Tuesday, 31 March 2009

SharpShooter and Wiffle Lever!

Sorry for the lack of updates fan! (Yes, I do mean "fan", that wasn't a typo!)

About time I posted the latest happenings in my endeavours to break into scriptwriting!

First of all, I'm on draft three of my Channel 4 script thing. Still pondering over a couple of things. Should that bit be there? Have I worded that bit correctly? Does that bit make sense? Will people get that joke? Does that bit with the whatsit make the thingummy work with the doodah?
Good news is, I'm now a member of the SharpShooter google group, so I shall soon be uploading this piece of work for my peers to rip to pieces! I hadn't heard of SharpShooter until last week. It's thanks once again to (and I shall keep referring to him as this, 'cos I know he loves it!) "TV's James Moran".
He mentioned the group and included the link in his "Big Writing FAQ", which you must read if you're like me and trying to break into the industry. To be honest, anyone reading my blog has probably already been to James' blog, which may have then led you to Paul Campbell's blog, which then led you here! Phew! Quite a journey! Take a break. Have a nice cup of tea!

Anyway, Sharpshooter is a brilliant concept! Apart from being a nice place for like minded scriptwriters to meet up and post information, tips and advice, it's main purpose is for us to upload our latest drafts of completed (or not) scripts. Once they've been uploaded, everyone else in the group can download them, read and offer critique. It's a brilliant way to get your stuff read by other unbiased people, who are not going to always flatter you because you're not their son or daughter! These people tell it how it is (from what I've read so far anyway!) I've yet to upload a script of mine but I have read a couple of scripts and have given my first critique on a fellow newbie's work...Woohoo!

So far, it seems like quite a busy group. I don't believe the google group info that says "Low activity"! Low? Maybe compared to the "MyTextGraphics" group! (I know I'm a sad individual but I just had a look for the group with the most members and that's it - 33816 members at the time of writing!) But wait! It still says "Low activity" for this too! Typical geeks though (of which I class myself as one), this group has more members than the second "fullest" group, which is Humor-Erotica... Go figure...

SharpShooter currently has 88 members, so there are plenty of people who can read your stuff and plenty of scripts for you to read. You can learn a lot from reading other's scripts, especially new writers (like me). It makes you re-evaluate your own stuff even more and also helps you spot small errors you may have missed, even though you've probably read it a thousand times!

I've really got into script reading now! Thanks to a link posted in the comments section of that blog from the infamous "TV's James Moran" (yes HIM again! There's no stopping the power of the man!)
Thanks to Adrian for providing this link (for it was he who posted the comment). There's an absolutely limitless supply of TV scripts and bibles here (probably why they've called it "TV Scripts and Bibles"). It really is good! I was working last Saturday and while I was waiting for some information to come through (I was installing computers and waiting for them to "appear" on our system) I downloaded and read the Pilot for "Prison Break". I've got to say, this was the best flowing script I've read to date! It probably helps that I've seen every episode (I'm a HUGE fan) and I do remember this one (of course) but even if I hadn't, it was beautifully written and it actually felt like I was watching the episode, rather than reading it! It probably breaks a few rules (what do I know) but I could imagine being a producer and thinking "Wow!" when I read this! So, if you get bored during your day job and you can't watch TV (who can!?) then I suggest downloading a few scripts of your favourite shows and enjoying those instead! ;)

Right, so I'm hopefully going to upload my script to SharpShooter by the end of the week and let the other members sink their teeth into it! I'm really looking forward to the scathing remarks to be honest! I always think you learn a lot more from your mistakes (I should know!) It's like catching a cold... If you've never had a nasty cold in your life then your body is going to be totally shit at combating one later on. If, however, you've had many nasty, dribbly, terrible, "Oh God, I'm dying! Please get me some chicken soup" colds, then you're going to be the "master" at fighting the little bastards later on in life... Where was I? Oh yeah, chicken soup... no I mean, "Failure makes a man great"... I don't think anyone ever said that, I just made it up...

In other news, no word from the BBC's Talking and Not Talking program yet. I'm guessing that they've been inundated with entries and they either haven't got around to reading them all yet, or they have but don't have time to reply to everyone who's been rejected. I still haven't heard of anyone being accepted yet though, so it's still a possibility.

Finally, I can see now why some blogs don't get updated very often. It's quite a mammoth task writing all of this! I think I actually find it easier to write scripts at the moment! With this blog, I actually have to think about what has happened in my life and check out little links and things. When writing a script I just write whatever pops into my head!

I have a LOT of respect for a certain Mr Bob Fischer of "Wiffle Lever To Full!" fame. If you haven't read his book then I highly recommend it (especially if you're a Sci-Fi buff!) He has his own blog, where he basically takes a page from a diary he wrote in 1984 (when he was 11), transcribes it into the blog and then dissects it. He provides links, videos, photos, everything and anything that relates to what he wrote all those years ago. It's brilliant stuff! Especially if you grew up in the eighties like me! The most amazing thing is that he writes this EVERY DAY. So the current diary page relates to EXACTLY 25 years ago. That's commitment for you!

Until next time!


bobfischer said...

Hello, it's Bob Fischer here... just a quick note to say thanks for the kind words! The 1984 blog is an utter labour of love, so it's nice to know it's appreciated.

Good luck with the scriptwriting, it all looks terrifyingly complicated! :-)

Splinter073 said...

Wow! Hi Bob!

Thanks for dropping by! I've actually just finished reading "Wiffle" and I loved everything about it! The cover was what drew me towards it (great comic look!) I hope you're going to write another one...when you've finished the blog of course!

I really am impressed by your commitment to the 1984 blog. Brings back some great memories for me. I was a year younger than you at the time. That first Spectrum eh? Brilliant!

I don't update this blog as much as your's, but I hope you'll continue to drop by (I need all the readers I can get!) I'll certainly keep reading yours!


bobfischer said...

Ah, that's great, thanks... glad you enjoyed it. I'd love to write another one, it's just a matter of trying to find the right subject, really. I keep having false starts! It's frustrating, but we'll get there, I'm sure.

Don't be impressed by my blog commitment, I need sympathy... it's a curse! I'm just stupidly obsessive and bloody-minded, and once I set my mind to something (just like the conventions in Wiffle Lever) I can't rest until I've seen it out to its ultimate conclusion. It drives my family mad.

Keep writing though, honestly... it's worth it in the end. I'll keep popping by. And spread the word about Wiffle, I need all the sales I can get. ;-)