Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The World's A Stage

I've just finished a screenwriting course. I have no ambitions to be a screenwriter but I get a chance to do free courses through work and I figured that this would stretch me and teach me to write in new and interesting ways. i.e. give me something to write about other than the normal 'I'm still not pregnant' shit which is starting to bore me to tears. (Well, there are tears, so I'm attributing them to boredom).

The first assignment was to write an 'inciting incident'. That is the bit that comes about twenty minutes in, turning a happy little story into a big event - Ilsa walking into "of all the gin-joints in all the world" in Casablanca; the radiation hit taken by the fantastic four; Bambi's mother being shot (sorry should have added a spoiler alert for that one).

So I write a dramatic, high-action, feverishly exciting scene involving an assassin, an art market in Valencia and a MacGuffin. The reaction from the class was tepid at best. They valiantly searched for complementary comments but it was shit, I knew it was shit, they knew it was shit, and the tutor just looked a bit sad.

The next week we had to write a scene that shows to the audience two character's relationship and how it is affected by the 'inciting incident'. I cut my losses, started from scratch and tried a completely new story.

In this scene a couple in their early thirties are sitting on the sofa watching telly and chatting. For arguement's sake let's put the couple in London; maybe their flat is cheaply but tastefully furnished and they might just have a dog. Through the conversation they reveal to the audience an issue that they are dealing with ... an issue. Think of an issue, any issue...

Oh, OK. What about infertility?


So they are revealing through subtle, humourous (obviously) dialogue that they have been trying for over two years to have a baby.

The response was brilliant. The tutor said, and I quote , "Excellent." The dialogue was realistic, and moving.


It appears all I can write about now is babies (or specifically lack of:). I tell you what, I need to get pregnant soon if only to salvage any small remnants of my creativity.


  1. But you are so good at writing about lack of babies, jsut sayn

  2. That's absolutely hilarious! :) Infertility: it's not a condition, it's an obsession!

  3. Yep. Unfortunately you're gonna have to get pregnant now just to keep people interested ;-)

    but then what...?

    I'm sure the first story was excellent. You just had a tough audience.

  4. Who knew that our own lives would be more interesting than the made up ones? I guess we should stick with what we know! ;) I hope your subject matter can soon move to the happily ever after variety.

  5. Kind of related again, do you watch Eastenders?

  6. Cheers for the compliment PiB, but I do feel a bit like an old record.

    YOu're right there, iamstacey

    Well, if you insist Mick, (the first story wasn't excellent think George Lucas dialogue - the prequels not the originals).

    This is the problem, its all I can write about but I'm not finding it very interesting Lea

    Xbox, I stopped watching Eastenders ages ago (the husband hates it with a passion so I sort of drifted away, see how I kow-tow to my man). But I'm intrigued, what's going on?

  7. Infertility is an all-consuming obsession that leaves you sounding like a broken record, repeating the same damn thought over and over again... but they do say that you need to write about what you know so I guess it doesn't do any harm creatively to be stuck. How cool to be able to do such interesting courses through work.

  8. Gah, a story that COULD have been decent, with someone wanting to get a move on with having a family as her clock was ticking and she wanted 2 or 3 and not just one.

    Which was fine, until she went potty and starting buying baby clothes and toys for a non existent baby.

    Cue mad desperate baby snatcher music again.


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