Thinking about annual goals is difficult for me. I hate setting wildly optimistic ones but later having to admit, that life and the day job got in the way of the creative writing.
Maybe the best thing for me in 2023 is to have a few key phrases to stand in for formal goals:
Do the writing
Get to a conference or a film market
I think many writers put undue pressure on ourselves I regards to performance goals.. Every screenwriter thinks they should output more. Every novelist is in awe of someone who writes more novels per year than they do. I believe the key is still balance. Those who sacrifice quality of writing for quantity of words don’t keep their audiences. Balance is key, write as much as you can write well.
I spent this weekend downtown in Vancouver, did the holiday gathering from my day job, met friends for the Christmas Market and bought gifts, and went down to shop today. There’s a great holiday feel downtown at this time of year. The Bay had a Santa! There’s a huge Christmas tree in front of the Art Gallery. Lots of trees and lights. I decided to take some photos for a vision board for my Xmas movie idea. I’m combining my knitting idea called “Pull the Wool” with the format and settings of a holiday movie.
Excellent news! LCPA and my profile have combined to get me noticed! I’m part of Coverfly’s excellent Pitch Week program. We had an information call this week and then the invitations were sent out. I’m really excited to have a meeting as only about half of those chosen get actual meetings. They do a lot of work to interest industry professionals and get our materials in front of them.
We signed up today for the lottery to get some great Buyers and Production Partners Meetings at the Banff World Media Festival via their #BANFFXchangeplatform. Put up the new graphic that Jessica did for DEAL our 2nd #project at #Banff2021. She is working as my PA on the Banff project this year. We’ll pitch my scripts: “Lights, Camera, Paranormal Action!” and “Deal”. #BanffMedia
Banff is also about learning and there are many interesting webinars available that we have signed up for.
The week before Frontières and couple of great things happened to Lights, Camera, Paranormal Action!
I got this wonderful banner via the tremendous and generous talents of Kelman Design and Glen Schroeder working on the “Movie Poster” for me. At Frontières, I’ll show a full page movie poster with cool backgrounds and more visual representation of the story in it. It’s thanks to the wonderful WIFT program that this is happening and I’m very pleased.
The Dark Side winners, myself included, had a 2 hour pitch consultation from Jan Miller. It was a great experience and I heard wise advice, not just for my pitch and project but for all four of us. I must now complete my one-pager for the festival and submit that by Wednesday next week. There are so many ways to pitch and it just isn’t something I’ve done a lot. All of my sales were done to people I already knew, who asked for written story ideas. But that was in television, and I was working on shows that were looking for stories. This is my movie and it is looking for a producer.
At Frontières my pitch is in the Created by Women Pitch Session, presented by Telefilm Canada with Women in Film + Television Vancouver. I’m so pleased to be able to showcase my first feature project along with the other 3 up-and-coming female screenwriters from across Canada. This year we are doing it via Zoom. Previously, the festival was in person and it would have been daunting to go up on a big stage to present my story. However, I also have some trepidation about delivering on Zoom. We have many questions yet and next week will be important for our preparations. The pitch itself can only be five minutes, then they give us a Question & Answer period with the panel of experts. Plus, while the Market is going on, we can have meetings with producers, distributors, sales agents, and other interesting people, with a view to pursuing the project.
I feel very lucky this week! I also won an Honorable Mention in a short story contest. See my Bibliography for more info.
I’ve been working on my script “Lights, Camera, Paranormal Action!” since the #DarkSide week in early March. It’s done to first draft now at 105 pages. First drafts in film and TV are really ‘starting points’. You need to get through a few drafts before sending it anywhere serious. So, it’s not yet at the point where I’m sending it out to producers. I’m looking at a rewrite or two before July’s pitching at the digital edition of the Frontières International Co-Production Market – July 23-26, 2020.
Next step is the story editing which is provided by Women in Film. I’m really pleased to have another set of eyes on it. So far, only one writer friend has read LCPA and she likes it, so that’s good! However, I’ll need some critiquing to get it into super shape for pitching and for selling ultimately.
Graphics design – I’m so pleased to be working with Kelman Design – Keli Manson and Glen Schroeder on the design of my pitch poster! I can’t reveal any of the design yet, but it’s truly wonderful. I want to put it on all of my things! It’s not done yet, there are phases to developing a great graphic for something like this and I’m learning about what my Designers need to know in order to proceed.
The image must be something useful for the Market but also something that is a true sales tool. It needs to tell them what they are (potentially) buying, using images, colours, fonts, tone, and texture.
I’m so very pleased to be a winner in the Women in Film & Television, from our Dark Side contest. This win allows me to develop my winning pitch into a pilot and a great series plan, complete with graphic designer and story editor mentors! So we’re going to Montreal in July with this project! Thanks Women In Film & Television Vancouver!
Clarion West got me started on a new venture. The requirement to write something every day got me to revive a novel project. Now, so far I’m 18,000 words in which is pretty amazing considering my schedule. I’m a full time tech writer for a corporation. I’m a single mum, who does all of the ‘lessons ferrying’ by bus. My child does 7.75 hours per week of dance. So, I realized that the only time I have, is while ferrying or waiting at dance.
So, I’m using new tech to get me there. For example, this post is being written in WordPress on my iPhone while on the bus en route to Lyrical dance at Westside Dance.
For actual creative writing, I’ve worked out a system with my own blended Mac / Windows world of home computing.
Thank the gods of tech that we can move things from Mac to Windows easily now.
I’ve used the iPad for a while thanks to my friend Sui-Fai who donated his old one to me. Now, I’m finding that I can incorporate it into my creative writing work if I make a concerted effort to do so.
It’s not easy, frankly, but I’m learning how to type on the auto- keyboard. It’s not as flowing for me as typing – I type on a standard keyboard very fast and can type as I think of dialogue or description. Many more spelling errors, too. Plus punctuation just seems like a big effort – but I fix it later.
I use the Pages app on the iPad. It’s fine for initial creation, but I must move everything via email as doc files. Then I open or in Word and copy and paste the new stuff into my novel- writing app.
This is because, back on the HP pavilion is my new favorite app, which organizes by chapter and has a great interface for writing larger projects.
The eureka app is Scrivener, which is a good value for 40$ or so.
It gives me an HTML smart interface that can compile to a txt output. It can also save my chapters individually to Dropbox which is a great auto-archive.
The image is an Ammonite from the Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller. Not quite as old as I am.