I've just completed a very enjoyable week in the company of 14 budding writers.
The theme of the workshop, run at Edinburgh University, was the generation of story ideas following through to how to develop this idea into a polished screenplay that someone would want to buy.
I must admit to being a little selfish to begin with as the workshop started at the very beginning of "how to". However, as the course progressed I realised that over the past few years I have drifted away from the process and as a result I have often become lost in the direction, which usually always leads to me giving up. As the week progressed it refocused my mind, so much so that today in a meeting with a new co-writer for a new screenplay, I found myself confident in being able to map the way forward.
To cut a long story short (pardon the pun) and stop boring you, it basically goes: think of an idea: write a two-pager on the story (how it starts, what happens, how it ends): then write a ten-pager scene-by-scene (paragraphs) of what happens in the film from beginning to end: and then, and ONLY then, start writing the script. Up to now I have tended to rush in and start writing the script too early and ended up becoming bored and disillusioned.
On every day of the course I cycled in along the Innocent Railway, regardless of the weather. This wasn't just some mean spirited way to save money, though that was motivation in itself, but served as getting me in shape for the coming weeks.
Which brings me to extend an apology to my readers in advance: I'm afraid I will be absent until early September as I am leaving to join my intrepid world cyclist friend Pauline in Spain (hopefully I will be able to source internet access and write a blog at some point).
We are to meet up in the town of Logrono in northeast Spain, roughly 85 miles south of Bilbao. From there we will cycle for 3 weeks along the famous Camino, or Pilgrims Way, finishing at Santiago de Compostela, from where I will fly home.
Pauline will only have been away just over 6 weeks when we meet up, but it seems much longer. Our original plan was to meet up at Christmas in Chile, but due to timings this had to be cancelled. So Europe seemed a good option. It also allows me to replace some of her equipment.
It also gets me away from bloody shed building for a while!!
So can't wait, I must say. And who knows, maybe there's a film in there somewhere!