Have you ever said, 'I'd love to write a script, but don't know where to start'? Or watched the latest binge-worthy Netflix series and thought you could do better? Do Drama explores the how and why of writing drama, not as an instruction manual, but as a lively conversation with one of Britain's most prolific and successful screenwriters, Lucy Gannon.
And she didn't write her first play until she was 39.
By sharing what she has learned over three decades of writing primetime drama, she will now help you, whether a novice or more experienced writer, to:
-Write your script from the first scene to the last
-Create vivid characters with a personality and a past
-Develop storylines, structure and write a treatment
-Understand how the industry works so you can take your next step.
Writing drama is not about education, class or cleverness, it's about your deep desire to tell stories, to create characters, finding the humour alongside the pathos, to delight and enthral millions. There is no golden path into production. But the world is hungry for talent. You are the talent. So, what are you waiting for?
Lucy Gannon is the daughter of a British soldier. Her mother died when she was seven and by the age of eleven she had attended nine schools. Classed as ‘educationally subnormal’, she left school as soon as she could and moved around the world for a few years. When she was nearly 40 — twice married, broke and working in a care home — she heard about a playwriting competition, the Richard Burton Drama Award, funded by his widow, Sally. With no hope of winning it, but daydreaming about the £2,000 prize money, she started her first script, a theatre play called Keeping Tom Nice. She won first prize and went on to become one of Britain’s most prolific and successful scriptwriters (Soldier, Soldier, Peak Practice, Bramwell, and many other mini-series, films, theatre plays and radio dramas). She has won numerous awards across theatre, radio and television, including the Prix Europa for her first TV film A Small Dance, a Bafta Cymru for Dad and an RTS writers’ award for The Best of Men. In 1997 she was awarded an MBE for services to television drama. She now lives and writes in West Wales.
‘Fantastically useful, true and best of all very amusing. This comprehensive and succinct insider's guide is told with characteristic clarity and laced with excellent practical advice. If you want to write, read this first.’ – Tim Whitby, producer
‘A brilliant book.
I’ll be giving a copy to all those friends who talk about writing a screenplay but never do!’ – Jim Sturgess, actor
‘If there's one thing I learned from working with Lucy on The Best of Men, it's that writing, acting, filmmaking in general... it's not about being clever or showing off, it's about being honest and full of heart. She taught me to hold true to that, and then it all seems possible.’ – Eddie Marsan, actor
‘I was once lucky enough to have Lucy edit my script. I learned more from that experience than I have from any book. Apart from... if I'd read this book. It’s full of Lucy’s open, brilliant gift - shared so often with viewers and now, shared with writers. A drama commissioner at the BBC once said to me, “Can I give you a word of advice? Listen to Lucy. She knows an audience like the back of her hand.” If you want to learn about writing for TV from the best, this book is for you.’ – Beth Kilcoyne, screenwriter
‘A fantastic insight into the screenwriting process with great advice. Honest, practical and inspiring.’ – Script Angel