I created the main character in ‘She Will Never Die’ from personal experience and a fear of drowning (yes, my joining the Navy was perhaps an odd choice in view of that!). I mixed that with putting myself ‘in her shoes’, as she faces up to her horrific, inescapable situation and the end of her life. I imagined what it would feel like to her; emotions such as fear, anger, guilt, sadness and pain.
I had a lump in my throat on hearing my story, read aloud by highly talented voice artist, Helen Lloyd. Listening to my writer’s ‘voice’, being voiced in the real world and having my character brought alive to me even more than she’d already been in my head, was a revelation and a sublime, experience. It’s the icing on the cake of an amazing writing and filmmaking collaboration initiative, one that remains open to all.
Those of you who’ve submitted stories and screenplays to any of the Create50 initiatives already know what a fabulous, rewarding experience that is, regardless of any outcome. Taking part in any of these themed challenges offers a fertile breeding ground for the imagination and a safe place to experiment and play with your writer’s voice.
Those of you who haven’t, you are missing a great opportunity. A chance to flex those creative muscles and strengthen them further for facing the trials and tribulations of the creative life, especially dealing with ’notes’ and editing to improve your writing.
I encourage any writer, or anyone thinking of giving it a try for the first time, to identify ‘what’s eating you’ and have a go. Even stories about flesh eating aliens or zombies come from our deepest concerns.
Think about the things that really bother you, dig deep to find those that scare you and create the biggest reaction within you; pain, sadness, horror, loss, even laughter and hope. Touch base with your innermost fears, the ones we all have and can relate to… maybe even some we can’t, and then craft an engaging, entertaining story that only you can tell. Find your own ‘voice’ and use it.
For inspiration, check out the Create50 website, read the Twisted50 blogs and stories, already uploaded, maybe order the Twisted50 and Twisted’s Evil Little Sister books (which knocked Stephen King off top spot on the Amazon horror chart and are available from there for less then the price of a coffee). Perhaps order a hard copy or the superb audiobook (you can listen to excerpts on the Twisted50 blog) available to order from the website shop or at the red carpet London Book Launch and Awards Party (Feb 24th at The Cinema Museum, Kennington).
Then submit your story to Twisted50 Volume 2 (and/or The Singularity). You have nothing to lose, you’ll be among like-minded writers who share your creative journey, peers you can learn from and grow with and, who knows, your story could be in the next book to be published.
And if you are going to the launch party, I’ll see you there.
Dee Chilton is a Screenwriter & Navy Veteran, an Academy Nicholl Semifinalist. AustinFF/Vertigo Entertainment Award Semifinalist. Slamdance Quarterfinalist. Blood List Contest Winner, Featured on ‘The Blood List’ an ‘Athena List’ Finalist. She was selected for a BBC Writers Room Masterclass, Creative Skillset/London Screenwriters Festival Talent Campus and a Black List/AthenaFF Screenwriting Lab in NYC.