Tuesday, 1 July 2014

THE WRITER'S ROOM




I was asked to participate in a writer's roundtable and nominate three writers that I know and respect. Below are my answers. 

1. What am I working on? 
I’m juggling with several things as usual. I’m still dancing between the film world, blogging and magazine work; so at the moment, things are never dull. I’m co-writing a small independent thriller script with a friend of mine in England that is hopefully going into production in September. I’m also trying to raise money for another script of mine that we’re desperate to get to the screen in Los Angeles. On the magazine front, I’m working on a few articles for an IPC publication here in the UK, as well as do my best to keep up on my blog.

2. Why do I write what I do?
When it comes to film, I have primarily written comedies and dramedies steeped in family life. The relationships between people (esp. family members) have always held a great allure for me, perhaps because I am from a very big family full of big personalities. The thin line between love, conflict, humour and pain intrigues me to no end. I’m also an absolute lover of comedy in any fashion. I love to laugh and hence, find myself always drawn to quirky, unique characters that find themselves in amusing life situations. On the magazine front, the articles are more driven by what is going on topically at the moment, or in my life as a woman, parent etc. The same goes for what I choose to blog about. It’s my mirror into the world I suppose. How I see things, what rankles me that day, or of course, what amuses me and compels me to share. Like any writer, I want what I write to resonate with people in a poignant and humourous way. I figure, life can throw some pretty tragic things our way, and as best as we can, we need to find the humour in life and reasons to smile as much as we can.

3. How does my work differ to others of its genre?    
Well, to be frank, I think it all comes down to one’s voice. With scripts, I certainly don’t reinvent the wheel all the time, but I’d like to think I have a unique voice that with the proper execution comes through and hits people in a certain way. I think that’s the most important thing for a writer to do, is to truly find one’s voice, one’s perspective, and not be afraid to hold onto that. I find humour in a lot of things, perhaps more than most. I am also a big believer in the subtleties of language and the relationships between people and how that translates into film. In the realm of blogging, for me, it’s often steeped in humour and my take on the world.

4. How does my writing process work? 
I am definitely a morning writer. I like to get a workout in first and a cup of coffee of course, as I find that those two in combination fires up the brain a bit. Then I hunker down at home and get to it. I am not a big believer in writer’s block. For me, as long as the outline is sound and fully realized, once I start a script I can then jump in and out of scenes as they strike me. If I don’t feel a certain scene is working, I can jump to another one as the entire story is laid out. If it’s a magazine piece, it’s a bit of the same, I start writing, allow myself a lot time (and room) for pacing and doing other things during the writing process. I am a big believer in letting things breathe. If something isn’t quite right yet, I go do something else, take a walk, clean, make a meal, whatever and the idea or solution usually always washes up on shore.

I'll add the links for those I've nominated to participate as they come in. 

Simon Uttley:

 http://siuttley.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/writers-tour/

Bel Jacobs:

Bel Jacobs was style editor for Metro newspaper for 15 years but before that, she was editor - simultaneously - of the Daily Mail problem page and of a directory of green businesses. It was an odd juxtaposition but it made sense at the time! Today, she continues her interest in fashion with her own blog which attempts to cover fashion in a way that celebrates the industry for its creativity, imagination and occasional insanity instead of its commercial potential. 

www.beljacobs.com

Cricket Leigh:


1. What am I working on? 
I'm working on a book entitled "Raising Mom: Moving home at 40 and parenting your parent". It's based on my real life experiences facing ghosts of the past, familial issues, drama galore, and how to parent-rear instead of child-rear. I hope it will be a balance of humor and education for others who find themselves in this position.

2. Why do I write what I do?
Well this book is a first for me. I am a Playwright and Monologist, so I write to then PERFORM it live. I do that because I like to write for underdogs, to give them a voice. Then getting to play them onstage is icing on that cake. It fulfills something in me that wants to bridge the gaps in society. The book is new terrain. I suppose I want to give people hope in a seemingly insane and hopeless situation.


3. How does my work differ to others of its genre?    
Well most people who write plays write multi-character arc, the voices of many. As an Actress, I only wrote for myself. Then I wrote a 2-person play, which explored two voices. However, I've never wanted to write for more than that. I don't want to write a play with 14 characters in it, it's not my strength. Although, life is long and I may do it at some point. My work also has a strong social issue content to it. I don't just write a character because she'd be "fun to play". I write her core, what she needs from the world, why she's not getting it, then I know it will be fun to play. So, most writers aren't performers also which gives me a leg up into connecting to them as I write.

4. How does my writing process work? 

It's a bit random, but when I'm inspired, I make time every day for it. If I skip 4 days, I don't feel badly about it, I go with it. However, If I'm producing said play and have a deadline, then you can bet I'll be up writing at all hours. I love deadlines, they make the work flow for me. I also NEVER edit while writing. I let everything come out, bad punctuation and all, until the ideas and framework is there. Then I go back & edit.

Cricket is a playwright and monologist from Chicago, currently living in Kalamazoo, MI as she begins her Masters in Social Work program this fall. She has written numerous plays, two of which were produced several times in Los Angeles and New York. She was The Manhattan Monologue Slam Champion in 2010. As an Actress, she's performed at The Goodman Theatre, The Chicago Lyric Opera, The Sundance Theatre Lab and many more. She studied at The Groundlings in Los Angeles, where she began writing characters for her first one-woman show "Constantly Distracted".  Her last play is a 2-person show called "Confetti Bayou: The Last Interview with Janis Joplin. She is a graduate of The Tisch School of The Arts at NYU.

www.cricketleigh.com



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