• Kate O'Connor

Screenplays, essential oils, casseroles... a ramble

I have discovered screenplays! Not technically discovered, but I am currently writing my first ever attempt at one. I'd always disregarded the idea of script-writing, because it seemed to me that the fun was in the descriptions and internal thoughts that you don't see in dialogue. But faced with the option of writing either creative non-fiction (um no!) or a screenplay, I chose the latter. Non-fiction really doesn't interest me. I can read it, but I don't enjoy writing it. Writing for me is a way to escape the real world for a while and hide in one I've invented, not to research and find out more of what's really going on in the world. That's horribly depressing. Ignorance is still bliss for me. Sue me.

So I was left with the screenplay option. This is for my first assessment for this semester's unit at university, which is called Writing Spaces: Paradigms and Provocations. Being forced to write in a space that I'm not used to has been challenging and at times has left me wanting to slam my head against a wall. But not these walls. I paid good money for these walls. Someone else's walls.

Anyway, challenges aside, I've also found myself really enjoying the task and having quite a bit of fun with it. The best part about screenplays is visualising it all in your head and being able to put exactly what you see and hear down on paper.

Of course, it is entirely possible that I'm high on the smells currently wafting down from the essential oil diffuser on my bookshelf above my desk. It really doesn't matter if it seems like hippie New-Age crap - I find them so soothing and pleasant. The only time I don't have a diffuser going in my house is when I'm cooking. Because let's face it, would you rather your house smell like essential oils or a delicious lamb casserole? Vegetarians, don't answer that.

Back to the screenplay. I've never read a screenplay before (no, not even Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, shock horror!). I read my first one recently, also thanks to my uni course, and it was fascinating. I frantically turned the pages and somehow even tuned out the actual movie playing on the TV at the time. I thought reading a screenplay would be jolting and uncomfortable, but it took me away into the story just like my favourite authors have a habit of doing. For anyone curious, it was the screenplay for Jordan Peele's Get Out. I have yet to watch the movie, but trust me it will happen.

And so I must leave you for now, dear readers. My screenplay (and the assessment deadline) is calling. It's ok, I have my coffee, my furry offsiders and the perfect wintry day to keep me going. As long as that novel in my drawer stays quiet, I think I can make it through. See you on the other side!


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