My Writing: Script Writing


black notebook and red pencil from OpenClipArtScripts! I remember when I was about 15 (maybe even 14) I turned Silk Over Razor Blades (that, at the time, was called To Be A Teenage Vampire) into a screenplay. In fact, I wrote it twice. And each time I did it, I coordinated with friends to film it. We got as far as casting and location scouting and then it fell through. Ho hum.

Anyway, that was the first time I turned my hand to script writing. I loved it. Then I put it aside and left the idea alone for several years. When university came along and I spent those years writing instead of studying, somebody mentioned that my house mates and I would make an amusing sitcom. So I wrote it.

Seven episodes of a sitcom that I called HouseMates. Yes, I realise it is not as imaginative a title as I might have managed, but it says exactly what I need it to say.

If I were to take talks from last year’s Alt Fiction to heart, then I would be haunting the BBC with ideas and sending them scripts to showcase my skills. The BBC recently opened their doors to unsolicited scripts via their Writer’s Room. I missed the deadline – or I will by 28 March – because you can only submit an idea once and I want to be sure that the idea is as perfect as it can be. And of course, that the script is written as well as it can be.

I’ll give you a sample, if I may….

NADINE:
So have you got everything inside now?

LEANNE:
Nah; Ricky is bringing the rest tomorrow.

NADINE:
Didn’t you dump him earlier?

LEANNE:
Yes, but that doesn’t mean he can’t play pack donkey for a little longer; he certainly looks the part. Most of it is at his house anyway.

NADINE:
Just checking. So why did you dump him?

LEANNE:
He was stringing along me, my sister AND my best friend. I thought I’d teach him a lesson. I’m an excellent teacher!

NADINE:
So I saw.

LEANNE:
I like to take a physical approach. Actions speak louder than words and all that.

NADINE:
They kick harder too.

LEANNE:
Indeed.

NADINE:
I’ll never understand hetero relationships.

LEANNE:
What?

NADINE:
When Michelle and I split, we hated each other for months and months just like exs are supposed to. We even took turns wrecking each other’s clothes and shoes. In fact it’s my turn to slash the tires on her car. I should ring her.

NADINE STOPS STRETCHES AND MAKES TO LEAVE. LEANNE STOPS HER.

LEANNE:
Wait, did you just say Michelle? Nadine, are you gay?

NADINE:
Is the Queen Jewish?

LEANNE:
No actually.

NADINE:
The pope?

LEANNE:
Still no.

NADINE:
Oh. Well I’m gay.

LEANNE:
And I thought the tool belt was just a weird fashion accessory! Cool. So what’s it like?

NADINE:
I have no idea; I’m an atheist myself. But there was a girl in college who just hated it. Imagine not being able to go out on a Friday night!

LEANNE:
No, not being Jewish, I mean being gay.

NADINE:
Oh, that. Its great! It does intimidate some people though. Guys especially.

LEANNE:
They’re just worried they’re becoming obsolete… which they are by the way. Anne Summers will testify to that.

NADINE:
Harmony thinks I scare them off with my mere presence.

LEANNE:
Well the ‘Bob The Housemaid’ look might worry people. Loose the tool belt and you’ve got it.

Insofar as scriptwriting as a way forward, this is one form of writing that will end up on the back burner. I simply don’t have the time to spare to give to this which is why HouseMates has not yet been submitted to the BBC. Later – lord knows when! – I’ll take the time to edit the script and polish it up properly and then get it sent.

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About Ileandra Young

I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.
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11 Responses to My Writing: Script Writing

  1. Pingback: My Writing: Intro | Writing: A Conversation Without Interruptions

  2. I spend most of my early professional career writing plays. I still have a fondness for it, even though my focus is now on magazines and children’s books.

    I like what you have up there. My only critique — if you’re looking for one — is that the characters reveal too much about themselves too quickly. Some information, like the “why did you dump him?” would almost certainly be known by Nadine. Let’s face it, if she knows the couple is broken up, wouldn’t she already know the reason why?

    The “I’m gay” reveal also felt a little odd to me. How well do these women know each other? Their banter suggests familiarity, perhaps even closeness. Is that the way a friend would drop such a bombshell to another friend? If they are relative strangers, their dialogue doesn’t suggest it. If Leanne didn’t know Nadine very well I don’t think “So cool! What’s that like.” is how she would respond.

    That said, I did find this to be a fun, funny read. Don’t back burner this; keep going!

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    • This is exactly the sorts of problems I was concerned about. Thanks for picking them out. I always appreciate a constructive critique and knowing that I’m not making problems where they don’t exist is comforting.

      This snippet is from the first episode; Nadine and Leanne don’t know each other; they met that morning.

      I think maybe a little more studying on how things are already done (Or talking to my old house mates!) will help me smooth out some of those wrinkles.

      Like

  3. jmgershom says:

    I’ll be doing a screenplay for Camp NaNoWriMo next month, since they changed some of the rules. That’s to say, for only the Camp…not for the usual November NaNoWriMo. BTW, I’d hate to think that I’ll be obsolete! 🙂

    Like

  4. Writerlious says:

    Oh, this is cool! I feel like scriptwriting is waay over my head. Maybe one day…. 🙂

    Like

    • You’ll never know until you give it a go! 🙂 I think when I go back to this type of writing, as well as tackling HouseMates I’ll do some smaller bits; like 5-10 minute sketches. Full length screenplays and sitcoms was quite ambitious for a first attempt! 😉

      Like

  5. Rob says:

    I think it shows great promise. I believe the most difficult thing to achieve with any fiction is realism. If it doesn’t ring true, it’s difficult to feel for the characters. That’s where you have to be brutal with yourself. Is that really what he or she would have said or done?

    Like

    • Indeed! While writing dialogue in prose I find it easier to make that judgement call. This is something else entirely and I need a little more practise.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

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