Sunday, 9 February 2014

Joining the ranks of professional writers

Lately I've been reading the book Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays, by your wee lass Lucy Hay.

For anyone who doesn't already know, Lucy V. Hay is a qualified teacher, novelist, script editor, screenwriter, a blogger who helps writers, and one of the organisers of the London Screenwriters' Festival (LSF), where she currently holds the position of Director of Education. She is the associate producer of the British thriller Deviation, and the author of the novel Bauchentscheidung ("Gut Decision").

If you are interested in writing screenplays successfully, you should follow Lucy on Twitter, at the very least. You can learn stuff. Same with her book on writing Thriller screenplays. You can learn other stuff. Even if you're not especially interested in thrillers. The truth is, much of the book is focused on Lucy's real theme: How to turn a scribbler's hobby into a career. As A.A. Milne put it:

Almost anyone can be an author; the business is to collect money and fame from this state of being.
Lucy has been collecting money from the business for years. What about you?

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Note: I will be publishing a review of the entire book on this blog sometime in the near future.

The following is an unauthorised extract from Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays, by Lucy V. Hay.



Thank you, Lucy.
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If you want to create your career and advance, you must:
  • Come up with loglines for new ideas every single month (and get feedback on them—tweet them; email friends and contacts; see what sticks).
  • Develop one-page pitches for the loglines that pique people’s interest.
  • Write outlines for those one-page pitches.
  • Get feedback on those outlines and work out plot flaws and character problems.
  • Write a draft of a new project every 3-6 months.
It may seem insurmountable, but it can be done. It all comes down to this: the writers I have seen advance, whatever that means, such as a contest win, gaining representation (and keeping it) or getting their work produced, do the above. If you want to join the ranks of the professional writer, you need to do the same. Don’t let the grass grow under your feet or allow your existing specs to distract you. New, polished material is ALWAYS the way forward.

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1 comment:

Kathy Smart said...

It's good to see people making a living out of helping other people in the industry. Surely that will mean stronger scripts?