Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

Well... that was that.

2014 has fled the building, screaming like a lunatic, and has dived head-first into a pile of history books. Goodbye 2014, you've been a messy bastard.

We've experienced another crazy year in the 2010's (a decade that has proven to be pretty damn peculiar) that will be remembered for a long long time, but not for anything massively positive...

Three massive airplanes went missing, crashed and / or were shot out of the sky, ferries sunk and caught fire, more terrorists did extremely stupid things in the name of an embarrassed God, UKIP won, England lost, Belgium legalized euthanasia, Sony got hacked, Scotland said no, Ebola said hello, some people forgot what 'ceasefire' meant, Ed Miliband ate a sandwich, a student got stuck in a giant vagina sculpture and had to be rescued by twenty-two German firefighters and apparently Kim Kardashian's arse broke the internet. Oh, and the Duchess of Gotland was born. How'd you not hear about that?! Duchess of Gotland. Fucking Gotland, man.

Gotland.

As usual I will round up my year in a swift and boring-list-of-stuff kind of way. More for my own fading memory's sake than to entertain anyone. Which is lucky, considering how thrilling it's likely to be...

Right.


What happened to me in 2014?

Well, I had a root canal in August -

WAIT!

Let me rephrase this.


What happen to me - WRITING WISE - in 2014?

Fine. I'll save my root canal story for another day (spoiler: the dentist snapped off a tiny needle inside my tooth and couldn't get it back. It's still in there. Seriously. I have a needle stuck somewhere in my face).


AGENT

Ed Hughes at Linda Seifert Management Limited is officially my agent, for all things writing-related. Previously representing me on a couple of scripts, he has taken the massive risk and decided to represent my writing in all its entirety. If the company collapses into an apocalyptic fit of embarrassment and financial ruin in 2015, you all know why…


DEARLY BEHEADED

My comedy-horror feature script was optioned by the fine people at Not A Number Productions (who created both Splintered and White Settlers). It has undergone a few tweaks, partial rewrites and amendments and is currently – accordingly to IMDB – officially in pre-production. If you’re on IMDB PRO you can also see some of the other talent involved too.

This is set for shooting at some point in 2015, although this is dependent on casting and budget. And a thousand other unseen factors, like the impending zombie apocalypse and Brad Pitt’s current schedule. He’s going to play the 9 year old bridesmaid.

My script is in incredibly safe hands and the wonderful folk at Not A Number Productions have kept me involved at all stages, although that may be because I am also an Associate Producer on this feature. The power! Mwahahahahahaha!

More info on DEARLY BEHEADED on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4275054/


HIPSTER MASSACRE

I was commissioned by the fine people of Cloud Burst Productions to rewrite Sean Fraiser’s ace comedy-horror script POST-IRONIC HIPSTER MASSACRE (now re-titled as simply “HIPSTER MASSACRE”). I completed the first rewrite in December and am eagerly awaiting feedback from the Producers and Directors.

HIPSTER MASSACRE is scheduled to shoot in 2016.


DEAD OF KNIGHT

In January 2014 I wrote vampire horror-comedy spec script DEAD OF KNIGHT, which I was commissioned to write by Copper Monkey Productions. Current status of this production is unknown.


DON’T MOVE

This again?

Despite being premiered online in 2013 the-short-what-I-wrote DON’T MOVE keeps getting attention. It has now had over HALF A MILLION hits on YouTube alone (with over 120,000 hits on Vimeo too!) and is regularly featured in Top 10 lists of best / scariest / bloodiest shorts.

Created by Bloody Cuts (who sadly closed their gore-covered doors in 2014), directed by Anthony Melton and produced by Ben Franklin and Anthony Melton, this little beast has kept firing since it was released on April 15th 2013.

My DON’T MOVE script was also published online by the lovely people of WRITE SHOOT CUT, alongside a little blurb from myself – check it out HERE

On top of this, I was also able to (finally!) talk about DON’T MOVE: THE FEATURE without fear of castration by teaspoon. Written by up-and-coming American writer Zak Olkewicz, the feature version of DON’T MOVE has been ‘doing the rounds’ in Hollywood and has generated a lot of interest. I can confirm it is a bloody good script too, so fingers crossed a studio will pick it up sharpish.

Coincidentally enough, the directors of HIPSTER MASSACRE will also be directing DON’T MOVE when someone picks it up, so it looks like I won’t be able to avoid Ben Franklin and Anthony Melton in 2015. If you’re reading this, many happy Murnaghans to you both.


FEATURE / TV SCRIPTS

I also wrote some scripts ‘for myself’, which I will be rewriting and shoving under people’s noses in 2015. These were:

THE KIDNAP – an American action-comedy feature script
LIARS END – a British sci-fi drama pilot (and supporting ‘bible’)

I have also been working on rewrites of horror feature BROKEN HOME and comedy-horror feature THE MOTIVATOR, although these rewrites are currently on-going.


SHORT SCRIPTS

I have also written a few short scripts, including a found-footage vampire romp PROOF OF KILL and a script called MINE, based on an excellent idea by filmmaker Simon Berry.


COMPETITION PLACEMENTS

I only entered a handful of competitions in 2014 and managed to place in the Red Planet Prize (got to 2nd Round) and the Script Angel Screenwriters’ Festival Competition (top 5). I am still awaiting the results of the Bluecat competition, so there’s still that little inkling of hope left.

Of course, there were MANY competitions I entered and didn’t place (or win) but that’s the way it always works. You can expect 100 rejections for every success, if you’re fortunate. That’s why you need the perseverance of a snail climbing up Mount Everest. On a skateboard made of salt. Whilst being on fire. And not actually knowing what you’re likely to achieve by getting to the top. 


DEAD ROOTS

The zombie-horror comic book anthology DEAD ROOTS was released in hard back and online, featuring my competition-won two-pager (SAVING THE WORLD – originally titled “FUCK GRAVITY”).

The anthology also contains DOZENS of other excellent stories, with some phenomenal artwork, ideas, blood, zombies and brilliant writing from some seriously talented individuals. And me.

This is still available to purchase HERE

  
A SCRIPT A WEEK

I challenged myself to read AT LEAST one script a week – either amateur or pro (or somewhere in-between) - and began listing them for no one's viewing pleasure.

So, did I achieve this goal?

Yes.

Rather than clutter this post with a 52 line long list of stuff I read in 2014, I have placed this in a separate post, so you can read it at your leisure. And probably die of boredom in the process.

Read it HERE

Died of boredom? Sorry. You were warned.



INTERVIEWS

I was interviewed twice in 2014, and not by mistake or on Crimewatch!

RICHARD SANDLING’S PERFECT MOVIE PODCAST– in September I had the pleasure of being a special guest on Richard Sandling’s Perfect Movie Podcast.

You can listen to my beautiful voice HERE

PHILIP SHELLEY’S BLOG – in December my interview with Philip Shelley was released online, for everyone’s viewing pleasure / enjoyment / horror.

His series of interviews with writers is excellent, so check them all out if you have the time. My interview is HERE


FAILURES TO LAUNCH

There are, of course, a number of things that did NOT explode into the super-mega-awesomeness that I had expected.

WEB SERIES – I had wanted to write, plan, produce and make a web series (called
DEMONS OF LAME) but other projects ‘got in the way’. It’ll be back-burner’ed for now, but may be resurrected in the future like a ridiculous zombie clown.

SHORT FILM – like the web series, I had grand plans of making a short film in 2014… but that didn’t happen. Or it did, and I literally told no one about it. One of the two. Either way, it’s an itch I still need to scratch so 2015 might be more fruitful in this regard. Unless something else gets in the way, of course…


AAAAND… WE’RE DONE

So... that was 2014.

A year in my writing life. What a year. Here's to another filled with fun, friends, projects, scripts, sales, fantastic film and top television.

One more thing to say…

Thank you everyone. Friends, writers, family members, strangers and crazy drunk blokes singing loud on the train to Essex. Thanks for making 2014 another memorable year. Thanks to those who supported me mentally, spiritually and physically. Thanks to everyone who read my work and those who were brave enough to commission, option and champion it. Thanks to everyone who read this Blog. Maybe someone will be brave enough to leave a comment this year?

And to every writer out there – keep on truckin’. Keep writing. Keep persevering. 2014 might not have been your year (it could’ve been… and if so… well done?) but 2015 will be. Or 2016 will be. The future IS ours for the taking – we just have to fight to get there.

And by ‘fight’ I mean ‘write’.

Write and write and write. Because you’re fucking awesome.

Good luck to everyone – writers and non-writers! – for the forthcoming year. Grab it by the jewels and smash it in the face. Let’s make 2015 a brilliant one.



Goodbye 2014.

Hello 2015.

6 days down.

359 to go.


BRING


IT


ON

Saturday, 3 January 2015

A Resolution Fulfilled

In January 2014 I set myself a resolution – to read one script a week in 2014.

Not a tough challenge, but one I knew I needed to keep a track of otherwise I’d find myself not reading something for two weeks, often when I’m writing something myself.

Did I achieve this?

Yes.

Hell yes.

Not including my own work (because that’d be cheating) I read 64 scripts in 52 weeks, including amateur, pro and shooting scripts.

I loved it.

Scripts are SUCH a valuable learning resource for writers – they can teach valuable shortcuts, writing styles, dialogue choices, character arcs, themes, structure, reveals, call-backs and essentially tell you what DOESN’T work as well as what does.

Why do certain scripts read quickly and others feel like you’re trying to swim through treacle?
Why do some characters feel flat and some feel fantastically 3D and real?
Why do some scripts feel like scripts and some feel like MOVIES?

Reading scripts will ALWAYS help raise these questions and – if you’ve got time – force you to hold a mirror at your own work. What do your readers experience?

Anyway…

Read scripts.

I cannot recommend it more.



Now for the boring part. These are the scripts I read last year. PREPARE FOR EXCITEMENT!


Week 1: Gay Kid and Fat Chick by Bo Burnham
Week 2: Fixer by Bill Kennedy
Week 3: Surviving the Maze by Anthony Straeger
Week 4: Holland Michigan by Andrew Sodroski
Week 5: The Vampires of Soho by Andy Edwards

Week 6: The Remains by Meaghan Oppenheimer
Week 6: Sea of Trees by Chris Sparling

Week 7: The Special Programme by Debora Cahn
Week 7: Time and Temperature by Nick Santora

Week 8: Where Angels Die by Alexander Felix
Week 8: The Fixer by Bill Kennedy

Week 9: The Independent by Evan Parter
Week 9: The Killing Floor by Bac DeLorme & Stephen Clarke
Week 9: The Line by Sang Kyu Kim

Week 10: The Politician by Matthew Bass & Theodore B. Bressman
Week 11: Sweetheart by Jack Stanley

Week 12: The Autopsy of Jane Doe by Ian Goldberg & Richard Naing
Week 12: Randle is Benign by Damien Ober

Week 13: Reminiscence by Lisa Joy

Week 14: Revelations by Hernany Perla
Week 14: Section 6 by Aaron Berg
Week 14: Seed by Christina Hodson

Week 15: Shovel Buddies by Jason Mark Hellerman
Week 16: Spotlight by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy
Week 17: Line of Duty by Cory Miller

Week 18: Make a Wish by Zach Z. Frankel
Week 18: Man of Sorrow by Neville Gilchrist Kiser

Week 19: Mississippi Mud by Elijah Bynum
Week 20: Pure O by Kate Trefry
Week 21: Frisco by Simon Stephenson

Week 22: From Here to Albion by Rory Haines & Sohrab Noshirvani
Week 23: Fully Wrecked by Jake Morse & Scott Wolman
Week 24: Half Heard in the Stillness by David Well and Kevin Zarabi (story by)
Week 25: Hot Summer Nights by Elijah Bynum
Week 26: I’m So Proud by Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster
Week 27: The Post-Ironic Hipster Massacre by Sean Fraiser
Week 28: Last Minutes Maids by Leo Nichols
Week 29: Bury the Lead by Justin Kremer
Week 30: Cake by Patrick Tobin
Week 31: Capsule by Ian Shorr

Week 32: Clarity by Ryan Belenzon and Jeffery Gelber
Week 32: Draft Day by Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman

Week 33: Crown by Max Hurwitz
Week 34: Diablo Run by Shea Mirzai and Evan Mirzai
Week 35: Dig by Adam Taylor Barker
Week 36: Dogfight by Nicole Riegel and Lance Drake (story by)
Week 37: Dude by Olivia Milch
Week 38: Elsewhere by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis
Week 39: Extinction by Spenser Cohen
Week 40: Faults by Riley Stearns
Week 41: Free Byrd by Jon Ethan Boyer

Week 42: The Lost Boys (shooting script) by Jeffrey Boam
Week 42: Starred Up by Jonathan Asser

Week 43: The Silence of the Lambs by Ted Tally
Week 44: Inquest by Josh Simon

Week 45: February by Osgood Perkins
Week 45: Elysium by Neill Blomkamp

Week 46: A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood by Alexis C. Jolly
Week 47: Unfinished Business by Mark Hill
Week 48: Titanium Skin by Mark Hill
Week 49: Surviving the Maze (Draft 2) by Anthony Straeger
Week 50: He’s Still Out There by Mac McSharry
Week 51: Broken Cove by Declan O’Dwyer
Week 52: Beast by Zach Dean


Phew!

Amazing fun list right?!

You’ll be pleased to know I won’t be writing a list of ‘stuff I have read’ this year. The Blog will be free of this in 2015.

But I won’t stop reading.

Hell no.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Yuletide Sacrifices

‘tis the season to be jolly.

Jolly busy!

Well, that’s probably lost me some business.

I’m sitting here at my desk on December 24th, listening to some of Marilyn Manson’s new songs and working on a rewrite on BROKEN HOME (for ‘reasons’).

I have delivered the first rewrite of HIPSTER MASSACRE to Cloud Burst Productions, wrapped all Christmas presents (you’re getting half a Fraggle), befriended Sean Fraiser on Facebook (he’s a really lovely bloke) and really need a new laptop (it’s doing that thing where it screams like a lunatic every so often… although that might just be Marilyn Mason).

I’d like to take this festive Blog Post as an opportunity to apologise to the many people who invited me somewhere – for Christmas drinks, Christmas parties, Christmas paintball, Christmas orgies, Christmas Satanic wonderland dances etc… - but I had to refuse, cancel or accidentally ignore you.

I have been writing.

It feels like an excuse now, like a perfect reason to ‘get out of something’. But it’s not. Seriously, I even cancelled our annual Horror Christmas party. Yes, I cancelled my own party. And we were gonna watch Bikini Bloodbath Christmas too.

I love writing, I really do. But it IS another job - especially now I’m actually earning money from it (well, I WILL be earning it, on the first day of principle photography and all that contractual jazz) – which means I technically have TWO full time jobs (both of which I enjoy. Mostly).

That’s why I rarely see people.

La boo hoo, right?

I don’t expect sympathy (this is a self-made circumstance!) but I wanted to apologise – in the spirit of Christmas – for all you wonderful, beautiful people who’ve had me cancel on you or refuse invites or basically ignore you like you’re a black-eyed Cannock child (look it up).



Tomorrow I truly get a day off – apparently my parents don’t particularly like me working on Christmas Day, for some reason – so I intend to relax, watch shite television, play some games (Munchkin, anyone?) and eat so much that I Mister Creosote myself all over the kitchen wall.

I shall smash out my usual “Year in Review” blog post later this month (and what a year!) but until then, I have one thing to say… in various forms:

Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, Happy Saturnalia, Yuletide Awesomeness to You, Merry Chrismukkah, Happy 25th Day of December That Has No Religious or Spiritual Connotations Whatsoever But is Just Another Day in the Year Where the Shops Seem to be Mostly Closed and Everyone is Inexplicably Drunk.

Whatever you’re doing, have a fantastic time!

Yeah, even you.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Updates Updates Upda…. Yawn

Insomniac?

Can’t afford Night Nurse?

Love being bored but can’t find The Fishing Channel on Sky?

Then you’ve come to the right Blog Post!

Below is a very quick and fantastically super-boring post about some of my writing stuff. Prepare for facts.

IMDB updates!

DEARLY BEHEADED is now on IMDB (and The Not a Number website):


HIPSTER MASSACRE is also on IMDB too (under it's original title The Post-Ironic Hipster Massacre) –


My representation / agent is now on IMDB (but only visible if you have IMDB PRO) too, for contact purposes – HERE


Yeah… that was it.

If you don’t care about IMDB listings, then I guess that was a massive waste of your time.

Sorry!

For anyone who’s still here AND still awake, I thank you.

Update over.

Get back to whatever you were doing. Unless it was skinning cats. 

Seriously, get a new hobby.



Sunday, 14 December 2014

Hipster Massacre

I am very pleased to announce that I have been commissioned to rewrite Horror-Comedy script HIPSTER MASSACRE for Cloud Burst Productions.

Previously known as The Post-Ironic Hipster Massacre, the original script was written by American screenwriter Sean Fraiser and I will be anglicizing it, adding some of Scullion-esque humour and making it much more… Shoreditch.

HIPSTER MASSACRE is about a group of trendy East London hipsters who head to an exclusive music gig… only to get much more than they bargained for. There will be blood. And scares. And laughs. And moustaches.

Lots of moustaches.

HIPSTER MASSACRE also has two directors onboard – both of which I can vouch for as being awesome and “not too completely insane” – and people who may be familiar to those who frequently read my Blog or love short horror films.

Ben Franklin and Anthony Melton will be directing HIPSTER MASSACRE.

Yes, the gruesome twosome behind the awesome Bloody Cuts series and the Producers / Director of DON’T MOVE – my first ever short film (you know, the one they might be making into a feature… more on this soon) – will be taking the reigns of HIPSTER MASSACRE.

I couldn’t think of anyone better to helm this film (sorry Ridley, maybe next time) and can’t wait to send them the rewrite and watch their brains implode. In a good way.

Or bad. Any kind of response is nice, to be honest…

Cloud Burst Productions have also been a pleasure to work with and have a LOT of passion for the project. I am currently working on the first redraft and looking forward to delivering it to them before Christmas. Possibly covered in tinsel.

FINAL NOTE: re-writing someone else’s work is a tough task. It will happen to all screenwriters at some point – even the best ones – and I genuinely hope I do Sean Fraiser’s work justice. The original script is very good and without it I wouldn’t be onboard this fantastically-promising project. Thank you Sean.

As always, I will keep you all updated on the progress of this.

Bring on the Hipsters…

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Interview with Philip Shelley

Over the past few months script consultant, 4screenwriting course-runner and all round good dude Philip Shelley has been posting a series of interviews with Screenwriters on his blog.

Well, this week he’s interviewed me…

Before we get to that, I urge you to head to onto Philip’s website and check out of some of the other excellent interviews on, alongside information on his rates (he’s a brilliant consultant), the 4screenwriting course and workshops.

Check it all out here - http://www.script-consultant.co.uk/ 

Anyway, interviews…

Among the Blog posts is an interview with Anna Symon, who I had the pleasure of working with on the 4screenwriting courses. I can honestly say that she wrote – for the course – one of the best TV scripts I’ve ever read. Ever. Seriously. It was bloody excellent. A fantastic talent and one to watch out for in the future. Also a really lovely human being, which is nice. I hate talented people who kill dolphins for fun.

  • Check out Philip’s blog HERE
  • Check out Anna Symon’s interview HERE   
  • Check out his interview with some weirdo called Dave Scullion HERE 

For prosperities sake, I have done a rudimentary copy ‘n’ paste job of the interview and whacked it below. I urge you to head to Philip’s website, though, as he’s got a lot of other bloody interesting stuff on there. You’ll miss out if you don’t!

Go there!

You’re missing out!!


Right, for prosperity, here is my interview with Philip Shelley.

WARNING: may contain sarcasm. And lard.


1.) WHERE DO YOU WRITE ?

Anywhere! At my desk, on the London underground, on trains, in pubs, on airplanes, on holiday and generally anywhere I can. Sometimes on the toilet. Once in a cave.

2.) WHEN DO YOU WRITE?

On lunch breaks (in my day job), every evening (if I haven't got meetings) and the weekend from about 7am onwards. So, whenever I can, basically...

3.) WHAT SORT OF STORIES EXCITE YOU?

Ones that are less than 110 pages long... Ones with a great pace, great characters and a great sense of irony.

4.) WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF BUILDING A GREAT CHARACTER?

Ensuring they have a flaw.

5, 6.) 2 WRITERS WHO HAVE INSPIRED YOU AND WHY

Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong (they're one person, right?) - their dialogue is utterly superb and their characters are always compelling. They inspire me to write well better dialogue words and all that.

James Moran - an industry professional who is happy to openly talk about the profession, he gives a rare insight into the world of scriptwriting through his Blog and in person. He ran a workshop with Dan Turner a few years ago (called Studio 5) and it gave me the necessary foot-in-the-anus I needed to move my career forward. Without that cheeky boot I doubt I'd be where I am now (in Pentonville Prison psychiatric ward, covered in lard).

7, 8.) 2 TV SHOWS THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU AND WHY

The X-Files - it kept it fresh for years, had the perfect setup for mixing crime investigation and the supernatural, without feeling contrived. Some episodes are better than most modern Horror films! "Darkness Falls" from Series 1 is probably my favourite episode of any television show, ever.

Eerie, Indiana - a fantastic kids' show from the early 90's, which sparked my love of the supernatural and weird, but also the supernatural and weird with HEART. Five episodes were directed by Joe Dante, whose style I've always adored (from The 'Burbs to Gremlins to Small Soldiers and beyond) - mixing adult themes and dark ideas with an unexpectedly loveable, heart-warming tone. It probably explains my loved of Horror-Comedies...

9, 10.)   2 FILMS THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU AND WHY

The Thing - one of the first Horror films I saw (and Sci-Fi), it's both utterly brilliant and genuinely disturbing. It also has an example of a superb character introduction, without the need of a massive dialogue heavy scene; R.J. MacReady (Kurt Russell) loses to a automated chess computer and pours his whisky into it, destroying it. It tells you everything about him and also sets up the theme & struggle for the entire movie (subtly, of course).

An American Werewolf in London - as with "Eerie, Indiana", this excellent John Landis film inspired me when I was a young'un. It told me a film can be scary, horrifying, inventive, disturbing, sexy, bonkers and hilarious all at the same time. Such a pleasure to watch - even now - it informed my love of films that intrigue, excite and entertain. I really hope they don't remake it... or make a 'prequel' to it.

11.) 1 THEATRE SHOW THAT HAS INSPIRED YOU AND WHY

Ghost Stories - it's nice to discover that "The Woman in Black" isn't the only stage show capable of making you crap yourself with fear. It also shows how mainstream audiences DO like Horror and the supernatural, and that theatre isn't always just about drama and musicals. It explains why "Evil Dead: The Musical" is so popular in Vegas...

12.) DO YOU OUTLINE BEFORE YOU START WRITING?

Yes. Much more than I used to. It makes it SO much quicker and easier to write something. I've experimented with both ways - freestyling and planning - and planning wins hands down.

13.) 1 PIECE OF ADVICE FOR SCREENWRITERS JUST STARTING OUT

Talk to other writers. Seek them out. Get to know them. Share advice and horror stories about the industry and - MOST IMPORTANTLY - share scripts! Ones you're reading and ones you're writing. Get feedback, give feedback. It's the best way to learn, network and develop your craft.

14.) WHAT SHOULD THE FILM \ TV INDUSTRY BE DOING FOR SCREENWRITERS THAT IT ISN'T?

Make more accessible routes into television and film - through courses, workshops, competitions etc...

There are very few screenwriting workshops that focus on the business of screenwriting, which look at the next step once you've (hopefully) mastered your craft (and done all those "INT means Interior" basic screenwriting courses).

The 4Screenwriting course and rare workshops like Studio 5 are the only UK-based courses that really hit that note; a focus on the 'next step'.

15.) WAS THERE A SPECIFIC MOMENT THAT MADE YOU START WRITING AND IF SO WHAT WAS IT?

Writing scripts? Definitely! I was writing really pulpy (and utterly shit) horror novels and sending them to every publisher, agent and half-important intern in the country, expecting to be the next Stephen King or Richard Laymon or Shaun Hutson. I didn't get a million pound deal, just a million rejection letters.

Two rejections, however, came within the same week and were actually personal - a thrilling moment in any rejection-swamped writer's life! - and they both said my pace, characters, dialogue and story was great... but it's all the bits in-between that weren't. The 'description stuff'. They both said I should write scripts for film and TV.

And they were right. I couldn't be bothered to describe the emotional context of the faux-Renaissance architecture in my protagonist's kitchen, I just wrote "there is a massive knife rack and a clock in the shape of a beer bottle", because that stuff actually mattered in the 'scene'.

So that week I jacked in my novel writing and began on a journey to scriptwriting wonderland.

I no longer had to post novels to hundreds of unfortunate bastards. No more envelopes. No more stamps. No more SAE I never saw again.

Yeah, so I effectively bankrupt The Royal Mail single-handedly. Sorry!

16.) WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU'D KNOWN THEN THAT YOU KNOW NOW?

To read a LOT of scripts - one a week at least - professional and 'amateur'. I struggled with formatting for months when I first began writing scripts, but reading scripts is one of the best guides to seeing what's acceptable and what reads best. You can also discuss them with other writers and begin forming your opinion on what makes a script 'sing' and what makes a script 'sink'.

17.) WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT THING ABOUT SCREENWRITING?

Finding time to write, especially when you're starting out.

A lot of 'social sacrifices' have to be made, and I don't mean publicly killing a goat for the great lord Cthulhu (all hail). Most 'newbie' writers will have a full time day job, as well as family commitments, so the lack of actual time to write is definitely one of the most difficult things about screenwriting.

18.) WHAT IS THE MOST ENJOYABLE THING ABOUT SCREENWRITING?

Finishing Draft 1 - then printing the entire thing out and looking at it like a new-born child, thinking "I made this" with a tear in your eye.

Then ripping it to pieces.

19.) WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF (AS A WRITER) FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?
                                                      
Older, fatter, wiser, not dead.

Hopefully I will be a 'career writer' and not have to work part time as a rent boy (again). I'd also like to be in a position to help other would-be screenwriters get to the 'next level'.

20.) AND FINALLY - ONE SURPRISING (NON-WRITING RELATED!) FACT ABOUT YOU.

I have never had a hangover... but I certainly deserve one. Or a thousand. Whatever the case, you now hate me.

My work here is done.'