Ruddy technology

Thursday, July 22nd, 2004

At least when the content management system at the Royal Mail crashed, it didn't do it at one o'clock in the morning…

Or, if it did, I wasn't there to see it.

Still, home now. Have been since about 2.30am in fact.

Have found some notes I took at Saturday's screenwriting course about my fellow wannabes. Here they are:

It's like an evening class in stockbroker Surrey. Lots of well-dressed ladies of a certain age who look like they'll never actually carry out the pastime they're learning as anything other than a hobby. Where the Comedy Writers' Group was almost exclusively male, with the two women who attended looking excluded and out of place, the same could be said for the men here.

Then at exactly the scheduled start time a small huddle of men turn up. Two are young, arty types, their rain-soaked t-shirts desperately trendy. They take the last two vacant seats in the middle of the front row, which everyone else had been avoiding. Other men, less confident, disperse around the back and sides of the room. Coincidentally, just as at the comedy writers' group there are 21 people present.

As we introduce ourselves, several first impressions turn out to be wrong. Quite a few of the women are published writers. There is an ex-national newspaper journalist, an ex-advertising executive, an actress and a science fiction writer. Among the men, two on consecutive chairs are an ambitious postman who has signed up to endless courses in pursuit of a dream of writing film scripts, and an events organiser at the Dorchester Hotel. The two in the front row turn out to be an entertainment journalist and a TV producer.

The tutor, KW, got into writing for 'The Bill' via a radio play that she wrote, which won an award and got a staged reading. Central TV asked for more work from her. Nothing came of that, but someone who had worked at Central and had seen her submissions moved to 'The Bill' and called her.

KW didn't get an agent until she'd been writing in TV for four years, when she was recommended to one (not the other way 'round).

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I'm Andy Darley. Sometimes I want to say things. This is where I do it.