Monday, 14 February 2011

Role of the Writer

Some of you know me from twitter (@dodgyjammer), and some of you have stumbled across this blog by accident or various other routes, either way, welcome!

I know what you’re thinking, ‘A scriptwriter with a blog, yes, how original.’ I agree. With the ‘how original’ part, of course.

I took up scriptwriting about a year ago, and very quickly found myself reeled into a world of rewriting, extra reading, and coffee-swigging. A lot of friends have been consulting me for advice on their projects, and I realised just how engrossed I’ve become with writing.
This blog is a place to discuss tips, advice, and the ever-contradictory ‘rules’ of scriptwriting.

Now, to the purpose of this post...

Since choosing to write, I’ve met people from the low of the low, to the top of the top in this industry. All of them have interestingly different views on the importance of a writer and his/her script.

A lot of people see writers at the bottom of the pile. Annoying? Yes. But nothing lasts forever.

The industry changes.

The only issue I have with this view, is when a fellow writer (or someone I work with) also believes writers are at the bottom of the pile, per se.

What happened to our pride? Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, William Blake! Melodramatic examples, yes, but they were still writers. These people created entire realities with just a few words on paper. Real magicians.

People refer to scripts as the blueprint of a masterpiece.

I vehemently disagree; a script alone is the masterpiece. The script is the story, we, as writers, share with the world. Directors, actors, crew; all of that comes in later, in my opinion, and is part of several masterpieces that when put together form a mosaic of brilliant entertainment.

The script is a masterpiece. The script is magic. No one will love our work, if we ourselves don’t. I’m aware of all the technical jargon that accompanies scriptwriting, but really though, it is an art. A craft. A few words on paper can move people and I think it is vital that writers don’t forget, or belittle the power of what we are actually doing when we write.

There’s much more competition in scriptwriting and having a brilliant script is only one of the stepping stones to success. Yet it’s the very first stepping stone. Seems obvious, but crafting the script is the most important task a writer can have. Our work must speak for us.
Every role in the production process matters. Directors have a specific affect on the visual aspects of our stories, actors bring their talents to our stories, all along the process people are working to make our story reach the screen in its best form. The key thing here is ‘our stories’. All those films, TV shows, novels, those all exist because someone somewhere took on the challenge of sitting down and writing them.

Writers are storytellers, stories are the oldest form of passing on knowledge throughout human history. We’re a part of that. Film, TV, novels, whatever you’re all writing, it is a part of something bigger that withstands the test of time.  

A dramatic first post, I know. I just think it’s important we don’t fall out of love with who we are and what we do. 


  1. ‘A scriptwriter with a blog, yes, how original.’
    And there was me finking I was one of a kind... Darn!

  2. Hahaha, I'm yet to meet a writer who doesn't blog or use twitter or facebook! Think social networking is quickly becoming the lifeline of writers in this day and age.