I know it’s only been a few days since I last posted up a link to the calendar, but there have been so many additions since then, I thought it time for a new edition.
I was already looking forward to the London Screenwriter’s Festival, and I’ve already had some encouraging feedback on the script I’ve been working on for some time. But all of that pales compared to what lies ahead of me: My script excerpt, from the same piece that placed in the ScriptAngel competition, has been chosen to be performed as part of an Actors Table Read at the festival. Three actors, together with a director, will be performing 4 minutes of my script.
Obviously the key benefit is seeing how the lines sound when read out loud, getting a feel for the flow of dialogue and seeing what interpretation the actors and director find that I might not have noticed. But what really excites me? Hearing dialogue performed, out loud, by real actors; dialogue I wrote, squirreled away in my room, hunched over a laptop in pubs and cafés, or crushed on a train. Feeling the words, seeing the characters escape from the page.
Writing can be an isolated experience; it doesn’t matter if you like to write in public, as I sometimes do; it doesn’t matter if you have an amazing cheerleader, a copy editor, a muse. At the end of the day, the process of writing is a solitary one, a direct link from the writer’s mind to the chosen receptacle, be it laptop, back of a cigarette packet or a fine notebook. So to have your creations escape said receptacle, emerge blinking into the world and speak with their own variation of the writer’s voice, that’s a special moment.
And finally, now revealed to all via the LSF’s results page, the working title of the feature film I’m writing: Underworld Calling.
There’s nothing like the taste of success, no matter how small a morsel, to spur you onwards and encourage you not to give up. However, coming in the Top 25 of submissions to the London Film Festival / Script Angel mentoring competition is no small morsel. It’s no win, in fact I didn’t make the top 3, but it’s still a huge acknowledgment and a massive confidence boost. I am massively grateful.
Not only was it a successful outing for my pitch template, but it shows that while the first ten pages of my screenplay will need some polishing, the potential is there.
A huge thank you to those who have lent encouragement, ears and eyes.
I’ve not tended to have much success with submissions. Firstly, I had a habit of submitting old stories that I wrote years ago, hardly representative of where I am now as a writer. And secondly, I’ve never been very diligent in actually submitting stories to competitions or opportunities. Not sending anything is always going to get in the way of winning plaudits.
This week a friend suggested I enter a flash fiction competition at FlashFlood, an online flash-fiction journal. For once, rather than yet again repurposing old material, I threw together a new story in short order. After some helpful edits, I submitted it and… was accepted!
Needless to say I’m thrilled! Not just to have the story be accepted, but also for the generation of new material, a foundation upon which to build.
And the story itself? I’ve since re-titled it for future submissions, but I present to you: Death Penalty.