Last week I had lunch with a very nice producer who expressed an interest in a sitcom idea I’ve had flapping round my head like a hyperactive budgie. We talked about things like television format rights, and I nodded sagely, thinking Oh my God he wants to buy the format rights hmmm this noodle soup is good. It was the first time somebody has offered me MONEY for something I haven’t yet written. He was even nice about my inability to write a proper treatment. “I’ve never known a writer who could write a really good treatment. Go and write a few scenes instead. That’s them best way of showing the telly people you can write.” Oh no – that means I have to actually do something. I would have floated home on air, only there was that tiny little gremlin nugget of bollocks I have to write something now. Something funny.
There was nothing else to do but research all those wonderful software programs like Final Draft, and Script Smart, that make your pathetic amateurish ramblings look professional. They do all the formatting for you. It’s wonderful. I’ve just spent at least two hours going ‘wow’ like a madwoman as TITLE appears in the centre of the page, and SCENE 1 goes zing!!! with a quick stab of the return key. Now all I have to do is write.
Speaking of the black hole of hopeless despair, I watched Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe last week which was all about writing for telly. Really interesting and useful. I’d heartily recommend it – inspiring and practical. And while you’re watching you don’t have to be writing – even better! He talked to Russell T.Davies, Paul Abbot, Sam Bain, Jesse Armstrong and Graham Lineham. I was particularly heartened that Graham Lineham admitted to procrastinating like mad. Only he’s Graham Lineham.
Back to the blank page. Quick cup of coffee first.