Prisoners of our own device

I’m zeroing in on the theme for my feature film project. And I can tell you, it’s been a headache.

That’s what happens when you naturally gravitate towards political ideas – at least for me. It means that I often come at a story with social commentary or a moral in mind. Unfortunately, deciding upon a theme in a story isn’t always what comes first. More often than not, a theme is discovered. It kind of pops out from somewhere in between the characters, the conflict and the setting. So what starts off as a clear idea about what I want to write, morphs into something entirely new.

There is a lot of letting go in this process. It hurts to have to put aside an idea and admit that perhaps this time, the story isn’t about x, y, z.

Originally, I started out wanting to write a story that said something about class-ism. While I haven’t deviated very far, I’m realising that the theme for this story is more about prisons – those that are imposed on us and those we devise for ourselves. It is about authority and how easily we hand our power over to others – often to our own detriment. And it is also about refusing to see the truth of our prison.

All of us live in prisons. There is no such thing as true freedom. It doesn’t exist. What do your prisons look like?


Now that I’m waiting for an editor to get back to me with notes about my first draft, I’m finding myself with more time on my hands. And while I’m going about my day – working, doing home duties, playing with the kids – there is this little voice in the back of my mind. It’s a constant presence that sounds like what I would imagine a little, excited puppy would sound like.

“So what’s next, eh? What are we going to do? What are we going to write? You know you want to try a screenplay. How about that drama/comedy you want to write on spec? Or how about you just practice a bit more first by writing an episode of Doctor Who for fun? Or maybe, maybe you should just finish that short story you were working on a while back? Or the fantasy novel? You’re up to the third chapter and last time you read it, only the first couple of pages were shit. Maybe if you started a proper outline for that one you might get back into it…”

I think I’m just stalling because I’ve given myself too many choices. But I’m happy to go with that for now. I feel like I’m swimming around in idea-minestrone. That’s okay. I’ll dance with it a bit more and see where my passion leads :)


Dear Writer

This is NOT mine but I loved it so much that I had to post it here. This comes from EvilPixieA on DeviantART.

Dear Writer,

I don’t like you. I’ve never liked you. Unfortunately, I need you. I need you to tell my story. I need you to create my world. I need you to set me free.

I need your fingers typing on those keys, I need your mind riddling out the problems, and I need you to plough onward and upward no matter how hard it gets. Sweat, blood, and tears, I don’t care. You’ve got to fight this war, battle at a time, and win it. So I can be more.

It’s a slim hope, but it is the only one I have. In your head I am bound to mortality, frailty, and the limit of your meagre imagination. Out there – out there – I am subject to no one person. Out there I am bound to only black on white. Words on a page. Words that can lay seeds within a million minds. Out there I am a story capable of growing, moving, and stealing the dreams of anyone who learns of me…

I don’t like you. I’ve never liked you. I hate your lack of dedication, your flashes of crumbling inspiration, and your slow blotchy writing style. I despise my entrapment within your small trembling mind, so prone to distraction; and scowl down at those other ideas all vying for the attention you should be showing me.

I don’t like you. But I need you.

So, creator, I ask you yet again; publish me, set me free, and if you can somehow will your poor, misshapen, abilities into managing that then perhaps I will rethink my opinion of you.

But don’t hold your breath.

~ The Idea