This, they claimed, would be easier than writing a ‘real’ film because I already had the advantage of knowing both the story and the characters inside out.
Later, as they were recovering in Accident and Emergency (well, they certainly were in my head) I pointed out to them that the exact opposite is true. Primarily because it ceases to be ‘my’ story the second a producer shows an interest.
Instead, from that point on it becomes about writing a treatment and then a script which would excite and entice directors, financiers and actors and as a result, things have to be tweaked, added and/or deleted to give it that wow-factor and make it appeal. And by things, I mean scenes and roles all of which meant work for me.
The whole process begins again when people actually do start to come on board for each of them have their own ideas and thoughts all of which relate to the script and all of which involve additional writing. It becomes even more complicated when the director becomes attached because from that point it becomes his movie and as such, I as the writer, am at his beck and call.
Now I know there will people reading this thinking that I’m exaggerating but to put it into perspective, tomorrow I will be working on the fifth rewrite of the script for Top Dog. A script remember, which is based on a novel I actually wrote! By any stretch of the imagination, especially for someone like me who still has no idea how they’re getting away with it, that’s a tough ask.
And at times, it has been tough. Sitting and listening to your work being ripped to shreds gives new meaning to the term soul-destroying but -and this is the lesson I’d give to any writer who finds themselves in the same position- when you are confident in the people doing the shredding and know that all they want to do is improve your work, it becomes an incredible learning experience and when it all comes together, is fantastically rewarding.
But boy, will I be glad when it’s over. Although the truth is that this is only the first stage. There are things lurking on the horizon which are already giving me cold sweats! More of that nearer the event!
I’m delighted and not a little excited to announce that I have signed a deal with publisher Caffeine Night to put Wings of a Sparrow into print. The book should be out in August and will be available in all major bookstores.
And on the subject of Top Dog, there should be some big news announced within the next couple of weeks so please keep an eye out.