Fly me to the moon or Mordor.

Not Mordor, St Michael’s Mount Marazion. Cornwall.

Location. It’s not just a place, it’s a character.

As a child did you have that special place where you hid out in a thunder storm? Or a place you returned to at every opportunity for adventure?

I did. Back in my hometown there is a man-made lake, with a wooden bridge that takes you over from one to the other.

Southport Marine Lake and the Victorian Venetian bridge.

It wasn’t the bridge but what I called the islands. Back in the late 70’s/ early 80’s these where overgrown with bushes and shrubs, that had natural hollow dens inside them. Perfect for the young girl seeking an adventure with her trusty bearded collie.

I convinced myself there were mine, collecting the rare piece of litter that had the audacity to spoil the landscape, hiding from adults and families in the summer, like some lost runaway, with a book under my arm.

I don’t have my own private island (maybe one day!) but the importance of that location is till with me.

We were partners in crime. It held my secrets. It was a huge part of my life every opportunity I had.

When writing location in your stories you need to add the relevance to the main characters., what is it and why are we here.

Make your place feel real, dynamic thinks of the great fiction canon’s, from Wuthering Heights and the moody moors reflecting that of Heathcliffe. The moors set the tone throughout.

The landscape of Modor and the Shire are at odds with each other as they should be because each one involves a different part of the hero’s journey.

Your characters need to react to their location, inhale their surroundings, watch how it challenges them and sense when it’s safe and able to protect them. Location is personal.

Like with every part of your story, flip it! Make it unique!

Not only will your setting change over distance but the same one will change over time.

Has the place you grew up in remained the same? I know mine hasn’t, parts that were important to me have disappeared become shops and fast-food restaurants.

Southport sea bathing lake then.
Southport now.

Research an area, notice the changes and think how has this affected your character? What stories do they have to tell. Has it changed their opinions, their outlook?

Most importantly see the landscape through their eyes.

It doesn’t matter if your place is real or totally made-up. The attention to detail needs to be there. Take a page from Tolkien, and draw out a map for your setting. Add important features or prominent places.

For the August challenge Day Two, think of a place that holds a special meaning to you. Write it down in great detail. Now do the same with your story location, through the eyes of your character.

Whether it’s the moon or Mordor make it memorable.

For more tips on writing go to The Coffeehouse Writer.

What Next? 7 Tips to find what you should do next?

Finished!

Well I thought I had finally ended my academic life as a student when I recently submitted my Major Project for my Ma in Writing for Script and Screen. The next week I returned to teaching feeling accomplished.
Not only had I, as in me, completed a Masters but I had written a feature length film on one of my literary idols Mary Davys, based on a collaboration of her plays, novel and biography.
Part of my project was to add a critical essay which led me in a new direction of Adaptation Theory.
For me it looks like I’m heading straight back to uni, a PhD in the cards, as long as I can continue to teach creative writing.

But for others the decisions are not so easy to make or clear.

Here are my tips to discovering what you want to do next.

  1. Spend time on your OWN.

As a mum of four, I know how difficult and yet important this can be.  You NEED, yes need, to be able to hear your own thoughts. How else can you work out what exactly you want to do, if you don’t? Go for a walk, my go-to is a beach walk.  Do it as aften as you can.

     2. Recall when you were last happy.

This doesn’t mean to say you are miserable and unhappy now, but think back to the happiest days. What were you doing and who with? The who is just as important as the what. Let your past help solve your future.

   3. Write down your dreams you remember.

This is when your brain is sorting out those quirks and issues you have had when awake and been unable to solve.  Reflect on what you see, symbols, people, places or situations.

    4. Keep a journal.

This does not have to be daily, so don’t feel guilty of you forget.  Write how you are feeling, if you feel unmotivated at work, put that, and if you can why.  If you find yourself randomly doing something else, or googling new jobs, hobbies , ask yourself if you could change one thing now what would it be and why?

Write about what your love about yourself, be honest, no-one is going to see this, its not bragging, OWN IT. Ask friends and  family what they see as you talents?

    5. Spend time with inspirational people.

Who in your circle of friends and family that inspires you? What have they got or done differently to you? Don’t be afraid to ask them, chances are they have been where you are now.  Instead of asking for advice, ask how they would do something.

   6. Explore your passions!

Take a beginners class or the next level. What really brings a smile to your face. Meet like-minded people and widen your circle, if this is where you want to be, then these are the people who will be able to help.  Does your passion offer you the potential  for happieness now and growth tomorrow?

    7. Keep your mental and physical health in check.

No matter what you decide to do, your well-being is important!  Get that check-up, take that walk, talk about how you are feeling. There is no point in doing anything that sucks the life and soul from you!  I can whole-heartedly promise you that.  Yes, we all need to work and pay the bills, but check what you are spedning you money on now to make life bearable. if you did something else, would your downtime be the same?

Remember: Focus on the best case, plan for the worst. That way when things work out, you will have it covered!

 

Good Luck.

M.x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Draft 4.0

Covet final draft

Well here it is and for anyone who read the last one, you will notice quite a few changes to layout, but also I hope conveys the character arc better.

I have also after some advice tried to offer instead of a standard straight forward look but inserted some of the scenes In form of interviews.

One of the major issues I had with my previous drafts was the length, and I am hoping that the method I have chosen here, still gets the same story across clearer, and shorter.

I have really enjoyed this once I thought outside the box I am used to, I used techniques I have learn on the course so far to question myself each step of the way and my office wall is covered in small index cards and post-its. This actually helped the visualising process.

I can sit back and feel like I have earned my glass of red tonight, now just for the critical essay.

 

Still rolling…

Surprisingly, I have survived week two, and not felt out of my depth.

Discussing the Auteur Theory and the role within of the screenwriter, reveals the complexity of the industry.  There are times when being a writer is just not enough, and when you feel impassioned to be further involved with YOUR own creation or perhaps are part of a collaborative it can actually still work.

When I write, I use mainly first-hand experiences, my written accounts are my view points and my interpretation of what took place. To then give this over and to have multiple additional perceptions added might distort my original idea.

Originally I had believed it would be exciting to hand my baby over, but like a single parent giving over custody  I will be watching, the more I write the more protective I find myself, and my baby is not being handed over without my beady eye watching over them making sure they don’t get dropped, underfed, and clothed properly.  The absent parent will be stalked at their every move until I am 100% guaranteed that my baby will be looked after. And then, like a teenager,  I hope my writing can stand up for its self, and I can relax (or at least grit my teeth until I actually get used to the idea) and let others enjoy and play with it. All I ask future produces and directors is… please be patient with me.