Monday, February 05, 2007

Stage and Screen?

Word Count: 35,181

Have embryonic semi-cold/bug (bird flu?) so feeling slightly sorry for self. I blame the writers. Met a whole load of 'em at the weekend in a central London bar and though it was UTTERLY splendid to meet so much talent in one place, I was probably so excited that my immune system was not performing, bingo, bugged up!

Have really been struggling today, too. Decided to set a key scene at the Tower of London but it's been decades since I last visited, so I felt stuck. The web is a poor research substitute: great on facts, rubbish on 'feelings'. Considered hopping on the train but too buggy. Instead I unearthed a favourite childhood book, Children of the Tower, which helped a lot. But I still plan a recce soon.

Also had my assignment back from the OU Start Writing Plays course and got a good mark, and some even more encouraging comments. The tutor was excellent, and he is spot on about what's wrong with the play I sent. He describes one of the characters as: 'currently one of the least sympathetic characters I have encountered in a long time' - ah... that's not quite what I intended. He's also highlighted exactly where I could change this.

It's interesting how writing in different genres or media is so testing. I think that I now have a fair command of the tools of fiction writing: or at least, as good a command as I'm likely to get. That's not to say I can't improve, but I have a reasonable idea of how to play with the reader's sympathy and get them on side, even with a fairly villainous character.

Play-writing involves such different techniques, and I feel a bit like a child picking up a crayon for the first time: I'm making big, thick, uncontrolled scribbles, rather than fine strokes and detailing. But I was so heartened by the way my lovely tutor concluded, saying that - I hope this doesn't sound too much of a show-off, but I have shared the criticism too - 'Hit West End plays make a lot of money, and you have the talent to produce one.' I feel all glowy having read that. Isn't that the sweetest bit of feedback you've ever seen? I might have to delete it later but wanted to share it for now...

By the way, the number of Novel Racers increases all the time - check out our new recruits in the sidebar.

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8 Comments:

Blogger leatherdykeuk said...

May I suggest "Tales from the Tower" by MP Donnelly?

6:46 pm  
Anonymous Jen said...

Wow, praise indeed! Good on ya!

I'm actually quite tempted by the play-writing course and I do have 10 level-1 points to do... hmmmmmmmmm...

D'you think you're going to write a bank-balance-busting play next?

7:21 pm  
Blogger Marie said...

Hello there!

Eric Mabius image 2 and Matthew MacFaddyen: yes yes yes.

Lovely to meet you on Saturday.

Marie x

PS Adrien Brody?

9:08 pm  
Blogger B.E. Sanderson said...

You don't sound like a show-off at all. Sing those praises! You earned them. =oD

And way to go, taking on a challenge and learning a new skill. I've thought about script-writing, but I think I'm better off sticking to my stories. Good for you.

12:32 am  
Blogger Novel Girl said...

Hi kate...I'd like to join up too...my link is below...

http://novelandme.blogspot.com/

Thanks

Sarah

10:17 am  
Blogger Kate.Kingsley said...

Thank you so very much for adding me into the novel race, Kate ~ this will hopefully be the boot up the bum that I need!
Best wishes
(another) Kate

11:52 am  
Blogger Zinnia Cyclamen said...

That's terrific feedback - congratulations!

3:49 pm  
Blogger mad muthas said...

good goood gooood comment from the (very insightful) course tutor! well done you - and hope the avian flu will be better before thursday!
x

6:02 pm  

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