Carrier is submitted for the Blue Cat Screenwriting Competition and I also recently submitted it to a specialist screenplay agency. So how’s that going? *Insert tumbleweed* although I get feedback from Blue Cat even if I don’t win so there’s something to *gulp* look forward to.
This week Carrier also achieved the mark of 75 as my dissertation for my MA and to be honest I really hoped it might score a few more points than that. Yes I know. Greedy Greedy Greedy. But I’ve never crafted anything as carefully in my life and I KNOW it is exceptional. Trust me I’m happy to describe my work as shite when it is … but this really isn’t. Just look at it in its US bindings. It’s a thing of beauty.
My Mendez Bolivar short story “You See How It Is” was entered for the Bridport Prize but short-listers have been notified… and I’m not one of them. I submitted it for the Costa short story competition too. That doesn’t get announced for ages. January even? I like the character of Mendez Bolivar more than the story (which I suspect may be shite) … so not sure I’ll pitch it again as it stands. Perhaps I’ll put Mendez in another setting. If I can be arsed. Prose isn’t where my head is at right now.
Allen Road, the TV drama pilot collaboration with LJF has been in a intensive process of rewrites as we draw closer to its spiritual home, The annual Channel 4 Screenwriting Competition. It didn’t place last year but certain feedback we’ve had makes us think it’s worth trying again. It’s sooo good and much tighter than it was last year (and it was pretty tight then). The concept and the universe are coherent, fascinating and terrifying and I love it.
In fact the same could be said about The Fade, our other co-written script. Our plans for this are slightly different to Allen Road; it’s a pilot for a three-parter as opposed to a season of eight episodes so we will be targeting different channels and production companies in due course although we are concentrating on Allen Road at the moment. Beautiful weird universes seem to be a theme in the stories we create together, and they are my favourite place to hide most of the time.
The Challah Tin, my novel, is sitting with two different agents at the moment, both of whom have asked for more time to consider it. That’s gone a bit quiet but having recently chased them I’ll take silence over a rejection any day. I’ve struggled to feel confident with it in novel form so it was invigorating to convert it into a radio play last month.
The conversion came about because someone reminded me about the BBC Writer’s Prize. It’s a prize for Radio Drama. The Challah Tin is fairly topical, and dramatic; there are some nice evocative time-shifts and imagery; things like bird-covered mountains and, in a different time zone a busy 1980s greasy spoon cafe. Scenarios I could hear as well as see. There’s only really one home for radio drama (BBC) and so this was an ideal opportunity. I only had four days before the deadline so I had to work pretty fast.
To cut a long story short… I cut a long story short. It took a lot of hackwork but was aided by me knowing the story inside out and being quite a dialogue-heavy prose writer. I ditched so many characters: wide-boy racist dog-owner Mike, Kenny the Chinese gangster, terrible goth Vonnie and countless countless scenes including The Embarrassing One With The Prostitute. It became a slightly different story in the telling. Necessarily concise with clear progression, it had a lot in common with the magazine fiction I used to write; this is weird as you don’t normally think of Radio 4 as having much in common with Take A Break. So that’s done. In the cold light of day I think it’s actually much better in this format.
Perhaps I just need to stick to scripts. I do love scripts.