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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Lawrence

Scriptly Writing Pt 1

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

If you were to rummage around on the site that this Blog calls home; you’d be able to deduce that I am an aspiring Scriptwriter. My Degree Studies were in Scriptwriting for Film and Television at Bournemouth University. Post Graduation I have partially side-stepped into writing for Audio within a Creative Team dubbed ‘Spilt Coffee Productions,’ you can check that work out at the Spilt Coffee Website. However, writing for Screen is still a core passion of mine and something I’m determined to make good of.

One thing I think all Writer’s (aspiring, successful or otherwise) will tell you is that the key to writing is just that, keep writing. That is one of the key reasons why I’ve taken to blogging, to keep writing, get the creative juices flowing and my brain ticking over. What use are ideas if they’re just sitting in your head all of the time? Put pen to paper, fingers to keypads. Also, I feel it is very important to have some structure to your writing, clearly defined goals and targets. Personally, this helps me to focus.

So, when I found out a Writing Community by the name of ‘The Literal Challenge’ were putting on one of their many Challenges in the realm of Screenwriting I thought why not give it a go? I hadn’t heard of ‘The Literal Challenge’ before this so I went and did a little research. It turns out that it is a Writing Community open to anyone and everyone throughout the globe and they host challenges throughout the year in a variety of different forms. Last October was the time for the ‘Scriptly Writing Challenge.’ The task was simple, write 14 Screenplays in 14 days, each to a specific brief sent via email.

This challenge couldn’t have come at a better time for me and it is all linked to a topic I’ve already talked about at length in the past; Lockdown living. Now last autumn here in the UK rules were fairly relaxed, but of course, there were many things that you couldn’t do. I’ve previously stated in my Lockdown Remedies that keeping active physically is vital to good feeling and health, but what about keeping active mentally? Before the Scriptly Challenge came about I was lacking motivation and finding it difficult to press on and be creative. So along comes a challenge where I’m given set deadlines, set briefs and what’s more, there was a financial incentive as well. By putting a small amount of money into the challenge, to see a return I would have to complete all 14 of my Screenplay’s on time. The Scriptly Challenge was just the motivation I needed.

Briefs were to be emailed every night at 10 pm GMT, and each brief had a 36-hour submission window. So, there wasn’t much scope to write a feature-length screenplay for any of the briefs. This led me to wonder what was expected of the challenge, what would that first brief be? I would eventually find out via that first 10 pm email. The brief required that the Screenplay centre on the theme of dancing. Beyond that, there wasn’t too much information given, there was a lot of freedom to express yourself and a multitude of approaches to be afforded by this simple brief. I had 36 hours to come up with an idea, execute it and submit it, all while working full-time hours.

It’s hard to put into words how an idea is generated, but I’ll do my best. Dance was at the centre of the idea as per the brief, beyond that I decided to take influence from Lockdown and the advent of Zoom and similar tech. As well as this, I took to heart how my Mother exclaimed that I never wrote anything romantic. So taking all of these factors into account I zoned in on the nucleus of my idea; the story was to follow a married couple living apart temporarily due to Lockdown. In their current circumstance, their date night goes from the quaint to the ridiculous as they attempt a dance together via a Zoom Call. The peculiar nature of this circumstance leads to comedy and conflict in equal measure. It was a cute little idea in my humble opinion and I hope it was well executed, but whether it was or it wasn’t, my first brief was written and submitted on time.

Now to write 13 more in as many days…

I’ll cover the whole challenge over the coming weeks on the blog, interspersed with other weird and wonderful things I decide to ramble on about.

Anywho, hope you’ve enjoyed this entry, stay happy and healthy.

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