The Truth About A Scriptwriting Masters…

So you want to be a scriptwriter?

Fantastic, good on you. Now the hard part…how do you get into the industry?

For me, I wanted the opportunity of being able to teach Scriptwriting so I decided to do a masters, that way I could get feedback on my own writing each week, meet other writers, have a writing structure and a qualification which meant I could teach. I’m also working in a part time teaching position whilst doing this, working on other writing projects and attending various networking events across the UK such as London Screenwriters Festival to help me break into the industry.

However, something that me when I started the Masters last year was how many of the other writers on my course believed they just had to do the Masters and they would be guaranteed a spot in the industry, a place at the table, blah, blah, blah. They turn up at class every week with their script and get their feedback and then moan that they’ve had no industry opportunities put in their lap. Yes, I understand that they’ve paid a lot of money to do the course (FYI, so have I) but if they want to be in the industry and they want to write then they need to be proactive.

A masters is cute and cushty and great to help with your writing development BUT if you’re going to use the masters as a way to get into the industry DON’T DO IT! save yourself some money and just go on a few writing courses, join a writing group, attend festivals. There are several other and cheaper ways of becoming a great writer.

Believe you and me, your wallet will thank you!

 

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Huge News! I’m off interrailing!!!

Hello Everyone!!! First of all, let me say I am so so sorry for making you guys wait for another post for so bloody long! I haven’t been the greatest blogger of late and for that I truly apologise! I think I might have already touched upon my reasons for not blogging in my last post but if it turns out I haven’t and I’m lying like a right porker then I’ll explain again now before I go into the exciting (and titular) news! 

First of all, as you guys know I’ve been studying for a Masters degree in TV and Radio Scriptwriting and my life kinda got taken over by finishing my last assignment of the year. I wasn’t feeling particularly amazing about my writing after getting negative comments off my supervisor for the assignment throughout the entire second semester. That plus the fact I started working as a teacher full time made me so stressed that I probably had a zillion breakdowns a week. I swear I would come home from work and just burst into tears at the prospect of another evening doing work I’d probably fail anyway. Nevertheless, I churned it out night after night (meaning any other form of writing, such as this blog was abandoned) and managed to pass with an amazing grade and some pretty fantastic comments off the very same supervisor who made me feel like shit (I swear one of his comments were “wow, I’m very impressed” and I nearly exploded with happiness!) and then on top of that I had my stand up comedy gigs. Now since my last stand up comedy course in April and the brilliant 7 min set I did, I have done another 2 gigs. One, which went amazingly well and the other, which just makes me want to crawl in a ball. 

The one that I’d rather not talk about was for a national Stand Up Comedy Competition and I had to travel all the way to Leicester for it. Needless to say, my lack of experience in the stand up circuit didn’t do me any favours on that night and I was just a bit like a little fish with loads of sharks. All experience though! 

After that gig, my confidence was a bit gone which is why it took me about two months to even attempt another. I did the Sunday 5 minute slot at Hot Water Comedy Club in Liverpool and the audiences responded really well to my material. Since the competition I had written an entirely new set and had worked on honing my stage presence. All in all, it was a gig that really helped reenergise my love for stand up and got me back on track for performing so it just shows you that you can’t let a bad thing knock you down you just have to keep trying and carrying on! An attitude I will carry on with from now on! 

Anyways! So that’s basically why I’ve been incognito for the past couple of months! I know it’s a long ramble but I just thought I’d explain to you guys in case you were wondering. And now for the exciting news….I’M OFF TRAVELLING!!! Yay!!! 

I’m so excited for this summer adventure me and my boyfriend have planned (completely last minute might I add). 

After years and years of saying we’d go interrailing together we’re finally fucking doing it! We just thought after the hectic and hard year we’ve had (house decorating, career stuff, family issues, moving) that we deserved a treat and what better way to treat ourselves than with an amazing three weeks in Europe. We’re gonna be staying with Jakes (the boyfriends) family in a villa in Faro, Portugal for the first few days then the plan is to head to Lisbon then travel through Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic and end in Germany! We would’ve loved to have done longer but we have two weddings we need to be back for! 

Also just so you guys know, I plan on blogging it all! 😉 

Love to you all, 

Chelsea xxx

BBC Writers Room Event at Media City 

Well hello! 

On Monday I happened to attend my first ever BBC Writers Room event. It was specifically for scriptwriters in the industry and was absolutely fantastic as it gave me so much information and motivation to just get on my arse and write! 

It was a good opportunity to network with brooms BBC people, such as the head of the northern writers room and other writers. It was also a chance to have a sneaky look inside the BBC offices, which were so cool! Even if I did have to have an airport style security check before I got in! And I also got to wear a badge with my name on which made me feel so professional!


 The event was a Q&A with writer Sally Abbott whose written everything from Eastenders and Casualty to her own award winning afternoon drama called The Coroner. She gave us so much information including how she started out in the industry herself and how she goes about her writing process. 

For me personally it was so motivating to be in a room full of writers and inspire each other. Also, Sally’s experience and expertise was invaluable advice and guidance which has really give me the kick up my arse I needed for my writing. 

Scriptwriting Books I Use

Ok, so I decided to do a different sort of blog post today. 

As you guys know I’m currently studying for a masters in Scriptwriting and as I’ve been a budding scriptwriter for a couple of years now I’ve decided to share with you guys some of the secrets and tips I’ve learnt over the years, starting with the books. 


Believe it or not but scriptwriting is not as easy as you think it is and good books written by people in the industry can make all the difference with your writing. However, saying that these books are still just guidelines for writers and are not the be all, end all. If I were you, I’d try and find at least one book on screenwriting that you find useful and use that as a reference point. 

I’m going to talk in detail about three I highly recommend and then briefly touch on two that I also believe to be quite useful. 

I Highly Recommend 


Save The Cat by Blake Snyder 

This book is a bestseller and it’s no wonder why, Snyder reveals the industry standard secrets that have helped him sell screenplays. It’s funny, candid and full on so be prepared to be overwhelmed with information. Snyder believes every script follows 15 crucial steps which break the story down. However, I would be careful as I don’t fully believe you can apply his method to every script. If you want to write a movie then this book may be for you. 


The Coffee Break Screenwriter by Pilar Alessandra

Alessandra is a leading Hollywood Screenwriter who has written the perfect book for anyone whose ever wanted to write a screenplay or TV pilot but struggles to find the time. It’s full of quick writing exercises to motivate readers into potential screenwriters. The book is easy to follow so you won’t get overwhelmed with information. If you’re gonna get this book I recommend getting the second edition as it has updated writing tools for TV pilots and pitches and structural shortcuts. 



The Screenwriters Workbook
by Syd Field

Now, this book is quite different to the others. It’s more like a step by step manual to writing a screenplay with different exercises for you to do. This book also includes script analyses from different films so it’s almost like your getting bottle-fed Field’s guide to the perfect script. It’s clear and expert advice. 

And Other Recommendations…
If you’re as passionate about scriptwriting as me then there are two other books is recommend to all you budding writers out there. The U.K. Scriptwriters Survival Handbook by Tim Clague and Danny Stack is fantastic for anyone whose trying to crack how to get into the industry and offers insiders insights on how to get…inside. Another book is recommend for anyone writing a sitcom, like myself is The Little Book of Sitcom by John Vorhaus. This little book is brilliant at helping all sitcom writers with every aspect of their script. He even breaks sitcom structure down into fifteen basic steps which are easy enough for a child to follow. This guy knows comedy and he also knows how to sell it. For me, this book is a personal must have. 



Exciting News and My First Photoshoot!

So I’m pretty excited as I type this blog post up! Today I got the amazing news that I have been chosen to perform at the women in comedy festival in Manchester this October, this is huge news for me as it’s the just the start of my career in Stand Up Comedy.

I’m a whole mixture of emotions at this moment as I don’t know whether to jump with joy or hide in a cupboard with nerves!

I’ve never performed stand up before but Its something I’ve wanted to try for ages! Anyway, I needed some professional photographs taken for my first gig so I asked my amazing friend, Naomi who happens to be exceptionally good at photography to take some shots of me. Let’s face it, anything is more professional than a selfie!

For my first photoshoot, we decided to use the alleyway behind my house as it had good lighting and a nice brick backdrop (oozed glamour of course!) As you can see, we took the whole process very seriously!

Anyway, I’m really happy with how the pics turned out so I thought I’d share them with you guys!

 

Just Going For It: Turning Dreams Into Reality

Hey, 

So I thought today I’d share with you guys something that I’ve been working on for a few weeks now. My true ambitions.


I’m not a person who generally likes to go on about themselves too much so I’ll make this pretty quick. The past few months have  life changing for me, but one thing I’ve taken away from it all is how short life is and how we should do our best everyday to try and achieve our dreams.

For me, that means being a scriptwriter and stand up comedian. Two things I’ve been obsessed with since I can remember. The lucky thing for me is that now I live up in the North there are so many opportunities for budding creatives like myself.

Since, moving back to Liverpool I’ve been lucky enough to be able to go after my dreams and take some time out for myself. I’ve been frequently attending scriptwriting courses and I’m going on a few stand up comedy courses later on in the year. My writing has improved so much as a result and I’m adamant to get my dream career into motion. I know it’s gonna take time and loads of work but I will get there.

I guess what I’m trying to say it’s okay to be ambitious and start going after your dreams. I hope I can help inspire you guys to go after your dreams even if it just means taking one tiny step at a time!