Friday, 5 June 2009

Screenwriting Goldmine

Most writers will be aware of The Screenwriting Goldmine by Phil Gladwin. You can visit the site, the blog and sign up for regular (priceless) updates on all things screenwriting. You can follow Phil on twitter and I strongly urge you to sign up to the site updates. Here's a segment from the latest email - 'How to Think About Writing Period Drama'

More importantly, as a writer were you influenced by what you read during your research? Not so much the history books, but more the contemporaneous writing: diaries, letters, newspapers, official records and reports? Did you consider how language and the written word were being used at the time you were researching?

Another question. How much of what you learn about something today is actually just from the words used? And how much of it is conveyed by visual or aural imagery?

The way we perceive and understand events and what makes the news in the world is heavily dominated by the images we see on a screen - rolling TV news channels, website graphics, YouTube or clips taking on hand cams or mobile phones.


You are not the director or an actor; you can't submit your screenplay to Hollywood as a video or recording of a reading (well not yet). Instead, you have to be as persuasive as you can on the page using only Courier 12pt to convey what it is that you want the audience to see - and the script readers and producers to imagine.

So here's a thought: if you have great visual ideas, but find it difficult to marshal the thoughts in your head into words on paper: take a look at writing from an age when television, or sound recording, or moving images didn't exist.

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