• LISP Team

Fiona McPhillips, Screenplay Semi-Finalist, LISP 2nd Quarter 2020


- Can you please tell us about your daily life?

I am a student on the MA in Creative Writing at Dublin City University as well as a freelance journalist and parent of three children so my life is pretty busy. Writing is done into the night and in any moments of calm.


- When did you start writing? How often do you write?

I've been working as a journalist for twenty years and have published two non-fiction books. In that time, I dabbled in creative writing but never had the time/confidence/permission to follow through. The MA has given me all of those things, along with a great community of teachers and writers. 


 - How does it feel to have your work recognised?

It's a relief to know I'm going in the right direction and a pleasure to connect with other writers online and in real life. 


- What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a Screenplay?

The best thing is getting to know the characters and allowing them a rich inner life so they can help guide the narrative. I try to become the character as I write them and act out each scene in a way that feels authentic to them. So I would say that for me, to a large extent, writing is acting. The hardest part is the work that's needed to get a character to this level.


-  How did you come up with the idea for your LISP selected screenplay?

Windmills started life as a short story. After I'd written it, I studied screenwriting and realised that most of my short stories had the energy to become screenplays. It's interesting to look at a piece of work from a different point of view and realise the potential to develop certain characters and narratives. It's also useful to see what parts of the story might not work as well in a physical sense as they did in my head!


-Lastly, do you recommend the short story and Flash Fiction writers to give it a go on screenplay writing and LISP?

It's a different format but if you find yourself drawn to visual, character-driven stories then screenwriting is definitely worth investigating.



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