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Articles and short stories

Articles and short stories

Before I got into writing film scripts, I played around a little with other writing forms – short stories, journal articles, and even a couple of short-lived attempts at full-length novels. The novels were hugely earnest affairs, which went into minute detail in every scene, basically because I was so daunted with the word count I knew I would have to achieve by the end of it that I had to add in every tiny detail – because I didn’t have enough plot. Ironically, now that I write scripts, and my word count is so much shorter, I struggle with brevity and fitting everything in – 90,000 words seems like a real luxury!

On returning from a four-month stint travelling around Europe in an ageing Volkswagen campervan I decided to write a series of articles about our adventures, which I got published in Ultra VW magazine (read these here, here and here). I followed these up with another article a couple of years later when my husband and I moved to the Netherlands, and our holiday van became a packhorse. The idea of writing a regular column for a publication has always appealed to me, which I guess is why I write my blog.

My main love, however, is of course fiction – in any shape and form, and so when I got bored of hitting a wall after chapter two of each of my novels, I turned my hand to short stories – whimsical and fairly silly tales that were most suitably assigned to the ‘easy reading’ category of the library, two of which made it on to the pages of that stalwart of traditional publishing, Woman’s Weekly. Before I tried writing such stories I was perhaps a little dismissive of such ‘easy’ literature, its cozy stories too  low for my brow. But writing short stories is no easy task! And I felt proud when they were published.

Who knows – I may well go back to writing either or both, but for now my main love is scripts, and that’s where my efforts lie. But both have stood me in good stead, in terms of writing to a strict brief and word count – not to mention deadline! – and every writer should have more than one string to their bow.

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