What I’m writing this week, No6: a pilot for a TV drama

These are unusual times, no denying it. The virus, the economy, Brexit – remember when we were all so incensed about that? And my life is going in a strange direction, too. I’ve started writing a TV script for a drama series.

They say the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Well, I must be mad then. Because I keep writing historical fiction novels (12 so far) and each time I hope that the new book will get me out of my usual threadbare state of semi-poverty.

They never do. Hope turns to despair and I’m back staring at a blank page.

I’ve tried self-publishing – and the jury is still out on whether Robin Hood and the Caliph’s Gold will be a success; I’ve tried writing a fantasy novel – Gates of Stone (cover below) – and that didn’t sell at all, although it had some nice reviews. I’ve written a Viking-ish adventure yarn and that is with my agent, Ian Drury, of Sheil Land Associates, who is trying to find it a publishing home after the cancellation of the London Book Fair. And I’m at a bit of a loose end, tbh. So I’m going to have a crack at penning a TV series.

Gates of Stone
My Asian fantasy novel (under the pseudonym Angus Macallan)

This is, after all, a new golden age of TV. The demand has never been higher for TV scripts. So why not? I’m sorta self-isolating – not because I’m sick, or that anyone in my household is ill yet, just because it seems like the sensible thing to do in these Coronavirus-ridden times. So why not write a TV script?

The working title is Soldier of God and it’s about a 14th-century Templar knight who travels through time to the present day to fight bad guys with the help of a young British woman who is a junior member of MI5. At the moment it’s straight drama, but I’d like to add some comedy elements, too, and, at the moment, I’m really enjoying this new medium for storytelling.

It may be a piece of absolute garbage – probably will be – but if I don’t try, I’ll never find out if I can write for TV or not. First attempts at anything are rarely brilliant. But, if the worst comes to the worst, I’ll have the plot of a time-slip tale all worked out and ready to be turned into a self-pub novel.

So, anyway, that’s what I’m working on these days. Wish me luck!

Comments (2)

  1. Nick Brett March 19, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    Well, I’d watch it!
    There must be major differences between normal writing and tv writing, how do you adjust your mindset to the “visual” and the techniques for TV?

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