I took some time out from writing essays (and procrastination whilst worrying about essays) last week to go join in with the wonderful Script East ‘Get Scripted’ writing weekend at The Garage.
I was a little nervous. Mostly because this would really smash down the last barrier, mentally and knowledge-wise, that might be preventing me from getting pen to paper and starting my creative project.
The beginner’s course, run by Lynsey White, lecturer in Creative Writing at Norwich University of the Arts was intense and beautifully inspiring. We covered an amazingly large amount of material in the three hours of time we had.
Everything from getting into a relaxed and good frame of mind to write and finding your space, creating and inhabiting your character, their needs and wants and agenda, getting inspiration, writing dialogue, the difference between stereotypes and archetypes, the importance of silence, freewriting, plot, the 3 Ps (of writing not marketing), tension, clues, structure, media res, change, catalyst, conflict… Omg there was soooooo much good stuff, how could you have missed it? You fool!
We then got to go away and write up a piece of script, with the deadline for submission of 11am the very next day. On Sunday evening we went along to the scratch night where we would get to see the scripts that had been chosen performed on stage at The Garage.
That was a bit of a strange experience. I’ve never seen something I have written being performed on stage before. I’m normally nervously standing on the stage, performing what somebody else has written, not nervously sitting watching my writing being read by other actors.
It was exciting though. Well, it was, after the sheer terror of the first few words, when I realised that the actors were performing the piece I wrote. But then people actually laughed at the bits I found funny when I was writing it and seemed to be enjoying it. Then I felt I could breathe again.
It was really more of a screenplay than play script though. I hadn’t really thought of how someone would sit up a tree on stage and manage to teleport god-like from one scene to another. But, hey, that’s for the director to work out. I was, afterall, at this point, only just taking my very first baby-steps into becoming a playwright. I was still arguing with my uni course director that I was an actor, not a writer at this point time.
I got some great feedback afterwards from people, which didn’t hurt. Although of course, my head insisted that it must be due to my having sheepishly confessed that the writing was mine and that they must have just been being kind (stupid brain).
It was an amazing experience and has given me a major boost in confidence with my writing. If this course happens again, I would highly recommend that people take the opportunity to go along. It’s not every day you get such high quality scriptwriting workshops for free or the opportunity to see your work performed on stage to such an appreciative and friendly audience.