Paws and Prose: Writing and the New Semester

I know I haven’t been posting about my writing recently, but that means I have been busy – Right? I feel I have been busy anyway. In this post, I will give you an update my screenwriting, final draft and the new semester.

Final Draft and Screenwriting

I’m still using Final Draft and it is great. I have gotten to 30 pages of my 90-page script, so I am a third of the way there. Only, after a tutorial with my lecturer, we have decided that it is going to be a 75-page pilot episode to a longer historical drama on the industrial revolution. I feel sorry for my protagonist, but he is helping me shape the story in his own way.

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered how to work the Beat Board. I have viewed it several times since I have gotten the software for Christmas but didn’t understand it. So I went back to Save The Cat book and looked at the chapter: Lets Beat it Out. This has helped remind me what a beat board is and how to create one offline.

Next, I watched a youtube video on how to use the Beat Board on Final Draft, and since then I love it. My script now has a story map showing my target (which is still set at 90 pages) and under several pages a little diamond telling me where a beat is.  It has helped me get out of the writer’s block I received over the Christmas holidays. I feel that I am getting somewhere with my script and I know where I am taking it.

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 14.12.23

The index cards, split panels and alternative dialogue features are good too. The index cards help me know what each scene consists of, while the split panels allow me to see either the Beat Board or the Index Cards besides the script. I am hoping to bring my monitor to halls next week so that I have a bigger screen to work with, but I need to tidy up my room (and my desk) first.

As the semester has started, I am going to be working on another script too, but this one is going to be a 30-page extract rather than a full script, so while I will know the full storyline, I would only have to develop half or a third of it and I am looking forward to it.

The New Semester

This semester is my final semester of my BA course in Creative and Professional Writing. I have only returned this week and had one lecture in both Advanced Screenwriting and Focus on Writing for Responsibility. Already,  I have a feeling this semester and my modules are going to be good. The two modules seem to be able to be linked together really well and the introduction to both of them was interesting.

I need to do a 3000 word case study for my Responsability module and don’t have an idea for it yet, but I am looking forward to it. Obviously, I will be continuing my Independent Study and write another script for the 30-pages. A friend, who has a blog here, reminded me of the character CV that we learned in Writing for Screenwriting, so I am going to do that next.

It’s going to be a lovely last semester.  Only issue at the minute is that we are in a tiny room for one of my modules, but that will change soon.

I also have a new software for note taking called audio notetaker and a good quality mic. I’ve mentioned these in a previous blog but they had not arrived so far, The quality of the mic is amazing. It has noise cancellation so changes the volume of the things that are quieter than the lecture, such as people changing the pages of their notebook. I can use visuals in one panel, take notes in another and have the audio in the third and it helps me understand what happened in the four hours, it’s great so far.

I am also happy because a campaign that I have been leading for the last 18 months has gotten somewhere. The University coffee shop is now serving hot drinks and some food until 8pm. This means that students no longer have to spend £5 on a subway because they have a lecture until 9pm. Other shops on the other campuses are also doing a similar thing, hopefully, they keep it up and running after the trial period.


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