Award-winning screenwriter,Stephen Butchard, a former engineer now famous for “The House of Saddam”, “Stolen” and “Five Daughters”, is to the point when he gives advice to budding writers,’You just have to get on with it’.
He didn’t research by reading scripts, he didn’t prepare extensive character breakdowns. ‘The only way to find your characters’ voices is to write, you need to live with them,’ he says, ‘but, you also need to have the courage to leave space,’ he added, citing a scene from the Danish version of “The Killing” as an example where ‘nothing had to be said.’
A word of warning though, ‘If you are writing something that you don’t want write it won’t be any good. Why? Because there is no passion.’
So if you want to write, just do it…and make sure you want to.
Liverpool-based Stephen Butchard was in conversation with Kate Rowland, Creative Director of New Writing, BBC, at MediaCityUK.