So, having written a couple of scripts in the past and not done anything with them, it was a pleasure to be asked by Crysse Morrison if I'd like to contribute to their evening of 5 minute monologues on the subject of shoes. Onf Wednesday 14th October 2010. Now, anyone who's seen my shoes will know - first off - that I have huge feet, and also because of this/ inspite of (?) I make them a feature!!! Also, as I'm so rushed/ busy/ procrastinating, a short piece really suited me.
So, my piece was all about me, shoes, big feet, and roller skating in LA. I'll probably post it in the next post.
The following day I went to a day's workshop called Pitch! at Bristol Old Vic. As I don't have a play I'm working on, when we got to the bit about writing a pitch, I chose to do my novel. Which was most enlightening!! And helped me to see just why I'm having so much trouble with my plot outline.
My lovely new agent wants me to tidy up my plot, lose characters, and basically do a rewrite. As I'm determined to get my novel published, and I know that she knows her stuff, this is what I'm doing. But, heck, it's tricky.
I've had a haitus in my novel writing due to having severe ME for 5 years or so, and what I've discovered in the 10 year (god, is it that long?) since I submitted my last novel to my then agent who has sadly died - was that it's a very different world.
Gone are the days of starting a novel and seeing where it went. Now one needs to plot plot, outline, map, and get that novel tight. Also, unless you're a celebrity (who can publish pretty much anything - which is very sickening - but hey ho!), then the only things selling for new authors is historical fiction, crime, some misery memoirs (but they'd better be very different or, oh, guess what you'd better be a celebrity), or the now broad genre of chicklit.
Now, I think that chicklit unjustifiably gets bad press. It now encompasses all types of womens literature. When I first started out I'd say that I wrote contemporary women's fiction. But now that's chicklit - or maybe it's sub-genre mum-lit.
It's a learning curve alright.
So, back to the pitching a script. What I discovered was that a novel is an unwieldy beast (no shit) but of course in these days of cut throat publishing, you'd better have a pitch ready for when you have a chance meeting and someone says - so, what's it about, then? Also it's a terrific way to get an agent/ publishing deal.
Even though stories are the common currency with theatre and novels they are different too. Novels arguably have the opportunity to be more internal - or do they? I'm still unpicking it all and letting it all sift. Or maybe a theatre play is more like a short story, and a novel more akin to a full-length feature film ...??
It was lovely meeting up with old-new drama chums plus a new one. I hope we all keep in touch and that I write that script too.
My daughter who is always putting me to shame by writing more than me is currently not only finishing her novel (up to 62,000 words now) but also writing a 30-min script.
Oh heck. I know what will happen - she'll have her breakthrough novel published before me!