A Long Overdue (Long) Update

I’ve just changed the theme of my page for the third or forth time in a month. A productive waste of time! Each time I have changed the theme, I have thought ‘I should write some blog’, but I never have anything to say! So, I’ll just change the theme on the blog that no one reads because I don’t keep it updated!

Anyway, thought I would write a bit of an update on what I have been up to writing-wise, and what is in the pipeline…

Finished and submitted, one script for a short film (Tom and Laura Get Engaged). I’ll await feedback on this one, but was shocked at how fast I wrote it. OK, not fast. I had the initial idea about a year ago, about a couple (Tom and Laura) who go for a romantic picnic, Tom plans to propose. They then find a dead baby, probably murdered. How they plan to handle the situation differs dramatically and causes any rift in the relationship to become a chasm. I knew the play would end with a dramatic climax, Tom kicking the dead baby as Laura leaves him. I didn’t write it when I had the idea. I was hung up on the idea that there should be something in the couples past which would come back on them. A secret abortion! Yes, it sounds dreadful, far too predictable. My ‘shit-plot-radar’ wasn’t working. (I’ve taken it back to Argos now and exchanged for a better model) I felt that something didn’t sit right, but couldn’t for the life of me see what it was! This is my argument for the use of back burners! I threw it on the back burner!

So, when I found out that I needed to write a short film, I thought maybe the idea for the shortish play which I hadn’t written might work better as a film. The shorter format would get rid of the need to find some kind of bad sub-plot, plus there would be less need for lots of dialogue. Less chance of me throwing in lots of expose. Then a trip to Three Cliffs Bay in the Gower with other students and tutors on my MA cemented the idea, the location added extra elements.

I said earlier how fast I wrote it. You’ve probably forgotten, because I have just waffled about a year of idea-exploring and back-burner-ing! I wrote the first draft in two parts. One, a 1hr 30 min train journey (late at night, on a train rammed full of drunks). Two, about 30-40 mins the morning after. The first draft was surprisingly not too bad. Too much expose, and too much dialogue. I’d also maybe held back on any ‘sexual tension’ between the two characters worrying about the cheese (or porn) factor. It was a bit flat. A couple more quick drafts, less dialogue, more sexiness- and hopefully the final draft is good! Like I said earlier though, I will await judgement- until a few others have read the script.

Three Miles to the Horizon…which has been blogged about on here lots! (my pet obsession). My adaptation of the story of Donald Crowhurst. Full treatment has been completed. Several drafts of the first act have been written. This has been submitted as part of my MA coursework. Part of me is really keen to get on and write act’s two and three….but part of me thinks a year obsessing about something so big is just not enough, and I am not sure I am ready to end it so soon. There are some motivating factors to me getting this done this summer though, which I shall come to later.

Oh No, I’ve started this blog and I just can’t stop now!

So, with Three Miles to the Horizon, I had planned to write it as a one man play. (most of the narrative is one man, alone, on a boat!) The more I read about Crowhurst, the more I realized that he was a complex a character. His logbooks took on two writing styles. My one man developed an alter-ego. My one man play became a two man play! I don’t think I have worked out exactly how many other actors you’d need to put on this play. Not yet, anyway. Then there was the life outside the boat, or the outward perceptions in the British media of Crowhurst’s voyage. They needed to be put across, initially I thought radio’s/ voice overs etc…the idea slowly drifted into having a chorus. I’m not sure how far I have gone in realizing the concept of the chorus, but there is the scope to use them in any way during the play. Before I complete the final draft of this play, I would like to workshop this with a group of actors.

So what’s in the pipeline? Having written one short film, I do plan to write more shorts. I’m working on my bank of ideas. But, I also want the challenge of writing my first feature. I plan to do this for my MA  major project. I know I want to write a post-apocalyptic film, and I know I want it to be set in Wales. ‘Tamping Max’? Anyway, I’ve bought a copy of the Bible, and I WILL force myself to read Revelations if it kills me!

In other news, I have been getting involved in setting up a new arts group, Splinter Group.  Splinter are a North West based arts collective made up of fine artists, photographers, writers, poets, animators, film makers and theatre practitioners. The aim is to hold our first exhibition in September. I will be submitting two pieces of work, both which use my writing in some new and interesting ways. Both of which utilize Three Miles to the Horizon.  You may have noticed my request for actors; this is what it is for! (fear not, if you have emailed about acting for me , I will be in touch in due course!). The second piece will use the literal text. The incentive to write more!

Anyway, I’ve babbled on enough. How are you?


  1. Thanks for the comment Rich,
    I’d like it to get made, I know Wyn was quite interested in arranging to get short films made by other departments (one script from the whole course), would be something I would definitely consider doing off my own back at some point though if nothing ever came of that.

    So many ways that the Crowhurst play could go, I think I would like to get a couple of others involved in the project maybe later in the world to assist in directing/ designing to explore the possibilities.


  2. Busy – lots of interesting ideas. The Crowhurst idea as a play is interesting – perhaps with a home base on stage all the time and a changing map on a screen of where he is supposed to be… with him reporting from a static location on stage… multiplatform… radioing in… hmmm yes interesting and potentially funny in a curious sort of way.

    Will the short get made? A fellow MA on the production course with actors from the college… r


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