Well, nearly, anyway.
My final submission is in and now it is just a waiting game (well, as this blog also accounts for 15% of my final grade, I’m gonna keep up with this). The last few weeks have been really eye-opening when it comes to my writers process. How?
Well, here goes – I’ve gone through upwards of twenty drafts over three episodes of my final project and I’ve received feedback which has been absolutely invaluable from some very helpful friends. I’ve not actioned all of it for several reasons – personal taste, time availablility, etc. – but I’ve ended up with something that I’m really proud of. Could it be better? Yes, everything could be. All art can be improved upon, but it can also be ruined by too much tinkering. How it is right now – maybe not its final form forever – is what I wanted to create and a little bit more.
What have I learned? Well, many things and I’m not going to be able to get it all down in one blog post but I’m going to attempt a succinct, hopefully revealing snapshot of the major things.
Planning – some writers just sit down and start to write. A famous example is JRR Tolkien when writing The Lord of the Rings. There are other examples from within the scriptwriting milieu. Well, it can work but – like Jazz music – may only really be effective to those who are extremely well versed in structure and character and plot. Even Tolkien redrafted almost the complete book several times and, unless you’re already earning a living by writing, who has the time? So, planning – creating outlines, treatments and so forth is hugely helpful and redrafting a treatment or an outline will cut down on redundant tinkering later.
Feedback – everyone likes different things. There is no right or wrong. Two different, equally trustworthy and knowledgeable people will give you two very different pieces of feedback or will like different aspects of your script. Scriptwriting, at my level, has to be tailored to a specific audience. I cannot write for myself just yet, maybe never. So when writing, drafting and editing it has to be for a specific audience, whether that is from a single person (I.e. A marker) or a theoretical target audience (when working on a piece of genre fiction). I will make sure that when I seek feedback, I try and make sure it is from the audience that I am aiming at.
Art and comedy – Comedy can be art. Comedy IS art. Just because I write something that is, hopefully, funny that does not mean that it is not a legitimate piece of artistic craft. It requires the same level of care – which I’ve always tried to give – but I need to make sure I do not get paranoid that people will think less of it because it is comedy.
There’s more, of course there is more. But I think these three points are short and pithy enough to do for now.
So where does my career go now? First, I must build up my slate and my back catalogue of completed works. Thankfully, I still love writing so that should be fine. Secondly, I must get my stuff out there. Cometitions are one way to do that, so now my MA is over I can focus on that. Another way is to produce my script. I have two more scripts to finish of FantasticA’s first season, then I’m going to gather a troupe and record it, then get it online. Then, on to the next thing. I’m really looking forward to it.
What to do with this blog? It shall remain as an online calling card, or a repository of my current and past work. I might also create a separate page as a kind of online/public notepad detailing the progress of FantasticA, a project that is dear to my heart and that I do not intend to put aside.
Finally, I like writing for radio. Well, Audio. The Podcast is the new Radio, but the word Radio works better. Like ‘taping a programme’ even though tape is rarely if ever used these days.
I’m waffling now, so I’m going to stop, think about what I’ve done and learned, and post again soon.