Monday, 16 March 2009

Writing for a format

Over the last few days, I’ve been trying to get my act together to write a script for a TV series that I’d like to submit to the BBC. To anyone that knows me quite well, this is a brilliant sign that I have an essay deadline hanging over me, but regardless, it’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while, so I thought I’d just try and get on with it.

So far, I’ve struggled. It’s always an effort to just sit down and write, but this time it’s particularly difficult because I’m fighting against a format that I’m less familiar with. Whereas with straight prose one can just type away whatever falls out of your brain, with a script, you have to write it down in short bursts between making sure the format is correct, ensuring that dialogue is where dialogue should be and that scene settings are laid out properly.

The way that a script is laid out is awkward to construct. I’ve tried using the special template called Script Smart that the BBC use, but it’s fussy, and seems to want to put everything in capital letters, which I don’t like. I’m not sure what the best way to approach this is. Maybe it’s better to get everything down on paper first and then format it when reading it through. Regardless, it’s difficult to adapt, although I’m sure it’s just one of those things that you have to get used to. Maybe I’m just putting too much emphasis on the importance of format and I need to just make sure it’s consistent with itself as opposed to strictly adhering to an industry standard.

If I make any significant progress or if I stick with this project, maybe I’ll post some extracts or at least let you know how it goes. I’m actually quite happy with the idea and so long as I don’t kill it with some horrible clichés it could go somewhere.

Additional Notes:

Essay deadline season always makes me laugh. We used to get it when there were seven of us living together; when essay deadlines started getting closer, the house was spotless. We’d all clean things to avoid writing essays, because when faced with ten thousand words about the early reign of Augustus, suddenly the mouldy shower becomes an attractive alternative.

2 comments:

Becks said...

Ha, sometimes I really long for someone to set me an essay on Augustus - just seems easier than real life! :)

David Hing said...

Trust me when I say it's not good when you mix the essay writing AND real life! I've been staring at a blank page trying to will it in to becoming an essay detaling the duties of directors for my law course and for some reason, it just wasn't happening!