24,March
2014

Blog Tour: Four Questions

The mighty Phill Barron tagged me in ‘The Blog Tour’ that’s going around, in which everyone gets asked the same four questions of the creative navel-gazing variety, and tags three other people to do the same on their blogs. SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO:

1) What am I working on?

*checks Non-Disclosure Agreements* Nothing! Not a thing! I definitely can’t tell you about an exciting new children’s show I’m working on with a fab company, and based on, well, let’s just say based on a cool pre-existing intellectual property. Nor can I tell you about another great kids’ show I’m writing on with another fab company, and starts in September on a national broadcaster for juniors (clue: rhymes with Gee-keebies). And even though I’ve signed a NDA about the new Thunderbirds Are Go for CiTV, I can tell you that yes, I’ve written an episode for the new series, and yes, the series is going to be totally awesome, and yes, I am so stoked and excited I can’t wait to tell you more because it was so much fun and OMG, THUNDERBIRDS!

I CAN DEFINITELY TELL YOU ABOUT Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg? which is the live-action kids’ film I’m making this year with Tim Clague. I’ll be talking about this a helluva lot more as things progress, but by all means sign up to the website to keep up-to-date with the latest breaking news.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I want to give a witty and insightful answer here but it’s a really tough question, and I have no idea how my work differs from others. I think at the very least, years of script reading has helped me write in a certain way, to make a script enjoyable to read, and hopefully give it a style and assurance that makes it stand out. I seem to be good with dialogue and structure, and I always try to focus on character as much as possible to drive the story. When you write for kids’ TV, you have to be an all-rounder (funny, character-driven, action-adventure, narrative clarity etc) and so I’m enjoying all these challenges at the moment.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I always let my instincts guide me in terms of the stories I want to write, and what excites me most. This has led to me writing scripts in a variety of genres, which can be confusing for the industry. One exec said to me: “you’ve done horror, sci-fi, action/adventure, soap, animation and live-action kids; the trouble is, we don’t know what kind of writer you are.” It’s a fair point, I guess, but other execs seem to like the variety. Still, it’s good to be known for one particular area over another, and I’m having loads of fun in the kids/family genre at the moment, so I’m staying focused on that to avoid confusion or ambiguity about who I am or what I write.

4) How does my writing process work?

I try to maintain office hours. I’ll be at my desk at around 9am, procrastinate online, but by about 10am I’m usually writing. The mornings seem to be the best time. The rest of the day could be split into script reading, notes, and other bits and pieces, and by the end of the day, I may read or revise what I wrote that morning. Depending on the workload or deadline, I could spend the whole day writing and spill into the evening if need be, but generally I prefer to keep writing for the mornings and see how the rest of the day pans out from there. Also, for the last six months I’ve been co-working at Nest Space, which means for two days a week I’m a sociable writer sharing a work space with a few other creatives. I’ve found that to be particularly helpful and surprisingly productive.

RIGHT, THAT’S MY LOT. Now I get to tag three other people to continue the blog tour by answering the same four questions. I think I should have asked them first to see if they wanted to be tagged but hey, I’m a maverick, I don’t live by the rules. Or I was too lazy to email them. And who has blogs nowadays anyway? Do I even know 3 bloggers who are still alive in the scribosphere? Hmm, how about James Moran, James Henry and James Cary. I only know people called James it seems but they’re all cool, funny and awesome, and no doubt working on equally cool, funny and awesome stuff so I DEMAND TO KNOW WOT. Over to you Jameses.

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