The first piece of advice I was given as a writer was ‘capture the audience in the first three minutes’. I have never forgotten those words of wisdom.
We see a burning house and hear screams of the people inside, we see firefighters and people being dragged from the ruins. But do we care, we feel the tension but we don’t know who these people are.
Cut back a few scenes, and we see a man drive up to the house, he gets out of the car and is greeted by his wife and two young children who are standing at the open door. We see him enter and sit down at the table with his family, and talk about their day. They are chatting about their kids’ school and the family holiday, we get to know them.
We cut to outside and see a man planting an explosive, and see the house go up in flames. Now we are engaged and we really want them to be saved.
Not all of us are aspiring writers or film makers, but more and more people are wanting to make writing part of their lives. Some don’t even know if they have the talent to write a page let alone a novel, but if you have a spark of interest or passion about writing then why don’t you explore the possibilities.
You could begin by forming your own writers group – many have started simply by inviting a few friends over with a couple bottles of wine, some basic ideas and a discussion, and before you know it you have short stories, books or screenplays in the making. Better than crying over ex boyfriends or berating the agony of a recent divorce, and definitely a way of reinventing yourself.
If you are serious about a career change and want to be a writer, then look at one of the writing courses that are around at the moment.
To refresh my own capability as a writer I recently attended a fantastic Writer’s Retreat in the Dordogne in France, The Rocaberti. It was full of enthusiastic writers at all stages of their career, from their very first shot at writing to the more experienced published writer.
The Mentors were all highly motivated, published and well known novelists, screen-writers and film writers and producers. In spite of their success, they were equally as supportive to every mentee and made sure each one had the input they needed to take the next step on their writing path.
You could also explore writers’ groups nearer to home, and there are many good ones – check out the reviews and feedback from attendees on the websites attached to the courses, and that should tell you everything you need to know.
Hope I have got you interested – and within the first three minutes. After all it only takes one minute to make a life changing decision, which could affect everything you do for the next twenty years or more. So what are you waiting for?
Checkout the writers retreat rocabertiwriters.com