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I’m currently writing my fifth novel, so I’m familiar with the process, what it takes to get through the periods of isolation and self-doubt that’ve plagued the writer since time began. So when the chance came to collaborate on a screenplay, I agreed- albeit with some trepidation and more than a little curiosity.

Fast forward several years and I’m still here, valiantly attempting to hold my own in the arena of self-expression. Hindsight is a valuable tool, but in some cases is simply not enough. Writers suffer the same afflictions as other folk and often have incredibly short memories. Especially when it comes to the hardship involved.

Picture a cafe on the south coast of England, and two grown men arguing over an adjective. Bemused by this weekly occurance, the staff bring food and drink to the corner table and offer their sympathies, not quite able to understand this bizarre phenomenon. But to the two ageing hacks engaged in this seemingly fruitless pursuit, it’s all in a day’s work and does have a purpose.

A screenwriting partnership is not for the fainthearted. It’s a form of mental pugilism, a chess match between two equally determined individuals battling for supremacy. Lines of dialogue are sent into the fray like footsoldiers in a military campaign. Entire scenes come under attack, whole sections rewritten amid the smoke and toil of battle.

Of course, there are advantages. The combined energy and creativity is a welcome distraction from the often solitary pursuit of writing. A shared vision is also inspiring. The characters and plot lines spring vividly to life and become sources of endless fascination to the pair that created them.

And when the draft is finished and the gloves are put away, there’s a great feeling of achievement. All that’s left is to conquer Hollywood!

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