Last night, after some deliberation about whether I should go running or to the Dalkeith creative writing group, I picked Dalkeith and it turned out to be a good choice.
It was the last night for our creative writing tutor, Brian Whittingham. My experience of Brian is that he is always well prepared and last night was no exception. The evening’s programme considered film scripts and play scripts. Brian brought along a couple of dvd’s to use in considering the art of writing in these genres. We spent some time watching the way the writer brought actors into and out of the scene and action in Abigail’s party. It was noticeable how the writer kept the action going, devising reasons for the actors to enter and leave the scene. Abigail’s party takes place in a lounge, and would transfer easily to a stage.
Next up was Gregory’s girl. Brian supplied us with a storyboard and the first few pages of the script. The storyboard is an interesting device, which is used to draw each scene in a box. The drawing is simple stick people and a brief comment on what is happening… a good way to transfer writing ideas into a visual format.
After that, it was our turn. We were given a worksheet, on one side we set down what a play of one of our stories might look like. We did this by:
• Describing the scene
• A brief description of the character(s)
• The setting
• A pictorial of how the stage would look.
We were asked to consider setting, props, placement of actors on stage and blocking issues.
On the flipside of the worksheet, we considered a films script. There was a bit more to do for this. We noted the title, characters and setting (internal – external, day or night) and then created a storyboard of how the scenes of the story might look. It worked like this:
2. Inciting incident
For each heading, we drew a scene of our story. I picked ‘Bridge over the Panny,’ which is a story I have already turned into a play and had performed.
So all in all Brian's last night produced a good bit of learning.
On the way home I listened to the excellent Jazz House on BBC Radio Scotland with Stephen Duffy. A newcomer on the scene in Edinburgh, Claire Daly really impressed with a version of Resurrection Blues from her debut album, 'Claire Daly.'