Sunday, June 13, 2010

Backing the pack


"A wise [wo]man knows [s]he knows nothing" - who said that?

Well, I've been reading The Perfect Screenplay by Katherine Atwell Herbert and it's brilliant. Much of the advice applies to novel writing either directly or by omittance and it is so quick to read. And even if you aren't interested in writing a screenplay, it's great to read how all those big films you've seen started out - their taglines and what viewers, and readers for that matter, find a real turn off in a film/novel.

After a long break and masses of re-writes I've begun submitting stuff again - that novel I wrote this time last year - is out there - be kind to it, it's gone through a lot.

And I've entered a couple of comps and am thinking of entering another couple: Teresa Stenson's got a few mentioned on her blog this week which are worth checking out.

And I'm reading - heaps and stacks of books and loving every stolen moment of it! Even the ones I've thrown back in the pack after losing the will at page three have been valuable! - more on what I'm reading/have read coming soon.

So to all of you ploughing on with novels, short stories, screenplays or just general life - keep on keeping on! Best of luck to you all.

21 comments:

Kass said...

Screenwriting books get right to the point. Help you write the undercurrents of what is most at stake for each of the characters.

catdownunder said...

I have my paws crossed for you!

Rachel Fenton said...

Well, Kass, I figured that - considering the only criticism I had of my last novel was that it read like a screenplay - I should play to my strengths!

It certainly cuts to the chase!

Catdownunder - thank you.

Thanks both of you :)

Gwei Mui said...

Good luck, I hope something comes of all your hard work (I'm sure it will)

Donna Hosie said...

Everything I possess is crossed for you whilst you submit. You totally deserve some bites of interest.

Thomas Taylor said...

Good luck to you and your novel. Fingers crossed with white knuckles!

The Perfect Screenplay sounds like a useful read. Cutting to the chase is something I'm trying to get better at.

Andrea said...

Looking forward to the reading update! all the best with the competitions.

Rachel Fenton said...

Cheers me dears!

Rachel Fenton said...

Gwei Mui, thank you. I'm still wanting to claw it back and do more/take more out/change it. Things get to a point where I know I am just messing with them for the sake of it or I think they are as good as I can do...then give it a few weeks, couple of months, and I want to change them again...I never seem to get past that needing to edit phase...had this one kicking around a year so thought it best to get it out there and be done with it!

Rachel Fenton said...

Donna - back at you with that! I certainly need the luck though so I'll gratefully accept! Thanks :)

Rachel Fenton said...

Thank you, Thomas.

I am by turns a waffler and then a racer...speeding through some things which take me a great deal of siscipline to go back through and write in a patient and careful manner - probably comes from spending so long honing my short story skills - got a box set of novels under my belt now and I know where my strengths and weaknesses lie but it isn't any easier putting what I know into practice! But that's what drafts are for :)

I think it might be to do with the book not being about novels which makes the advice so easy to swallow without feeling defensive about how it applies to my own writing. It's also very morale boosting in the way that only Americans can be but it isn't the schmaltzy over the top variety - at no point did I feel like i was on a well known American chat show!

Good advice and easy to execute :)

Hope all is going well with your move! Not nice living out of boxes but it's great unpacking and finding new nooks for those nick-nacks at the other end!

Rachel Fenton said...

Collective tinternetted energy - it will either get me some good results, else blow my puter up!

Lori said...

It's good to hear from you, Rachel. And know that you're enjoying the books in your life. And good luck with the submissions and the writing. I'm sure you'll do just brilliantly.

Rachel Fenton said...

Lori - thank you - I'm scooping up well wished luck in my scoopy hands and will throw some into the next envelope I write but I'll save a bit and fling it back your way :)

Rachel Fox said...

I might just read that book. I did a short film course years ago and did end up concentrating on the writing bit (of course). They even made the course film from my screenplay (though it was AWFUL!).

Been watching loads of movies lately too...just not up to much else. Loved 'Up in the Air' and 'Where the wild things are' which kind of shows you where I'm at...

x

Teresa Stenson said...

I will have to get a copy, or borrow one from a filmy friend. It's good to hear how much you're getting out of reading it, and all the other books you're devouring.

AND you're writing! Your novel is out there - that is just ace. Good luck in abundance.

Thanks for linking too. I deliberately searched for comps ending soon with cash prizes. Not that it's all about the money... :)

Rachel Fenton said...

T'other Rachel, it's a very straight to the point book - just the pertinent info - and written with positivity with the aim of getting your screenplay written properly and then made! Everything you need is in there - right up to disguising yourself as a pizza deliverer to get your script in the hands of a top producer!

Mostly it just comes across as very up to date (despite being published in 2005) and written by someone totally in the know at the top of their game. It isn't padded and it says it is difficult but tells you exactly how to achieve your goals! Software, websites, publications of help are all in there. Pretty cool book!

I've been watching some fims, too, and I like taking inspiration from films.

Hope they bring some to you!

Thanks for popping in :)

Rachel Fenton said...

Teresa - you are such a supportive person and I appreciate it so much - thank you. And for the luck.

Best of luck with getting your writing out there, too and getting some dosh - which, no, it isn't all about it but a little would be nice :)

And I hope this year brings you much cuccess :)

Golden West said...

Way to go, Rachel. I have always followed the advice of casting one's net wider to catch more fish. It takes a special courage to put yourself out there, with something as personal as your writings. Wishing you all the best!

Teresa Stenson said...

I've always wanted lots of cuccess.

:D

Rachel Fenton said...

Hahaha! And some success, Teresa! Iths my lithp you know!


Thanks, Golden West - Ive taken the advice of an agent to sent it out broadly and got varied rejections for my efforts so far, lol! Will keep on keeping on though!