Thought Vomit #10: ft. A New Approach

I’m moulding a plot for a script at the moment, and I’m approaching it in a way that I never have before. It’s unusual for a plot not to present most of itself to me as I begin work on planning a script, but this time round, it’s being a bit stubborn. The basic underlying structure is all there, but the bones of the narrative flow are not.

So, I’ve written out an act breakdown, and I’m simply typing a question or two into each section, with the answers sparking new questions and resolving other questions. It feels a bit too inorganic at the moment, and maybe having to force a plot out means that there’s something fundamentally wrong with the premise, but I like exploring different ways of working.

On Screenwipe a few weeks back, Charlie Brooker interviewed an endless stream of excellent writers about their craft and workflow, and I was amazed at how few of them broke their plots down before embarking on the first draft of the script. I think Tony Jordan said he writes Hustle (of all things) without knowing how it’s going to end. As a result, he says he often writes 30 or more drafts.

While I have begun a script without knowing where it’s going on many occasions, and the journey of discovery is always fun, having it structured and laid out before embarkation is just as exciting, and often it gives you more freedom to explore. If you know you have to be at the bus station by ten o’clock, you know that you have time to pop into the shop and buy a book to read. Plus, things always happen that you never planned for or expected.

Anyway, I’m writing this now because I am procrastinating with the plot. It’s either this or PES on the Playstation. At least this seems like writing.

Buy My Books
  • Proctology: A Bottom Examination
    Proctology: A Bottom Examination

    For a long time now I’ve been wanting to write an old-fashioned programme guide. One you can hold in your hand and thumb through, make notes on, spill coffee on. So I did. Proctology: A Bottom Examination is my deep dive into Bottom, the hit BBC Two sitcom starring Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson. That’s…

Most Read
  • Re-Casting Keanu
    Re-Casting Keanu

    Keanu Reeves is 56. That makes him eight years older than Clive Dunn was when he was first cast in Dad’s Army. But don’t panic, Clive Dunn was always playing much older characters than his own age. Keanu Reeves is 56. That makes him seven years older than Stephanie Cole was when she was first…

From The Archive

Sign up for my FREE newsletter