for writers and readers….

Wannabe Writers on TV

Wannabe a writer on TVHeard from two bloggers – Catherine Ryan Howard and Kathleen McGurl – about a pilot for a new reality television staring real wannabe writers trying to get publishing deals and receiving advice from professionals alone the way.
It’s the baby of  Jane Wenham-Jones, novelist and author of Wannabe a Writer, a practical no-nonsense guide written in a humorous, conversational style that makes you feel you’re in a wine bar together rather than receiving pearls of wisdom from on high.

I must admit I have a bit of a problem with reality shows. I watch The Apprentice every series along with 98% of the country but I’ve weaned myself off Big Brother and the more ‘respectable’ ones like Embarrassing Bodies because there’s seems to be such a big freak show element and I feel uneasy being a voyeur.
So, does WAW TV fall into the same category?
Yes, it does in part – I suspect because it doesn’t stand a chance of being taken on by a production company unless it is seen to follow the tried and tested method of attracting large viewing figures. And that means setting someone up to fail.

No way is  Delphine ready to talk to top literary agent Carole Blake (author of the mother of all how-to guides From Pitch to Publication). Delphine needs the kind of  thick skin that comes from having her writing under a spotlight in a writers’ workshop and to develop a feeling for a plot that works, characters that live on the page and cliche-free language  through critiquing the work of other emerging writers.
She needs to write more herself and read more contemporary commercially successful novels of the kind she would like to write. She needs to talk about her discoveries with other wannabe writers and draw strength and confidence from feeling part of a writing community.
I’m in danger of saying she needs to come to one of my classes, but what I really feel more than anything is that there’s a craft to learn. Delphine has just started her apprenticeship and it’s too soon to see someone like Carole Blake. I’d love to see her get this wonderful chance in a year’s time…

 You can see the first part of  Wannabe a Writer TV. The second part will be available from September 15th.

What do you think?
When Delphine says Yes, I understand in response to one of Carole’s insightful comments, I don’t think Carole was being rude when she relied: No, I’m afraid you don’t. She was just being accurate.

Would I watch it if was on TV? Of course – even though I have all these reservations about reality TV. Carole Blake is a star and this would be unmissable.
Jane is looking for more wannabe writers. Click HERE for the application form. It might be the right time for you….

photo credit: mrsdkrebs via photopin <a

10 comments on “Wannabe Writers on TV

  1. Laura Marcus
    August 20, 2013

    “I watch The Apprentice every series along with 98% of the country…”

    Sorry but must take issue with this. Realise you’re probably exaggerating for effect but 98% of the country do not watch The Apprentice. More people watch New Tricks and Midsomer Murders, both of which are proper dramas. You know I’m sure that reality TV is scripted? It cheats the audience. Also many participants in RTV come from agencies specifically set up to provide fodder for this vicious, cruel so-called entertainment.

    I loathe the genre. Always have. I wish it would go away. Strikes me Britain no longer knows how to make proper, well-written, well-acted character-led drama. For that we have to turn to the States. Mad Men, West Wing, The Newsroom and countless others. High-class dramas each episode as good as a film in fact, way better than most modern films.

    Turning writing into yet another form of X Factor will attracts an audience and lots of eager participants. But it’s just another modern-day equivalent of the circus freak show or the Sunday visit to Bedlam.

    And breathe…

    • bridget whelan
      August 20, 2013

      You’re absolutely right about my figures. I mean of course 98% of the people I know – even the ones who thinks Jeremy Kyle resides in one of the seven circles of Hell. The only reason I find Apprentice palatable is that a) the people who participate know what they are letting themselves in for b) I don’t value the “prize” on offer and c) I’m sucked in by the format – we may not like it but it’s done well.
      I hope reality TV is a passing fad, like the craze for newspaper bingo in the 1980s or early 21st century misery memoirs. I think it’s cheap TV in every sense of the word, and when it passes what will be left will best the best of its kind (as in the memoir field) where the vulnerable aren’t exploited…And there is room for the Carole Blake’s of this world, insightful tough experts in a competitive creative world.
      (Midsomer Murders – a proper drama? Really? It’s soft focus murder that you watch with a cup of tea and a biscuit while flicking through a magazine. Think we agree on everything except that!)

  2. janewj
    August 20, 2013

    Reblogged this on Jane Wenham-Jones and commented:
    Carole is indeed a star and thanks Bridget for taking the time to write about this… 🙂

  3. bridget whelan
    August 20, 2013

    Thanks Jane – Carole is very watchable. Lots of good advice packed into a few sentences.

  4. Laura Marcus
    August 20, 2013

    Carole is great value, agree. And I love your books Jane! And column in WW fiction monthly.

    Bridget I adore Midsomer Murders. It’s one of my guilty pleasures, what can I say… (along with the inevitable tea and biscuits that absolutely MUST accompany it!)

    No one I know watches The Apprentice. Correction, no one I know irl does. Most of my internet “friends” do. Make of that what you will.

    And bingo in newspapers! I’d forgotten all about that. Vile wasn’t it?

    • bridget whelan
      August 20, 2013

      What do I know! Labour would never have lost an election if you took my friends as being representative…but I draw the line at Midsomer — that way cocoa and bed socks lie

  5. Laura Marcus
    August 20, 2013

    “…that way cocoa and bed socks lie…”

    Er, hate to confess this but the bed socks ship sailed some time ago for me. And, yes, me too re Labour! Tho I do try to have some not Labour friends. Getting much harder these days tho.

  6. Pingback: Wannabe A Writer? | The View Outside

  7. Pingback: Wannabe A Writer? Part Two | The View Outside

  8. Pingback: Wanna be a Writer Part Two — watch the television pilot and find out why readers are like baby ducklings… | BRIDGET WHELAN writer

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This entry was posted on August 20, 2013 by in News, Views and tagged , , , , .


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