Here's a neat little questionnaire, courtesy of Lianne that she cribbed from Arvon, that is perfect for bloggers to procrastinate over, so here's mine.
1. Do you outline?
Sometimes, not always. It certainly helps, and some projects need it more than others while occasionally I like to see where everything will take me but it's a given for all TV stuff.
2. Do you write straight through a script, or do you sometimes tackle the scenes out of order?
Start to finish, that's how I roll.
3. Do you prefer writing with a pen or using a computer?
I use pen for scribbling notes, then transcribe them to the computer (so I have them on file), and then use the computer for the real writing. Or sometimes type notes directly on to computer. Whatevs.
4. Do you prefer writing in first person or third?
Danny sat back to think about his answer, then typed: ‘third’.
5. Do you listen to music while you write?
Very rarely. It kind of blanks out so I don’t bother but I’ll put something on during a break or two.
6. How do you come up with the perfect names for your characters?
The name has to fit the character, either in a pseudo-meaningful way (“her name is the Irish for dream, yeah?”) or just sound right, or cool, or different. But I don’t kill myself over it.
7. When you’re writing, do you ever imagine your script as a book/short story?
Not really. I have just finished a book version of one of my scripts but didn’t think of it as a book while I was writing the script, if that makes any sense at all. Probably not.
8. Have you ever had a character insist on doing something you really didn’t want him/her to do?
Hmm. This is an odd one as I’ve certainly had characters do things I didn’t *expect* them to do, but I’m writing the god damn thing, so it’s obviously what I want, in a storytelling or subconscious level. But yeah, I suppose so.
9. Do you know how a script is going to end when you start it?
90% of the time.
10. Where do you write?
At home or on the train to London.
11. What do you do when you get writer’s block?
Haven’t had ‘writer’s block’, thankfully, but ‘procrastinate big time’, oh yeah, guilty your honour. I’ll read or listen to music, watch TV or blog/surf the net. The usual.
12. What size increments do you write in?
I’ve never set a minimum or maximum so I honestly don’t know but when I’m buzzing, I can get 10-15 pages done that won’t embarrass me afterwards. When pushed to deadline, anything’s possible.
13. How many different drafts did you write for your last project?
About four or five revisions, I wouldn’t call them drafts.
14. Have you ever changed a character’s name midway through a draft?
Yes. Why, what have you heard?
15. Do you let anyone read your script while you’re working on it, or do you wait until you’ve completed a draft before letting someone else see it?
I don’t think anyone would show pages or scenes to someone before the script was done; that way insanity lies, I tell you. Unless time was against you and it was the producer/script editor, or someone working closely on the project. Or if it's a writers' group where you actively share stuff like that. No, basically.
16. What do you do to celebrate when you've finished a draft?
Start thinking about the next one. I save celebrations for commissions and exciting news like that.
17. One project at a time, or multiple projects at once?
Multiple projects, as in: my own spec scripts and any actual commissions that might be on the go.
18. Do your scripts grow or shrink in revision?
Bit of both.
19. Do you have any writing or critique partners?
I’ve got two or three people for ‘first draft review’, and these and a few others for the more polished version, while I regularly write with Sam Morrison, and have co-written other stuff with a few other peeps here and there.
20. Do you prefer drafting or revising?
Happy to do either.