Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Research pays off


So, as mentioned, I've been worrying about who Unit X is actually about. There's all the background setting stuff which is tremendously important (otherwise it will just look silly) but ultimately a story is about character.

I'd started writing the script with the idea that the doctor is the "who" in this instance. Then after three pages ground to a halt.

Now I know why.

This evening I decided to some more research. Actually I decided to watch some TV, but this Guest House only has the basic 4 terrestrial channels (not even Ch.5). So I went to the BBC iPlayer and had a rummage.

And found the writer's episode of Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe (hope that link works) and I'm 21 minutes in and Russell T Davies has just been talking about how he creates characters - and it hit me.

I had picked the right character. You have a woman who is up against the institutional sexism of the US Army in 1945 talking to a general at the place she's been posted. And I put all the emotion on his side, he is the one protesting, he is the one "being a problem" and so on.


She is the one who is fighting, she expects every man to be against her - even when they aren't.

And that's why the scene I was writing stalled.

If you're stuck, take a listen to the professionals.

What's on the turntable? Well, Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe, obviously.

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