So, when I was asked to choose the specialism of my MA – fiction novel, screenwriting or non-fiction – I was torn. Quite quickly I decided I did not have a strong enough knowledge base in any single subject to sustain an entire non-fiction book, ergo strike that one. Now I just have to select one of the remaining pair.
At the start of my creative quest three years ago, it was simply to garner techniques and strategies to enable the writing of a novel – after all, everyone has a book in them, don’t they? However, my Open University coursework in 2009 explored screenwriting, and I found that my stories were already film-like in my head. I felt a natural affinity with part of the writing process for film and television.
|There are strategies for people like me|
I enjoy reading fiction and watching movies equally. I would be happy to be successful at either. I have more than a dozen ideas for both. Both sets of course notes were very attractive. Both UCF lecturers seemed equally enthusiastic about and able at their craft. How on Earth could I decide? In the meantime, my win-lose ratio at Mahjong was improving dramatically.
There are many commentators who will offer opinions about whether it’s easier to move from one field to the other later on in a career, or which profession is more worthy. Strangely, these opinions tend to fall in line with the profession in which the author of them inhabits. A co-founder of internet-based screenwriting magazine Twelvepoint, Julian Friedman, in an article, says that ‘writing prose is relatively straightforward and it does not require the same obsessional adherence to structural templates that scripts need’. On the other hand, the snobbery inherent within fiction literature, even against other novelists let alone other genres, is well documented.