Sunday, 28 March 2010

Script Writing Workshop

For the budding script writers, we have a workshop that happens on the first Wednesday of each month, except August. Like all our groups, it's a friendly, relaxed atmosphere, with people offering constructive criticism and helpful comments.

This group started at the beginning of 2008, when it was realised that a number of writer's circle members were eager to try their hand at script writing. Some wanted to write screenplays, others stage plays, still others radio plays. The subject matter is broad as well - we've had period plays and contemporary, secular and religious, linear and non linear, big cast and little cast - even once, a play written in rhyme!

The group members bring along a part of a script that they would like feedback and help with, bringing several copies of the piece. Other members of the group then read the various parts, with the author trying to ensure they do not have to take a role, enabling them to simply listen to their work. You can make a lot of improvements to your own piece if you can listen to it being read by others - especially read cold.

Then feedback is given. People might suggest a different and better way of portraying something, or they may have found something confusing. They weren't sure what tone this character needed or where that sub plot led to. They ask questions for the author to answer. The author asks questions for the critiquers to answer. And then the author takes the piece away, having collected ideas to help with the rewrite and further development of the script.

As a member of the group, I have to say the feedback and advice I have received has been invaluable. I've been stuck, and found myself unstuck. I've thought a piece was awkward and then had a revelation as to why and what to do about it. Work I have taken to this group has grown into plays I have sold to publishers, or had performed by local drama groups.

I'm not alone in this. I know one member had a short screenplay filmed last year, and others have been made sufficiently confident to submit scripts to the BBC Writers room.

As well as learning and improving, we share information on markets, competitions, seminars, etc. And we have all become great, great friends. It's a date in my diary I look forward to each month.

The next meeting of the Script Group is this Wednesday, 1st April. If you think you'd like to join us, email our chair at and she'll put you in touch.

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