Richard Fletcher: Bearsden Writers Zoom Meeting, May 13th 2021, 10 a.m

Neet Neilson. ‘From Page to Stage’

Neet gave a wide-ranging presentation, pre-recorded and available on YouTube, titled ‘Script to Screen,’ a follow-up to her presentation ‘From Page to Stage’ on April 1st, and most usefully informative for would-be scriptwriters. Every stage of her talk was summarised in texts shown on-screen – handy for notetaking. 

Neet dealt with the aspects of expository writing common to all outlets, novel, short story, play – these being the structure of the story and the characters who drive the story forward. Particularly interesting was to hear how story structure – exposition, conflict and resolution – translates into the ‘acts’ of a play – and its film and screen equivalents. Neet dealt with reasons one might have for writing the script – why do we want to tell stories? We have axes to grind or memories that spring from personal experience or that weird idea that occurred to you at the supermarket check-out – the ‘single-use lightbulb moment.’ This led to ideas for generating ideas and thence to constructing the story’s arc.

We have to see the story in the context of the medium for which we hope to write. What makes a stage play might not readily translate into film, and so on.

However – you’ve finished your script; what do you do with it? Neet discussed possible outlets for your work.

Neet concluded her talk with a sample story that would translate into a sketch.

After a tea break, we discussed some specific issues such as disability and climate/environmental issues. Three members shared their draft script and ideas. Mairi Jack’s Poppy the Parrot, Barbara Fergus’ Dyspraxia Issues and Kenneth Macanna’s Carrot as Protagonist gave us food for thought. 

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