Received some feedback on my Boat Gypsies treatment for my rural touring project. Ivan Cuttings from Eastern Angles is mentoring the project alongside the Theatre Writing Partnership.
Here’s a sample of the feedback.
“There’s good stuff here and the setting and characters are potentially rich territory and possibly good theatre (though some of the demands are more filmic).
I like the wit and the sense of jockeying for position in a world suddenly denuded of adults and the freedom and indecision this brings. Suddenly they are asked to be adults and find their own motivations and desires.
Having said that I feel the piece desperately needs a driving mechanism. At the moment it’s drifting along with a series of moments, not always played to their full hilt, and a complete lack of urgency.
This is not helped by your style of treatment, which focuses too much on the clever lines they are going to say, which are clever and I enjoyed them, but which tends to indicate these are the stars of the piece instead of the characters themselves. Instead I needed much more of how their journey develops both practically (leaking, directions, fuel, eating) and emotionally (I want to get off, I need some space, who’s driving this, who’s running it) and the outside events (police looking for them, hospital trying to contact, guy on the run with firework bag (?), assessment insurers, lockgates etc) so that this potentially very good dialogue always surprises us and takes us as we’re concentrating on something else.”
Me and my ‘filmic demands’!
I generally agree. I work from images first and then lines and then narrative and then plot. So I agree about the lack of urgency but think it’s important that I keep some elements of drift as these characters drift along on the boat. Then piece has it, so it is inherent, in its bones so it can then be picked up on and played. What I will do next writing wise is to start working on characters, then narrative then plot, then dialogue. Writing generally as I go along with only some of these thmes developed. Then i go back redrafting as I go. It may not be how others do it but it works for me. Check out this series to see other writers talking about their process. The Dialogue.
Due to chat to Ivan this week to start writing next week hopefully.