No, I’m not breaking my golden rule of not writing about writers with writer’s block.
There are lots of motivational groups and programs for screenwriters, such as WRAC and Zero Draft 30. However, for my own motivation, and by way of illumination, I wanted to chronicle my path from hair-brained idea to complete feature film screenplay. Unvarnished, and including all the process missteps and crises of faith.
I’d reached the point of saturation with my last project, a TV pilot called Breached. It had been submitted almost everywhere it could, it was complete if imperfect and it was time to move on. I considered going back to some of my old feature film projects, bringing them up to scratch and sending them back out into the world. But you know, my world has moved on; time for something completely new. A new project from the ground up.
I keep a notebook of ideas. Some of these are rough synopses (Agent of the Crown, a complex research project), some random idle thoughts (Funkbeard the Disco Pirate, I have no idea), and some are just a title. And in amongst the detritus was this: The Fairies of Carnaby Street – 1960s Period Urban Fantasy. I mean, obviously the title is problematic and, well, terrible. But as a working title, as a working concept, it had legs. It inspired some mental imagery. No story yet, just pictures. It’s a start.
Urban Fantasy is my go-to sub-genre, it’s very much on-brand. And 1960s Carnaby Street, Soho as a whole, that was an exciting time, full of changes in music, fashion, and culture in general. Sprinkle a little fairy dust over that, and you’ve got magic. Hopefully anyway.
So, welcome to Project Carnaby. I hope me writing about it is as insightful to you as it is useful to me.