What storytelling means to me

For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed writing stories in one form or another. When I was at school, I wrote a story about a boy and a girl and a dragon that filled two exercise books. The reason I can type quickly now is because my teacher let me type it up on a computer, but I was only given limited time to do it. I also remember another time when I wrote an Asterix story. My older brother found the “manuscript”, which wasn’t yet complete, and scribbled something sarcastic (which I don’t remember 100%) at the bottom. So, though I’ve always enjoyed writing stories in various formats, I’ve also been plagued with self-doubt.

To me, though, storytelling is essential. I have written for pleasure. I have written because I’ve been told I had to. I have written to get through tough periods in my life. I have written because something inside of me has told me I’ve got no other choice but to tell a particular story.

I may not necessarily have anything deep or profound to say – my scripts won’t necessarily say anything new or revelatory about the so-called “human condition”, but I want to share my stories with other people on screen. I want to be there in a room with people watching a filmed version of something I have written, and watch their expressions, and see if they “get it”: if they’re laughing when they’re supposed to be laughing, if they’re crying when they’re supposed to be crying.

There is nothing more powerful than a film that touches you deeply in one way or another – be that making you a gibbering wreck like A Monster Calls did to me recently, or makes you feel safe and warm as an old favourite, like Edward Scissorhands. Or terrifies you to your very core, like The Conjuring. I don’t have a particular genre that I wish to write for (though I particularly enjoy watching horrors) – any story that can affect the viewer emotionally is a story well told.

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