|Magnolia blossom in front of the University Church of St Mary|
|Jacques in the Festival Book Tent|
He talked of the differences between writing novels and writing screenplays - he's adapted One Day for the screen himself, and is currently adapting Great Expectations - and the main difference is that of calculated design. A screenplay demands the blocking out of scenes and sequences in advance of the writing of those individual speeches. With a novel, you can choose to do that too, of course, or you can opt for a more instinctive 'flying by the seat of your pants' approach. This distinction, appealingly known as the 'planner versus pantser' choice, is something I'll be dealing with in my fictionfire course next Saturday, Essential Story Construction, because I feel it's important to explore which technique works best for you.
David also talked of how there's a difference in terms of autonomy between being a novelist and being a screenwriter. As a novelist, your book, he said, is like your house, which you personally designed, and there it is. A film is where you build the house, then a whole troop of people march in, knock walls through, redesign. It's more 'combative' and he dislikes that aspect, though clearly, as a genial and engaging person, I think he has his ways of holding onto his own designs without too much in the way of overt hostilities breaking out.
|In the Festival Marquee|
The next day, I attended Lucy Worsley's If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home - the TV series of which is now running. She was intensely perky, with blonde bobbed hair and a Head Girl confidence. She quoted Henry James' opinion that 'We're each of us made up of our house, our furniture, our garments ... these things are all expressive of us.' She had an excellent Powerpoint presentation supporting a range of quirky facts about the past - how we slept, how we bathed (or didn't, because of the fear, in the 16th and 17th centuries, that water penetrating the body would cause illness), how the propensity of Victorian females to pass out was not only because of the corsetry but the lack of oxygen in their houses, as the new-fangled gas-lights sucked it up.
|Fan-vaulting at Christ Church|
So, that's it for another year - as I said at the start, I'd have liked to have attended more events than I did but time and money prevented.
Next week, I'm delighted to announce an interview with Mark Edwards and Louise Voss, who've published their thriller Killing Cupid, on the Kindle - we'll be talking about why they did it and how they did it - and whether they'd do it again!
Essential Story Construction, which takes place a week today. Booking for Creating Narrative Perspective and Voice will close midday Friday 20th May and the course runs Saturday 21st May. Full details of the course and how to make your booking are on my website www.fictionfire.co.uk. Do join us!