Notes from Redrafting Hell
Monday, 8 December, 2008
I loved this week’s episode of Screenwipe (disappears Tuesday 9th) in which Charlie spoke to TV writers. Wish I could download it, would love to watch it again before Screnzy, or just for fun every now and then. *cuddles it*
Bloody BBC blocking Macs out of their download service, grumble, grumble.
Posted some bits to the Nano forums, including these:
Paul Abbott (Shameless, State of Play etc.): “I think the first draft is always a drudge, and I wish there were elves [who could] lay down the canvas and stuff like that. Well, they can’t. You have to do it, and you have to bleed.”
Sam Bain (Peep Show): “Often an episode is a good as what you’ve chucked out. You have to pretend that you’re writing the final script every time and it’s a sort of mental game you play with yourself. You can’t think, ‘All of this will end up being binned, that I’m now spending hours writing,’ you just can’t do that. It’s a kind of game you’re playing.”
Graham Lineham (Father Ted, Black Books, the IT Crowd etc.): “You see the thing about writing is the first draft is so hard that once you’ve finished it you don’t want to change anything because you think, ‘That was so hard, I don’t want to ever do it again,’ and the truth is, and what people don’t realise, is that the difficulty of that first draft, it’s only for the first draft. The second draft will become easier and the third draft easier still, and by the fourth draft you’ll be having such a good time, because by that stage you’ll have stripped away all the dead wood.”
“Writing is kind of like having a pooh. It’s really hard if you don’t want to go, but there’s a time where you have to go, and that’s what it should be like.”
Tony Jordan (Eastenders, Life on Mars): “A writer writes. The clue’s in the title. WRITE-R. Fucking write!”
Russell T. Davies (Queer as Folk, Doctor Who): “The only bit of advice I’d ever give to someone is finishing. […] You’re not a writer, let’s be blunt, you’re not, until you’ve written. And you can be, anyone can be, but if it’s all in your head then no, you’re not a writer. And if it’s only two pages, shut up, stop wasting time. Finish it, because no one is going to thank you for those two pages […] it’s just a waste of time. You’re not a writer until you’ve got a script or a novel or whatever it is you want to do. Then you can start the hard work, but up until then it’s just bullshit, so get on with it.”
Get on with it. GET ON WITH IT.