Coronavirus Diary 10 – Creatively Self-Isolating

One of the things I love is being creative.  I’ve always wanted to be more creative.  I’ve written books, penned magazine articles and had the odd television and radio appearance as a nominal ‘expert’ but ever since I creatively started my own business I have had ever decreasing amounts of time to be creative in a non-business sense.

My plethora of books I wrote during my years of paid employment and then at the start of working for myself became a trickle and it hasn’t progressed in a few years.   The books still sell of course but the long-term sales such as they are don’t really fulfil my creative urges.

As it happened my luck was in this weekend as I decided to take a break from impending bankruptcy and death (that order seems to be the most likely) when someone sent me a request from the BBC that they were looking for 10 minute short manuscripts on the theme of social isolation and the use of video-technology to bypass this somewhat.

I’m sure the BBC has better screenwriters to hand but I thought I would give it a go seeing as no-one seems to have a more extreme case of social isolation and I can nominally write and I’ve even sold the odd script before so I know how the process works.

One of the things I really enjoy about screenwriting is that the format is very different but to me seems most intuitive.  I often write about how I enjoy watching even the worst films because aside from the entertainment, I like the technical aspects even if they are put into practice very badly indeed.  I have several books of how my favourite films or television shows went from page to screen and how what is written on a page transfers into a image. I find it all fascinating.

I also find scripts to be relatively very quick and easy to write, at least to a certain level and so it proved with my new work ‘Together, Apart’ which I wrote on Saturday afternoon and after going through things several times and getting it to fit within the narrow parameters of the submission requirements, sent it off on Sunday morning.   I’m not entirely sure it is what they are looking for but it is close, inexpensive to film and a unique story.   In the end it doesn’t matter too much if they buy it or not as for a day or two at least I felt creatively fulfilled.

I’d like to get back to finishing off my latest non-fiction book now I actually have the time though the overall global circumstances has admittedly taken off some of my enthusiasm.

If you’re stuck at home on your own, what hobbies or work have you been catching up on?  Or if you have never seen a television script then  you’re welcome to have a look at my very first almost 25 years ago!   Writing For Television – My first TV script from 1996!

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including a #1 seller, I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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6 Responses to Coronavirus Diary 10 – Creatively Self-Isolating

  1. brewinsgirl says:

    I’m so glad to read that you’ve surfaced from the apparently low mood of earlier Coronovirus-related, doom & gloom posts. Go for it! (A fellow [female] creative self-isolater)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. brewinsgirl says:

    Regarding your books on how words on a page were transferred to screen, can you recommend any titles?

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    • Save The Cat by Blake Synder is very popular though I haven’t read it. I like The Idea: The Seven Elements of a Viable Story for Screen, Stage or Fiction by Erik Bork and also Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field which is a bit older but when I first took an interest in the 90’s it was all the rage. I’m a big Star Trek fan and was fortunate to get to know some of the Producers and Writers in the 90’s who were inspiring and helpful. The Making of Star Trek by Stephen Whitfield all the way back in the 1960’s was and still is my favourite; perhaps not so much for the art of screenwriting but the battles and ingenuity and cleverness of everyone involved. If there are two things I learned is that it has to look the part on paper but also it has to be as simple and inexpensive to to produce. Don’t give them any excuses not to read it right through!

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  3. wdfyfe says:

    Glad to see you back on the positive side. cheers

    Liked by 1 person

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