Good news on the writing (procrastination) front! My 40,000-word MPhil dissertation was submitted on 19 March, with two external markers currently assessing it. I should hear back in late May as to what, if any (but likely), changes are required before the dissertation can be finalised and the degree awarded. I am so super-pleased to not have the draft hanging over my head any more, I can tell you! I am hopeful the revisions will be minor so that I can celebrate and move on with my life.
What this means is that, finally, my self-imposed fiction writing ban of the last two years is now ended. I am free to write creatively again, which now means I have to fend of writing paralysis! I have so many story ideas buzzing around in my head I am unsure really where to start. There is one story I really want to write (and it’s a screenplay), but I am a little afraid of starting as I don’t want to bugger it up! In order to avoid the buggering part, I have been researching screenwriting and screencraft. I’ve read (and mostly absorbed) Robert McKee’s ‘Story’, John Schimmel’s ‘Screenwriting Behind Enemy Lines: Lessons from Inside the Studio Gates’, and I’m about to read Blake Snyder’s ‘Save the Cat’. Let me know if there’s something else I should read!
Film is a fascinating form and I find the idea of writing a screenplay incredibly appealing. It’s also quite daunting as, just like in the world of literature, it is an incredibly competitive and challenging world to try to break into. Therefore, I will keep my focus on the writing and the story, rather than on trying to sell a product, as I truly believe that unless you have the most amazing work you can produce you’re pretty much wasting your time. Therefore, I am avoiding any deadlines (such as competition) or other pressures, as writing takes as long as it takes with me. What I do need to do, however, is start outlining my idea in terms of acts, scenes and beats to make sure I actually have a filmable story; it will need to be marketed at some stage!