Writing Course adventure

Adventure? Yes, I think so. Trying something new at 75 must be an adventure. Anyway I have been asked to do two things, consider a structure for my radio play and work out the main character. As usual with fiction one is asked to write a backstory so that you know how the person would react in any given circumstances. Age and occupation are a start but more is needed even if it is not required for purposes of the play.

I immediately made a mistake. I was keeping back an essential characteristic of my main protagonist and then put her into a situation she would never be in. When you give a publisher a synopsis of your book you are supposed to reveal everything and I guess the same applies here but I am very reluctant to reveal a surprise ending this early. I may even change the story as I go along!

As far as structure goes – I have absolutely no idea how long this will be! Knowing my writing style it is much more likely to be 15 minutes than 45. I don’t know whether to write the 15 minute one and add scenes or try to start the longer one.

You know when you write a novel and the editor says it would be better without the first chapter? I fear that might be the case with this and I’ll lose my audience after the first few minutes.

All good fun.

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Rehearsal

Everyone turned up for the pantomime casting session and it wasn’t difficult to cast the parts as I had heard most of them on the phone. The part I thought would be difficult turned out to be easy as the ‘reader’ adopted exactly the right voice without being coached. Our star actor was as good as I expected in the main role and the technician was happy with everyone’s voices on the microphones.

This will be an audio version of a well known story but with added jokes that I gleaned from the internet, although they may just as well have come out of a Christmas cracker!

Once it is in the can I’ll tell you all about it. There will have to be added sound effects and it should be out in early December.

Another Story

I didn’t realise how much what I was reading influenced what I was writing until this week.

I read a short story to our writing ¬†group and accepted that the ending was weak. That’s what these groups are all about- helpful criticism to encourage improvement.

But, at home, I was reading Philip Dick short stories which resulted in my turning a gentle romance into a fatal time travel story. I read this to the group yesterday and they all complained that the heroine should not have been murdered. I blame Philip Dick.

I’m not sure I’ll rewrite it again. Each time I read it I find flaws. I’ll leave it and investigate scriptwriting courses. It’s time I had a go at something new.

Happenings

News about the panto and the poetry anthology yesterday. The anthology is with the printer and I should see a draft next week. I had great fun looking at potential borders on the computer but left it to him in the end as I could have been there for hours. He showed me how to drag and drop in windows. I wish I knew more about computers!

Then the technician at the talking newspaper gave me some advice about turning a panto into something for audio. I need to add a lot more that I assumed people would know was happening by putting it into the dialogue. It turned out that not everyone has seen the film ( a very common children’s story that I took from the book) I’ll let you know which one nearer the time. The film was a musical but I’m not having music – just sound effects!

Then, last night we were treated to a splendid evening with the Blue Coconut Orchestra at the Willows Folk Club. Brilliant musicians.We are singing again tonight with the surgery group – must be good for us!

Pantomime

After a discussion with a technician about sound effects I began to realise that producing a pantomime, even if just in audio form, is going to take up more time than I anticipated.

I need to get the cast together for a preliminary reading and then find a date that suits everyone when we can record. I am afraid there are not enough parts for everyone who wants to participate and, because the readers are all so well educated and have lovely voices, some of the volunteers sound alike.

The Sea Scribes, our local writing group, are designing their own website so , as soon as that is up and running I will try to link with it. In the mean time, I have just begun to read “We need to talk about Kevin” and the writing knocks me out. I’ll do a review when I have finished it.

Talk

Have just returned from a talk that eight of the Sea Scribes gave to members of Worthing’s Phoenix Club at their speaker’s lunch. The food was delicious and we were treated to a glass of wine each.

Then we took turns in talking about how to write and publish books. Elaine Hankin had ordered it so that we each had a subject, non-fiction, plotting and character, proof reading etc. and then three of us told how we self published. I go-it-alone, Elaine uses Feedaread and Angela uses Createspace.

We took books as examples and hoped for sales but, although we did get some interested folk asking questions, it was not intended as a selling event and so it transpired.

When I came home I found my play was not going to be used in a local festival and the competition I entered closed yesterday, although I only found out about it today. They asked for a sonnet and if ¬†they don’t want it I’ll post it on here next week.

All good fun!

Changes

Advice from the Sea Scribes meant I have rewritten part of the panto and now, at 2821 words, it is ready for an outing.

I had great fun reading it aloud and trying to use different voices. Obviously, if we ever record it, there will be more people in the cast, male and female.

The other change I need to make is to get fitter. I know I promised I would exercise more but it’s snowing! What should I do? press-ups on the bedroom floor? Stop eating cheddar cheese I suppose. Hey ho.