and have redrafted it in my thoughts since then (including the time I finally let it slip out of my brain via my mouth and into other people’s brains).

I put a day aside to start the script. I had the house to myself, boiled the kettle, put some loud music on. Perfect. Then, just as I opened my Word Processor, some workmen arrived unexpectedly from my letting agency, and started pulling up carpet, making phone calls and planing doors.

At one point, one of them rather marvellously declared to me (as he buggered up a door with a plane) that “the problem with these old Victorian houses is they weren’t built very well.”

A Victorian: useless at building

I wonder if any of his hard work will still be here in the 22nd century for future builders to say, “the problem with those Millenniumites (or whatever the hell they will call us) is they didn’t plane doors very well.”

Somehow I doubt it.

Anyway, the workmen left eventually. And I started to get words down.

But – even though I know the story – actually writing the words involves several days of sitting in a room with loud music, drinking lots of coffee and staying up until nearly dawn. You start to lose the ability to tell whether what you’ve written is gibberish. You obsessively rewrite bits, never certain if they’re improving.

This is where you need script editors. And I am very lucky to have two script editors worth their salt who can provide me with all the critical feedback I could need. I don’t think editors get nearly enough recognition. Sometimes contemporary novels feel like they have been denied one last rigorous tidy-up in the mad rush to get them onto the shelves.

I will shortly be receiving feedback from my two independent script editors. They will have wise, insightful perspectives to apply to my first draft. And from their notes I shall take my scribblings and form them into a far more coherent and effective Second Draft…

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