1. visionrosie
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    visionrosie New Member

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    Is it possible to learn later in life?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by visionrosie, Sep 28, 2007.

    Hello everybody, came across this site yesterday and after reading up on several posts, I thought it maybe a place as good as any to ask for a bit of friendly advice.

    First off just quickly, a bit of info... I'm 34, married, I have no children as yet and I have a fairly decent 9 to 5 day job working in Administration. Taking this into consideration, here's where I need the advice...

    Ok here goes. I really really really want to get into scriptwriting for TV Drama. The trouble is, I have absolutely no experience whatsoever, I have no college/university degree and possibly most importantly...I have no story.

    This last fact concerns me greatly. I feel its telling me, quite obviously, that if I have nothing which I feel needs to be written then therefore I can't have any writing talent and if I havent got any writing talent then why do I aspire to become a scriptwriter?

    I should have gone onto further education when I was younger, I wish I had realised what I wanted to do when I was younger but I didnt and I regret that. Confidence is an issue as much as anything else but I am starting to wonder if I'm just wasting my time in hoping this could ever happen. Do you think I should I just take a reality check? Given the fact that I have never studied for it or been to university to gain a degree, should I just put it down to me living in dreamland and to just forget about it? Or should I go for it?

    What would you do?

    Feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Claire.
     
  2. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am glad that you came here and posted this up. I personally feel that you should go for it. You may not succeed but then again you may go way beyond your own and anyone else's expectations.
    Life is full of opportunities if we only take a leap of faith and go for it. I personally feel that you can learn anything at any age. A 2 year old can work a TV and remote and even a computer so I am sure any adult can learn a writing skill if they are comitted to it.
    I know a member who joined here and he wrote prose, after some time of him joining here he began writing poetry and is quite good at it as well I must say. If you really want to do something with your life don't hold back on it. If you have the chance to do something that you have wanted to do all your life or for some time then just go out and give it a go.
    If you don't bother you will one day wonder what if? You'll be saying "If only I_______!" and have regrets forever. I say go for it Claire. If you succeed then that is awesome and if you don't, well congratulations for learning something new and for actually giving it a go. Either way you come out of it a winner as far as I can see!

    Hope this helps you with your decision. Personally I think you would be a fool not to give it a go.

    Torana :)
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    most writers of screenplays and tv shows never went to school to learn how... they just learned by example and by doing... there are good how-tos on the crafts and one, dave trottier's 'bible' even covers both...

    your basic problem seems to be not being suited to be a writer of original material, if you don't have any ideas for original work... however, the good news is that many writers of tv and film scripts only work on others' material, not their own... so, it IS possible to learn how to become good enough at writing scripts that you could be hired as a writer on a tv series, even though you can't come up with your own concepts... however, you would still have to have imagination enough to be able to 'fix' what doesn't work in the script and add what may be missing, when you're assigned to co-write/revise/rewrite... that would take intimate knowledge of the genre [sitcom, drama series, etc.] and a good handle on story/plot/character...

    the hardest part is getting the job, since you'd have to be already working in the industry, to get close to the writing end of things, which means you'd have to get some sort of low, entry level job [like gofer] and work your way up, or have a good track record to show, with your own work, which it seems you would not be able to do...

    the second hard part is getting good enough at it to be hired if/when you get in there... it takes years to become good enough at writing screenplays to sell one... and it will take a good while for you to get good enough at writing for tv, to get a job doing it... there are some good courses around, but also a lot of scam ones, so if you decide to go that route, be sure to check them out very carefully and ask for input from those who know how to spot a course worth the money vs a waste of it...

    if you want any help along the way, just drop me a line any time... i didn't become a full time writer till i was in my 40s, with 7 kids, youngest of which were only 4 and 10, so you're still a lot younger and 'freer' than i was!

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  4. Kit
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    Kit Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you should go for it. I'm surrounded by people now that keep telling me that they wish they'd done X,Y or Z but that its too late for them to try or retrain or whatever they need to do.

    If you have the means to try, then what are you going to lose? Go for it, you may suprise yourself.
     
  5. Funny Bunny
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    Funny Bunny Contributing Member

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    Coming up with original material is hard. You need to really consider what that means. Short stories are driven by "new Ideas" but there is really not much of a market for them. Often, they are simply only Ideas and could never become part of a larger work. Novels and novella are actually less original than they seem. Many have "lineages" meaning that the ideas came from something else (usually other written works), but were transformed by the writer.

    You are probably right about the difficulties of getting into script writing. It is a hard field to get into. You may be able to take your interest to a local theater group which deals with original plays. I think for your scriptwriting interest, you would need to join a university with a theater department.

    On the other hand, you might look at what you love to read, and see yourself writing (Quirky romance? Serious Crime Drama? Etc.) and just sit down and start to piece together how to write a book, and then adapt that to a play.

    Original "stories" are difficult to work with, so, try a test novel or longer story, using a well known story (for instance, something from Shakespeare). It will Change in your hands. Join some online script groups and become proactive.

    I really believe that TV and Film are going less to the studio and more to the independents. It is all about who you know, and it is a hard racket to break into. Certainly don't quit your day job and go to California with a back pack, but there are other ways to advance.
     
  6. trailer trash
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    trailer trash Senior Member

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    To answer your question I would say a resounding ....

    visionrosie,

    If you have a desire to write short stories, novels, screenplays etc… then it is up to you to make the first move. A lot of absolutely FREE programs, and examples are available on the web; including right here at writersforum.org.

    To answer your question I would say a resounding yes. This is a Craft first and then an Art. You must school yourself in the Craft of writing. Like I said there are many free resources on the web. And it never hurts to read some publications on the subject of your interest. I would not be the one to suggest books on screenplays, but I can tell you that if you have a minimal amount of money then joining the Writers Digest Book Club will get you access to some really reasonably priced books on the subject. Barnes and Nobel is also a good source for these types of books.

    Also, you may wish to take a course at your local Community College to beef yourself up on the fundamentals. But, that is not absolutely necessary. The desire and drive to achieve your goal will take you a long way. Just get started. Good luck and I look forward to hearing of your successes.

    Thanks for the opportunity to post,

    Trailer Trash
     

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