Friday, 11 May 2007

Write Live Arrives

So it was the deadline for Write Live today, a competition run by SCRIPT, the West Midlands agency for dramatic writers, which is, I guess, what I have become, albeit unwittingly. With the prize of some recognition from The Rep on offer, another copy of H&M got printed out and posted off a couple of days ago (I will have to plant a tree to acknowledge the number of reams I've got through).

As well as a full-length play script, entrants were also asked to submit 15 pages of a second idea, so I somehow found time to knock up a few thousand words of something called "Butterfly Spitfire". Strictly a first draft, it wasn't very refined, but, crucially, enabled me to meet the entry criteria and give H&M a fighting chance (using a larger text size helped achieve that page count a little quicker - wonder if they'll notice).

It was odd sticking on the headphones and writing into the small hours again - writing from scratch, that is, rather than revising and editing, as I've doing with H&M for the last few months. But it was fun to invent a few new characters. However, I soon realised that they were all the same people from H&M, only with different names. For example, H&M's Bridegroom Dan, in an indecipherable twist, became Butterfly Spitfire's protagonist David...(!)

There are quite a few competitions that crop up from time-to-time, and it's easy to be cynical about them and their compulsory admission fees. However the main idea of H&M emerged from a failed Lit Idol entry - the original (obviously-unfinished) novel called "Too Honest". So, the process is obviously worthwhile...

It's easy to find someone to write what you read (and incidentally, the highest-ever number of hits has been recorded on here today) but plays are meant to be performed. In 2005, Write Live had 153 entries and I imagine about three of them made it to the stage.

I'm not going to win Write Live 2007, or any of the other competitions I'm going to enter (hey, it's just a stamp and a jiffy bag now) but knowing that the vast majority of us are always losers at things like this makes me realise how wonderful it is to be actually staging H&M.

I hope I've said "Thank You" enough times - and to enough people...

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