Too Much Culture

Posted in Uncategorized by tneenan on 07/06/2011

The Writer’s Festival is in full swing giving advice to both aspiring writers and those entrenched in the industry. Too Much Culture eavesdrops on the drama Q&A, although the following advice applies to comedy, drama and “Sirens”.

“Writing is all about killing your babies…”

“Seriously have you ever tried writing with kids bothering you. Sometimes its like ‘yes I know you’ve done a drawing of a cat, but that won’t help me write this hard hitting drama.’ Of course I don’t really mean kill, I mean ‘keep out of my f***** face for a few hours.”

“Don’t get it right, get it writ…”

“Oh no, sorry, that should be ‘don’t get it right get it written’ dammit, I knew I should have waited and made sure that sentence was perfect before I typed it out. I’m such an idiot sometimes.”

“Keep stage directions as brief as possible…”

“Always try and keep stage directions to a minimum. Sometimes I will submit entire scripts with little to now stage directions. One script for “The Accusation” just reads: “Something cruelly tragic happens to a well know British character actor.” That was the whole script, simple, clear and direct. That’s what we should all aspire to be as writers.”

“There is no such thing as writers block…”

When I first started writing, some of the older writers sent me out to buy some tartan paint, some sky hooks and a writer’s block. When I got to the hardware store the guy behind the counter laughed his a*** off at me. A writer’s block isn’t an actual thing. I learned that one the hard way.”

“Know your audience…”

“When “my first children’s drama first aired I asked for the names and addresses of everybody who watched it. I then sent them a questionnaire asking if they liked the show. Its important to know your audience, and ignore the controller of ITV if he calls you dangerously obsessive.”

“Find your voice…”

“Not many people know this, but all the episodes of my dramas are meant to be read in a high pitched Irish accent, but do the BBC listen to my notes? No.”


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