Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A forced chill pill

Shiny new project is still gnawing at me to get my finger out and start writing. But luckily I can't. I've a ton of stuff to read for a new commission tomorrow, and that and a 3 rd draft of of a previous commission which is due should keep me out of mischief for a while.

I say luckily because I've learned through experience that my work improves if I've had some 'soak time' That's time away from the project not specifically thinking about it but relying on my subconcious to bubble away and pop out ideas at random moments. Character improvements, story moments, background colour, nothing very substantial but maybe together giving that extra 5% that can mean the difference between yes and no.

It's not a luxury you get very often when writing to a deadline but that's not really a problem. I don't think I'm giving away too many secrets when I say that on serial drama good writing is good enough.

But I think to get something of your own away it takes better than good. Someone apart from you has to LOVE it. And if the right person loves it, it's fortune and glory time my friends!

I read that SHAMELESS is having a dedicated set built with a view to producing 16 eps a year. Let's pretend that Paul Abbot is a struggling scribe and Shameless was his first series. Lets assume that the average writing fee is 18k, that'll be at least 36k with a repeat buyout. Paul Abbot would not have to write ONE episode of that series, not one, but thanks to the format fee, as creator he'll earn around 60k. That doesn't even touch on foreign sales and DVD. Without writing a single script in that particular series. Because he got the first series away.

Really makes you want to sit down and write don't it?

So long as you keep money as a motivator and not the entire motive. Because you can't fake sincerity as a writer. People who 'know', know when they read it. And it's usually people who 'know' who get projects made.

In all truthfulness the only times I ever think of the money is when I get a particularly rancid storyline I've got to do something with. Then the only way I can get started is to repeat 'Think of the money' several times.

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