Sunday, 14 June 2009

CBBC and Birdlife

I've spent the past week working on my CBBC entry. Not the episode itself but what I want the series to be. It has taken a while because I kept finding flaws and having to go back and rethink. I've found kids are very good at finding holes in plots and very vocal when a character does something clearly stupid.

Kids don't go into dark basements when there's a killer about. After all they know there is nothing a killer likes more than a dark basement. Or under the bed or in the wardrobe or anywhere but in the nice, bright warm parts of the house.

No I'm not writing a serial killer series. somehow I don't think that would go down too well with parents of 6-12yrs old even though I suspect the kids would love a nice bit of murderous mayhem. I once made a dinosaur birthday cake for a party. Asked the kids which bit I should cut off first and they gleefully screamed "The head".

Anyway I am writing a scary piece but I'm trying to be careful with the balance. Not so scary that they have nightmares. That's more a Saturday Teatime thing. However scary enough that they have to watch to see that all ends well.

I've also made sure the kids get themselves out of trouble rather than being the victims and that each major scare gets sorted at the end of the episode but there is still enough menace left that they want to tune in again to see how it develops.

I may have got the balance all wrong but I'm sure someone will enlighten me when they read it. I loved scary stuff as a kid, as do all the kids I know but it is adults that do the selecting.

On the summer front, we have hung up a load of feeders outside our living room window. It has been an eye opener. Anyone tells you collar doves are sweet should see what they've done to my heather. Flattened it. And wood pigeons can "deposit" more than chickens. Clearly these are the graffiti artists and vandals of the birdworld.

Starlings are complete psycho bullies that chase all the other birds away then swing on the feeders until the contents are sprayed all over the floor while blackbirds grab chunks of fat balls as they fly by, spit them out then dive down to eat them. Yuck. What slobs.

House sparrows have oversized kids that sit on the feeder, right next to the seeds but scream for the parents to pick them up and shove them in their great big gobs. The chavs of the birdworld? Then there are the great tits, coal tits and bluetits that swing upside down to eat, just cos they can. Big showoffs. OK. Little show offs. The rockers of the fraternity.

The poor robins hardly get a look in. Or rather they are too cool to get involved and sit on the wall until the brawling is over then glide in and and pick the choice pieces the others are too raucous to notice. And the finches dive in when all is quiet and then scoot off again when others turn up. The shy wallflowers.

Poor Henry, our cat, is failing to live with the shame. All these feathered tasties and the one time he caught one he got told off. He sits on the wall, glaring at passing dogs "You lookin' at me?". The result is a canine yelp and the screech of owners being dragged into the distance. He's hard, our cat.

I seem to have rambled on a bit today. Enjoy the sun.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

A Good Tidy Up

I've been doing a sort out of my writing area over the past couple of days. In my fantasy that means gliding into a fancy office with twirly chair and rosewood desk. Calmly sorting out the neat folders and pigeon holes and updated my tidy corkboard. In reality it involves pulling my battered laptop out of the detritus down my side of the sofa and opening up my "writing" folder. Somehow not as glamorous.

Anyway I found this tidy up rather therapeutic. I'd been feeling recently that I'd been in butterfly mode. Flitting one project to another and not finishing anything off. Doing a good sort out and compiling a list of projects for my portfolio revealed I'd done much more than I thought. I even found a couple of things I'd finished a few years ago and forgotten about. What other wonders might lurk in the mountains of cardboard boxes in the spare room?

There are a few projects at 1st draft only and a few more with step outlines completed but not written yet. However the majority were in a decent state and it surprised me how much Radio and Stage stuff I had. If you'd asked me I would have thought I had more TV and Film.

So now my head and folder have had a good clearout I should be able to plan my workload a bit better. This currently means working on my idea for the CBBC shout. I don't remember the last time they did a call for any writers so don't let it pass if you can help it.

And I've spent some of today listening to Tom Lehrner. Bought a couple of his CDs yesterday and now getting flashbacks to my student days when my decrepid flat would ring with "Poisoning Pigeons..." and "...she did everyone of them in." I don't know what they neighbours thought.

Hope you still have some Sun lurking about. Ours is just squeezing through a gap in the clouds and hoping they don't notice.