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Sunday, April 08, 2007

The spirit of the scriptwriter

We all know about the importance of a hero to a story. Done and done! But in this post I want to put to you that the writer should also be a hero. Many of you will have swung by and had a look at the Scriptwriter's Life diagram. And that covers the life of a scriptwriter obviously. And as a guide to your day to day work its going down a storm - over 2700 downloads now.

But above that, away from the detail, what is it that we should stand for? What is the ethos of the writers I meet - people like Danny Stack, Dom Carver, Christina Ferguson, Sal Brown and just recently Yann Demange? What I've noticed is a common spirit and this is what I hope to define below.

The spirit of the writer says...

One: This is my world.
Thus have we made the world NOT thus is the world. The writer seeks out to explore both why the world is like it is and what we can do about it.

Two: If it is broke I will fix it.
The writer does not complain if the odds are against them. The writer fixes the odds by doing something about it. Active, not passive. Finding a way around, not giving up. Starting something if no one currently offers it.

Three: Writing is life, work is just work
Most writers don't make a living from just scriptwriting. They do other things. But everything they do comes back to writing - every person they meet is a character, every overheard line is dialogue, everything in their life is a situation. Writing is life.

Four: The meerkat mentality
The spirit of the writer is about helping each other. A good script will be promoted by other writers because it is recognised to be good. A good script needs to put forward by more than just its 'parent'. We seek out good scripts rather than just good writers.

Five: I can handle the truth
No one else gives us honest feedback except ourselves to each other. We welcome it and we offer it freely.

Comments on this manifesto are welcome. Its an ongoing work.
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Mystery Man said...

Great post, Tim!


Sal said...

Thank you for including me! Sorry to have been absent from the blogosphere for so long. Am back now

droff said...

Excellent, Tim. Just found your diagram, and am eating it up, as it's the most practical set of guidelines any writer should force himself to follow.

Writer wannabe

Tim Clague said...

I'm glad you are finding it useful Rob. The most important thing of course - keep doing it!

Anonymous said...

you're miles away mate, if you're not making a living out of being a writer, then you're not a writer - check out that course will show you how you can write for a living. and earn good morning while working on your original scripts.

Anonymous said...

that should have been good money, sorry.