Monthly Archives: March 2012

Something I hope will be useful to those of you considering Script Frenzy this year.

Creative Writing Studies

To date on this site we have focused more on literary forms – especially fiction and poetry – than on scripts. It’s good to be able to redress the balance a little here. The resource I’ve selected to showcase in this post is a website called The Script Lab.

The website provides an extraordinarily rich range of resources. They include:

  • Screenwriting 101 – a series of introductory articles on screenwriting;
  • Screenwriting Basics – practical resources on such matters as genre and how to write the first ten pages of a script. Screenwriting Basics contains my favourite part of the site, namely ‘Sequence breakdowns‘ – this part provides very analytical, concrete examples of the craft of scripting sequences of 10-15 minutes;
  • How to write a screenplay, which organises tips around categories that will be familiar to most readers here (story, character, structure, voice etc.)
  • TSLU – ‘The…

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Quit whining and get doing!

Looking around, whether it be on social networking sites or to your friends in the staff canteen, you can probably quite easily pluck out the ones with the ‘woe is the world’ attitude. Everything that doesn’t go their way feels like the ultimate blow, a slap in the face of their happiness, a personal affront… but they never seem to stop and think that maybe, maybe it’s not happening to them but around them. It’s their attitude that then allows it to get the better of them, rather than just taking it for what it is – an experience. Neither intrinsically good or bad, just something that spins off from the chaos of the world and happens to land in their laps. These events don’t have a mind of their own, they just exist.

I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking. If you constantly put yourself down, rant and rave about how you always have the worst luck and how things bad always happen to you then, unsuprisingly, these bad things do seem to converge on you like a plague of locusts. Why? Because you invited them in. The more you bat the bee, the angrier it gets and soon it will surely turn and sting you. Not because it wants to, but because it became aware of your existence. It saw your size and flailing limbs like a giant red flag to the raging bull; and it struck. It knew it would invariably die with its strike, but it knew no other way to avoid your thrashing and sought out a kamikaze mission, quite possibly with an altruistic motive for its own kind. Or maybe not.

If you turn that frown upside down and set to pursuing every positive thought you have, you may find things begin to change. Not because the world suddenly believes you to have discovered some secret to happiness, but because you leave less room for negative thinking. In not allowing yourself to dwell on what you believe to be your failings, that buzzing bee continues on its way unmolested and often has no reason to take heed of your presence. You’re just another obstacle to navigate, and nothing more.

How does this relate to bad experiences? Well, there are so many people that allow themselves to get caught up in everything that goes wrong. I’m not invalidating the bad things that happen because I know some people really have some shit to work through but, when you don’t allow yourself to dwell, you don’t allow those thoughts to poison you from the inside out. Such thoughts can lead to destructive actions like drinking to excess, making poor judgement calls, over dependence on people you should know better than to depend on… and so forth.

I read a blog post titled Are You Looking For Happiness In All The Wrong Places? recently and much of what is written here is so true! If we spend our time better appreciating the wonderful things we do have, the great people we have the honour of knowing (whether that’s on or offline), taking each day as it comes and finding pleasure in the smallest of life’s blessings – we will surely be better, warmer and more nurturing people.

If you’re not happy, quit whining about it and do something – even if it’s to pursue something as a hobby just to keep yourself sane. Remember why you do the things you don’t like – do you do the job you hate so you can afford a nice holiday? Pay for a class? Feed your children? Remember the reasons. If the reasons aren’t good enough, or you really can’t hack it, change your situation. Mix things up and make things fresher and more interesting.

I recently changed from permanent work to temporary because I liked that I had control of when and where I work. That’s what works for me, but what will work for you?

Life is far too short for regrets.

“I will not die an unlived life, I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.” – Dawna Makova.

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