As you know I am somewhat erratic when it comes to blogging. I usually wait until I’m livid to write something career-threatening and possibly libellous.
And so, I’d like to thank Robin Bell (www.robinbellwriter.blogspot.com) for pressganging me into writing something slightly calmer. Basically this seems to be the blog equivalent of a chain letter. I answer the following four questions about my current writing and then get some other sucker to do it. Haven’t chosen the suckers yet, but watch this space.
1. What am I working on?
Currently I’m writing a new episode of Midsomer Murders, but that question never quite covers the reality of being a working TV writer. At any one time I have five to ten other projects in various states of completion from a full script to having a snappy title. Most of those projects I can’t talk about and most of them will never get past the various drama commissioners’ desk. By which point all the life and fun will have been sucked from them.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
First off, I didn’t word that question. What genre? I write across several genres. I also think that people often confuse genre for form. I assume what is being asked is what sets my writing apart from others. I don’t think that’s for me to say. I hope my writing is warm, sparky and compelling. But then I should imagine everyone hopes that about their work. It’s often said that writers should develop their ‘voice’; I can’t remember when I wrote in anything other than my voice. Although that’s not to say that it is never influenced by the vast amount of TV I watch.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I suppose I should write something noble about being driven to write by a deep inner need to express humanity in all its glory and depravity. Honest answer? Sometimes it’s that. Sometimes there’s a story or character that’s just itching to get on the page. Sometimes I impress myself with a new idea so much that I need to get my ego stroked by getting other people to tell me it’s brilliant. And sometimes I write for the money like a cheap whore.
4. How does my writing process work?
Mainly, it doesn’t. It’s a soul-sucking, self-defeating routine of procrastination, distraction, self-delusion and twatting about on Twitter. However, after a few days of that and with the deadline looming, I kick into tunnel-vision mode where the only thing that matters if getting the fucking thing on the page. I write it like I’m possessed by it and I hate it. It’s a slog of early mornings, late nights, crap food and poor personal hygiene. And then the writing narcotic kicks in. I can never predict when but it’s never a moment too soon and so far it’s never too late. It’s that high you get when it’s finally flowing. When my fingers can’t fly across the keyboard fast enough to get the dialogue down. The characters are speaking and the stories are forming. It’s the closest I get to believing in the supernatural. And then I take a shower, clean the kitchen, phone my parents to tell them that I’m still alive and the next day it starts all over again.
And there you have it!