Here I am. I’ve wrapped ‘Cow’, a radio play I wrote and produced. It’s now in the nimble hands of Eugene Sully, our editor who’ll be tweaking it over the next week or so and we’re due to broadcast in March. Watch this space for a date and time. It’s been a full on, manic period with a steep cliff of a learning curve and if I wasn’t working with some of the most talented people in the business, actors and director, I would never have made it thus far. A sincere and heartfelt thanks to all of you.
And as ‘Cow’ recedes in the rear-view mirror, my focus now is the Escalator project. At the end of January, I learned that I am one of ten writers from the East of England region who have been awarded the Escalator professional development award which will afford me Arts Council funding and professional mentoring from an established novelist, to bring a novel of mine from early draft stages to completion over a twelve month period. The novel, ‘A Castle Spinning’ concerns the adventures of an alcoholic Irish dwarf who goes to Hungary in search of a woman who seduced him and becomes embroiled in a pornographic cult.
I’ve been putting off knuckling down to focus on a novel for long enough and now there are no further excuses. So, expect to read a lot of posts on the process of writing a novel , over the next twelve months. Onwards and upwards!
I’m still figuring out what I want to do with this blog. There are two main goals.
One is to share advice re writing that I’ve picked up over the years, and to tip writers off to competitions and opportunities.
The other is to record my, ahem, rise to the topperiest toppest top of the writing profession : ) …. or maybe just to share the struggle.
As I haven’t won any awards today, nor suffered any significant setbacks, I’m going to blog on a tip that might help ‘springboard’ you into a short story, screen play or even novel : Freewriting.
‘Right now I’m sitting at my computer and the coffee cup is on the edge of my desk. It looks a little like an iceberg, as it is white and chipped and cold because the coffee has been in it since the morning as I didn’t do the washing up last night and the sink is full of plates and saucers. All those plates look surreal sitting unwashed in the sink like that. All at different angles like a Picasso painting with ketchup instead of paint dribbled over the plates. I wonder if Picasso got his ideas from waking up one morning and seeing his jumble of washing up in the sink I wonder if all the museums in the world actually have pictures of Picasso’s washing up and not his mistresses and Guernica and does that mean the joke is on us?’
The above freewrite might seem silly but it’s also an example of how freewriting could, potentially, inspire a proper piece of writing. This daft thought about Picasso’s washing up could easily be worked into a comedy radio play where a hung-over Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse wake up after a night out on the town and dare each other to paint a picture of the mess of washing up in the sink. Thus, the modern art movement is accidentally launched. Another possibility you could take from this freewrite is the concept that something generally considered ugly and in need of repair or attention (washing up) can lead to tremendous artistic inspiration – and this idea could form the kernel of a short story or a poem. Here, chose one of the prompts below and let it lead you into a three minute freewrite.
I wish I had said….
It was no use pretending….
A long time ago…
For the first time ever….