Trainee Writer

Adventures of a screenwriter in training…

2011: My Year In Review

Greetings loyal readers and a very belated Happy New Year to you all.

Having not posted for several weeks, I felt it important to get back on the horse, so to speak, and take a look at the things I’ve done to advance my screenwriting career in 2011. I’m ashamed to say that it won’t be such a long list as I anticipated.

The early part of the year was spent wallowing in self-pity as attempt-after-attempt to get Holland Park off the ground as an independent pilot failed in 2010. A group of friends and I had been working our collective arses off to make it happen but, alas, our struggles to find funding for it gained near-epic status. Despite it being the project I’m most proud of, it’s also been the slowest to build any traction on. Proof, if any writer ever needed it, that even the best-received projects can struggle to get going.

Still, in 2011 I’m pleased to say that I completed one of my projects, Improper Representation, which represents the kind of project I’d like to be pitching at cable networks in future. After querying this show to just about every agent in town, I received only one read request on it. Although the feedback on it was favourable, I was rejected on the basis that ‘nobody is making industry scripts right now.’ Apparently, there wasn’t even enough there for it to be considered a good spec. Disappointing, but I soldier on.

The bane of every writer’s life is the incomplete pile, and this year I’ve added my fair share of projects to that one. As Trailer Park Blues goes into its third year of awaiting completion, The Warden and Unconditional Love enter their second. Grand Theft Auto, though certainly my most lucrative property, is also entering its second year as I hit the wall with it creatively.  To my feature list, however, 2011 has seen me add the projects known as Invisible, which I’ve more passion for than the amount of work I’ve put into the project would indicate, made the ‘in-progress’ pile. I’ve also got another feature in progress that should, hopefully, see daylight before the end of 2013. If I can knuckle down and get the script written.

In my TV pile, Outbreak just hit its sophomore year as a work-in-progress and is one that I desperately need to get to completion point in Q1 of 2012. It’s strong enough as a concept to make waves in the gaps that will open up in the fall of 2013, but that genuinely puts time of the essence now. What Happens In Vegas took its place on the pile in 2011, too, and is one I’d hope to have completed by the end of the year. Housemates continues to sit in the box despite being probably my easiest project to bring to completion. I’d hope to make that happen by September. If I can’t, I’ll have missed my window for another year.

Finally, a late addition to my incomplete pile in 2011 was my novel, King Of Hearts. Yes, I failed NaNoWriMo quite spectacularly, but I’m determined to get the book ready in the next few months. In fact, since the cover art is now ready, it’d be foolish not to. I aim to make the book my top priority this year, as the market for a self-published author right now  is as hot as it has ever been, and it’s getting stronger. I’ve got my eye on the NYT Best-Seller list.

On top of all of this, of course, came the launch of my – this – blog and the contest, which has had some magnificent, if not quite up to par, entries thus far. Apologies if I’m yet to get back to you, by the way, as my backlog really is ridiculous now. The door for entries should be considered closed for the time being. It was this development to the blog, however, that got me a little work doing script development as a freelancer, so that’s one step forward.

So, goals for 2012:

  • Finish my book.
  • Write at least 1,000 words. Every single day. On things that aren’t blog posts or forum discussions.
  • Turn my ‘in progress’ pile into a ‘complete’ body of work before I start a new project.
  • Blog at least once per fortnight, if only to stop moaning at me for not providing regular content updates.
  • Be more active on Talentville, TV Writer, American Zoetrope and, indeed, in my own workshop.
  • Sell something.

Well… They seem reasonable. We’ll have to wait and see how I get on, I suppose.

Until next time,



January 13, 2012 Posted by | writing | 2 Comments