Archive for October, 2012

London Screenwriters’ Festival 2012 – Julie Gray

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

The London Screenwriters’ Festival 2012, like the previous years, was incredible.

Personal high points for me were talking to Writer/Director Mike Leigh and chatting with Doug Naylor and Robert Llewelyn of Red Dwarf fame.

I learned so much – it’s really impossible to distill it into a single blog post. So I shall start off with the amazing session by Julie Gray: You ARE the Hero of the Journey

Julie GrayThe session proved both instructive and inspirational by inviting us to use our painful experiences or our writing, and, in doing so, employ the writing process as a type of therapy. This is an idea that is not unfamiliar to me, but Julie has straight-talking manner that slices straight through that natural resistance that makes you want to hide from your pain, and she very quickly helps you begin to accept the tough stuff you’ve had to deal with and move on to reaping it as good grist for your writing mill.

So once you’re ready to use your pain, it’s time to inflict it on your characters!! New writers, she said, are afraid to put their characters through hell.

“Fall in love with your character one page 100, not on page one.”

Interview your character to find out everything about them and then use their vulnerabilities.

Think about the positive qualities that you admire – that’s the place they might be at the end of the story arc – but to bring those positive qualities to life they have to fail. As do we!

“Great writers write about what scares them, what makes them uncomfortable,” Julie says.

“Writers are entrusted with being the inspiration for others. But first, you have to be courageous to do that in your own life.”

Words to live by. Words to write by!

Many thanks to Julie Gray for the inspiration and advice.

More soon…

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