Venetia86's Blog

{September 15, 2013}   Competitions

One of my most favourite things I have discovered as an author and a reader is a website called Momma Says Read. It has listings of free books, discount books, new books, book reviews and loads of competitions to win books – the latest of which is 


So you have a script – whether it is for film or TV (this will affect your frame dimensions of your storyboard panels) carefully considered storyboard frames are essential. Each panel of your storyboard is a separate shot from within your script. You need to evaluate your script and picture each shot you want in terms of number of actors, location, important props, lighting, effects, movement of camera, vehicles and actors and the camera angle.

A shot is when the camera is turned on until it is turned off again. When storyboarding you can choose to do every single shot or only shots that require special action or planning.

Depending on the style you want to shoot in, storyboarding every shot can be very helpful. However this isn’t for everyone, if you only intent to storyboard the special shots then you are going to need a shortlist of scenes and events that are important and need to be drawn. Storyboards are not there to tell your script through animation but to give a feel as to what the finished product with look like.

You can buy blank storyboards or draw your own, but beware if you are drawing them for a TV movie/series the panels are roughly half the size of the panels you use for theatrical release films. Each panel should have a thick boarder to define it as a separate shot. Once you have drawn your shot you also need to put a description panel underneath that contains all the important information that the panel doesn’t show e.g. special effects and lighting, camera angle, essential dialogue, movement directions and scene numbers.

The bar for the role was set exceptionally high by David Tennant’s portrayal of the role earlier in the year. There was no expectation that Tennant’s portrayal of the Dane could be equalled let alone surpassed. However when John Simm stepped out onto the Crucible stage floor there was no doubt that he had made the role his own. Of course comparisons can always be drawn, but Simm was engaging to the point of forgetting that this was merely a play.


The Spartan set with lighting, costume, sound and handheld props being the only staging aids meant that the cast had the feat of creating the world around them including the social and political content of the play. This though proved to be too much of a feat for even the acting talents of the exceptional John Nettles, Michelle Dockery, Hugh Ross and Colin Tierney.


Nettles as Claudius portrays the villainous usurper in a refreshing mode of insecurity bordering on paranoia that complements Simm’s intense urgent Hamlet. Dockery as Ophelia brought new appreciation to the torment soul that moves the audience to audible gasps and cries as she takes her own life. Tierney endears Horatio to the audience and Ross fusses and flaps beautiful in the role of Polonius.


Yet for all this there is something missing, an anchor to the production that seems to be cut adrift.  The fundamental questions of who, why and where are left unanswered – an assumption that the audience is so well versed in the Bard that the actors only need to step onto the stage and recite the lines.


The standing ovation that was given at the end was a testament to the acting ability of the sensational cast who deserved every smatter of applause. It is a shame that their talents were not given more support in the direction of set and location. 

{September 9, 2013}   Writer’s Block



So what I don’t understand about writer’s block is where it comes from and where it goes to after that. When I get afflicted with it, it’s not a lack of ideas or knowledge of where a story is going, it’s more a sense of sitting down to write – getting a headache and feeling like writing just is quite pointless. 

Sometimes I wake up feeling like that and just want to curl up under my duvet and watch tv from the 1970s to the 1990s (sometimes the early 2000s if I have access to the West Wing) or alternatively spend the day playing on my xbox or playstation and the whole feeling lasts for days, sometimes weeks. Then another morning I will wake up and it will be gone and four thousand words will trip of the end of my pen before lunch.

They say you should sit down and just force yourself to write through the block, but I’ve never found that very helpful, it fact all it does is make me headache worse and make me frustrated that I can’t write. And in my frustration I turn on my consoles and things die in computer game land.

It also doesn’t seemed to be helped by having a bad day with my fibromyalgia and diverticulitis: pain is not helpful when trying to beat writers block and neither is exercise it turns out.

{September 7, 2013}   Kickstarter project


So the Raven Siren series is in print and digital over in the states through Amazon which is great, but that’s not all that helpful when it comes to putting the books into bookshops in the UK, especially when the royalties on the paperback books through amazon go down to being tiny amounts of pence when people buy them from anywhere but amazon. 

So I looked into how much it would be to print them myself and distribute them to bookshops etc in the UK which requires capital, though less than I thought it would. But still more than I currently have available. So in order to try and raise the funds I have started a kickstarter project that outlines the money that is needed and how it would all work.

{September 2, 2013}   Expectation vs. Reality

Expectation vs. Reality

I love Doctor Who, Ted Theodore Logan and Bill S. Preston Esq. Whenever I look at this photo combination it always makes me think back on the expectations of my life and how they really turned out. A lot, if not all, my expectations for what I wanted to do in my life have been very proper and terribly English (I could model the stereotype brilliantly given a bowler, pipe and bumbershoot), however the reality of what has happen and the journey I have been on has (so far) been so much more fun than I could have imagined, started from seemingly the most trivial things – terrifying at times; completely out of control, but there have always been people there to get me back on track, making sure I don’t lose my way (thanks Rufus!) I wonder if in a few years time there will be another photo to add to this to show where everything has gone next…maybe bearded Bill & Ted – but than again maybe not!

et cetera