Whew! Can’t believe I didn’t post at all in August, but I guess that goes to show how busy I’ve been on my Major Project! I spent the whole month redrafting and redrafting again, looking at every single line of dialogue, breaking down every scene, examining every character, etc. I feel like I’ve sculpted it into the best it can possibly be… that is until Friday when I’ll meet Stapes for some feedback! Sending the entire project to him after so many drafts was a massive relief, and I’m actually looking forward to the deadline as opposed to dreading it.
I’ve realised how much I’ve got out of the degree this month; the biggest lesson I think I’ve learned is how to be critical of my own work, and redraft and tinker with it on my own, without someone telling me what needs to be changed. I made some really huge changes to my project without a lecturers say so, and that’s something I wouldn’t have been confident enough to do at the start of the academic year.
As the title of this post suggests, I’ve also learned that the end of the degree is the beginning of forging a career in writing, rather than the end of something. I can’t wait to get this project submitted because I have three more lined up, and one is a commissioned piece of work so I can’t wait to get started!
Also, just going to shamelessly mention that I got my first flash fiction published (in an actual book with real pages and everything!), it’s called Now You See Them and will be included in In Creeps the Night from J.A.Mes Press Publishing in time for Halloween. I mention this for two reasons:
1) I’m super excited and telling everyone.
2) Flash fiction is a really useful tool that has helped me improve my scriptwriting. Let me explain…. I started off writing stories where the word count was anything up to 1500 words, and I really pushed the word count to the limit. None of those stories were chosen. I set myself a goal to write as short a piece as possible, and managed to round a few off between 400-600 words, one of which is the story I just mentioned. I realised that however big the world of the story and the characters, if you can’t summarise it in 500 words, at least to yourself, then you don’t have a tight enough plot. This helped me during my redrafts for my major project when I asked myself what each episode was about. When I got stuck, I’d adapt the episode into a 500 word flash piece instead to retell the story to myself in a different way. I found it much easier, looking at the story in a different form, to go back to the script and sort out the problems.
I hope everyone has had as great a time on this Masters as I have. I’ve met some lovely and talented people and learned more in this year about writing than I have in the last 10 I think! At graduation, let’s leave the course and enter the world of professional writing with a bang!