Another doodle meant to inspire silly and daftness (can’t believe the spelling mistake).
University: Handy Writing Hints
University: Character + Idea
University: Silly Story
Hi readers, I have been having a clear out of my attic and have found old work from University. Scribbled in my notes is this little story, it doesn’t have an end but for eager beaver fans there IS a follow up story about the donkeys which I will type up another time.
Once upon a time, in a land known as Blackpool, there lived a chicken sandwich. He was born into a wealthy family so everything came easily to him including Marzipan. Snacky, the chicken sandwich, loved his Marzipan so much so, he forced the inhabitants of Blackpool to build him a Marzipan castle on the north pier. For some reason this happened just before the rebellion of the independent thinking donkeys and Snacky was caught up in the forest fire. For years people assumed he was toasted and later devoured by one of the donkeys, until one day a forensic scientist strolled into city hall and told the mayor what he believed to be the cause of the fire.
The silliness is still in me to this day!
Back in 2006 I went to University, it feels like it was a long long looong time ago but when I think of college or starting a full time job for the first time, in relation it really wasn’t that long ago.
The first is called ‘Famopoly’. If memory serves right this was done as part of an assignment in a visual media class, the idea was to create a documentary of your choice and then to turn it into a visual output. The class loved it and laughed at all the right moments which boosted my confidence as a writer and potentially a director too. My then boyfriend (now husband) helped with the visual side of things as it was permitted but as for calling the shots I was in charge.
This one was from a writing class, the University wanted industry experts to tutor and in came a chap called Ric Michael. At introduction I wasn’t sure who he was but I learnt he worked at a production company called Baby Cow and they had recently produced a lot of comedy shows, one of which was called Gavin and Stacey and that was pretty big back then. For those who aren’t sure, it starred James Corden, the now chat show host!
As an idea to get to know us all as students we all had to pair off with someone in the class (I couldn’t pick my husband before you ask) and I grouped together with this man called Tony. The next exercise was to tell each other about what our weekends had been like and then we’d have to write a quick story based on the other person.
Tony went on to say he had been insulating this guy’s roof and that’s the only thing I took from the chat and so turned it into the below ( Thanks again Tony for having an inspirational weekend, where ever you are!)My tutor absolutely loved the output. The video was something I did in my spare time, and again my husband captured all the images necessary where I just cracked the whip to ensure my vision was kept intact (He will probably read this later and want a discussion on the matter!)
I just watched this video before typing this blog and forgot about the teensy weensy bit of bad language, viewers beware.
My writing style hasn’t changed much since that time but that’s mostly down to the fact I haven’t written continuously since then, maybe I have a mature eye these days so there’s a natural shift in the writing style. Time will tell I guess.
I’d love to know what you think!
Something I Realised Earlier
Whilst having a read of some other bloggers material I found myself responding to an article saying I can only really write silly stories or comedy, basically anything aimed at children. If you ask me to try and write a 2000 word story on Action or Romance I’d fall down flat by the end of the first sentence.
I’ve always been like this. At University I wrote a script which I now recoil in horror at the thought of as the theme was Sci-Fi drama. I was really into the TV show ‘Heroes’ at the time and wanted to write a story where this girl had to go and uncover all these truths about her past and her present, unless I go delving into the NAS drive and pick out the script, I don’t recall how it ended BUT I do remember the feeling of just wanting the stupid story finished because I hated it! The Uni module was a DIY one, you set your own assignments, deadlines, progress and present it at the end and I quite enjoyed that freedom and creativity of setting personal deadlines.
This Sci-Fi drama I wrote was actually a second choice to the whole module. First choice came easily to me, the class loved the pitch, the new stand-in tutor, not so much, people wondered where I got the idea from but I had it properly plotted out, first draft done etc. So what stopped me going down this route? My gut instinct. It was telling me it was too silly an idea added with the disapproval from the new industry professional tutor I just backed out.
I shall tell you the idea since I have no passion to ever go back to it. It was a world all about gnomes. It’d be a dark comedy, just saying that now in case you think it’s something maybe Cbeebies could pick up, no it really isn’t at all. The gnomes co-existed quite contently with cats. The cats didn’t speak but they had a mutual connection, it was them versus the humans – both live in parallel. There was this really corrupt gnome who goes on the rampage to try and upset his world because he hated it so much, he goes as far to damage the connection they have with cats and it is the wife of this psychotic gnome who we actually root for, it is all about her rising up against her husband and helping the community to stay as one. I don’t know where the idea came from but I always seemed to have them fully formed as soon as a new assignment came in, weird right?
I spent 2 years working on various scripts and I realise I purposely avoided themes that were serious or too close to real life and instead went to the other end of the spectrum but found it really fun. I wonder if the writer in me SHOULD consider other themes in the future. Double check my forte as they say.
What do you think? should a writer have multiple styles/methods of writing even if gut instinct says play to your strengths? What if you don’t know your own strengths yet?
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