On Sally Abbott’s guest blog last week, she tagged screenwriter Jonathan Harvey to take on the ‘blog tour’ where writers share what they’re working on and how they go about it. Jonathan’s a prolific writer across film and TV (Beautiful Thing, a gazilion episodes of Corrie etc). Here are his answers to the four key questions of the blog tour (you can follow Jonathan on Twitter here):
1) What am I working on?
At the moment I am spinning a few plates. I’m writing a second series of my radio sitcom for Radio 4. I am also finishing off a new episode of Coronation Street and I am about halfway through my fourth novel. Oh, and I’m waiting to hear whether ITV are going to make a new sitcom of mine. We made a pilot for them earlier this year so I’m hoping for the best while expecting the worst.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Because I love it and I arrogantly think I have something to say about the world, whatever that might be. I have always been interested in people and what makes us tick and did my degree in psychology many centuries ago so I suppose I love playing around with characters. I also like making people laugh. I had my first play produced at the Liverpool Playhouse when I was 18 and when I heard the audience laughing I got a bit addicted to it. It was such a buzz, so I suppose I’ve tried to maintain that through most things I’ve written.
4) How does my writing process work
On every job the writing process is identical. I sit on my bed or at the kitchen table and type on my laptop. I try and keep office hours. But I suppose the planning process is different on each job. With Corrie a writer is part of planning all the episodes but the actual storylines are written by storyliners so much of the episode content planning is done for you. With my novels I tend to have a broad outline but it’s such a long drawn out process that can often change and I don’t know where I’m going to end up sometimes when I sit down to write – the freedom that brings after years in telly where everyone wants to sign off on every detail before you put pen to paper is very liberating. I often write episodes of sitcoms where the main writer hasn’t the time to write the whole thing because of tight turnaround schedules. In those instances I read and re-read their episodes to get a feel for their rhythm, or if it’s a 2nd series I’ll watch episodes over and over again.