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This Writer on Writing.

06 Sep

I have always loved writing.

I remember Lever Brothers Nigeria Limited organising a writing competition once. I wanted to send in an entry but my head teacher refused to sign off on it. Cant even remember why and I ended up not entering.

Growing up, I kept a diary. My elder brother read my diary once and I felt violated (seriously, I felt like I was raped 😐 ). It didn’t stop me from keeping diaries though, I just found better places to hide them.

My dad mentioned once that I would make a good lawyer. I liked law as far as ‘moonlighting’ was concerned and “Simon Templar” and “Jake and the Fat Man”…David Anderson, Simon Templar and Jake were really hot guys (*fans self) but I didn’t really want to be a lawyer. Maybe if I had watched “Suits” or seen “Scandal”, I wouldn’t have thought twice about being a lawyer πŸ˜€

I wanted to be a newscaster. One of my previous posts probably explains why that didn’t happen. Though I got to work on television, my dream of being the next Sienne All-Well-Brown or Ruth Benamesie-Opiah died a natural death.

So, sometime after journalism school, I met the owner of Mode Men Magazine and he consented to my sending in pieces to the magazine. I came up with the column “Woman to Man”. You can still find a few of the pieces on my blog. I never took writing that seriously, I mean, it was something I could do, not something to earn money from doing.

That was until I wrote a movie for Nollywood in three days and got movie director Aquila Njama to read it. He thought it was good writing and got me a Nollywood writing gig. My first produced movie. I can’t remember the title exactly. LOL

I have gone on to write scripts for both cinema and TV. People who watched “Eve” which shows on Galaxy TV and Television Continental say it’s nice (I don’t think I’ve written anything for screen that I am particularly crazy about). I have also had the privilege of contributing my writing to blogs such as ynaija.com, techsuplex.com, and thescoopng.com.

Someone asked me once how I write. My answer is that I write the way I talk. I don’t think about it. I just write everything that comes to my head about a given topic and when I’m done pouring it out on ‘paper’, I edit…sometimes. At other times, I don’t even want to look at it again.

The most difficult type of writing I do is screenwriting. In fact, up until when I did the series BB Journal on Techsuplex and later started contributing to TheScoop, I never took any other writing other than screen writing seriously. My editor at Techsuplex, Sanusi Ismaila is a slave driver (there, I said it) but I love him like so. I’m hoping to continue BB Journal Season 3 soon. You can check out seasons 1 and 2 here http://www.techsuplex.com/category/features/a-bbs-journal/ πŸ˜€ Contributing to TheScoop has been a life changer. It has made it possible for me to look at things and then look at them again, ask why and then why not. You can find my views on various issues by visiting http://www.thescoopng.com and searching Abigail Anaba. LOL. It can be overwhelming.

Back to screen writing.

The hardest part of screen writing for me is developing characters. I find that when I am able to develop characters and give them a unique voice, they pretty much tell their own stories. It is always funny when I tell a movie producer that the character hasn’t told me where the story is going. They may think I’m making that up, but I’m not.

When I write scripts, I get into the story so much that the mood of the story controls my mood in real life. I have found myself crying while writing a script, being very sad, and sometimes breaking into hysterical laughter (Didn’t someone say creative people are just crazy people who are not in an asylum yet?)

The best part of writing for me is when people read and give genuine feedback. I think every writer needs to get genuine feedback and that is why I am happy when I read comments from people who have read my work (hint hint)

Writing has taken me places and led to my meeting people I never would have ordinarily met. In fact, these days I earn a living through writing πŸ™‚ . Like Praiz said “when I become rich and famous, all these faces will know who I am cos I’ll be a superstar” LOL… Anyone want an autograph yet?

Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men. Prov 22:29 NASB

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16 Comments

Posted by on September 6, 2013 in General

 

16 responses to “This Writer on Writing.

  1. famuyideolawale

    September 7, 2013 at 6:23 am

    I really feel like doing the whole yard “washing” for you this morning. As far as am concern, you are a fantastic writer, the first time a read you was a piece on this blog and from there, when on to read the entire blog. And you bb journal was gbam. I have learned one or two from reading you, that has helped me in putting word into writing too.
    Is there any drama or movie you’ve written? I will like to watch, though I don’t watch Nigeria “predictable” movies at all. πŸ™‚
    Lastly, I love the way you end each piece with a bible verse.

     
    • anagail

      September 7, 2013 at 7:41 am

      LOL. Dont wash, I’m clean already πŸ™‚ Thanks for the compliments.

       
  2. Kintsukuroi (@tp2x)

    September 7, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Nice piece.

     
  3. Mustapha Rabiu (@mustaphayork)

    September 7, 2013 at 7:18 am

    Thank you. πŸ™‚

     
    • anagail

      September 7, 2013 at 7:42 am

      Er…okay. LOL

       
  4. poisefreak

    September 7, 2013 at 7:23 am

    I enjoyed reading this because it captured my thoughts on what writing is…. I also write as I talk… And I seldom read anything I have written…really. I am not really a fan of Nigerian fiction though…(as represented on some blogs et al) because it does little to break out of what is seen as the “norm” among Nigerian writers… Those who write “sci-fi” in naija in my opinion have seen too much of Star Trek. Naruto. Bleach and the likes…. yuck!. Waiting for someone to do something on the Nigerian reality…. I mean something that would make me think…. A “Nigerian Inferno” of some variation…. LOL…..

    Anyways…. thanks for this wonderful piece… I think writing is the best therapy…. You were lucky your brother was the one who read your diary…. LOL My mom read mine….. And I “suffered” greatly from my carelessness….. haha…

     
    • anagail

      September 7, 2013 at 7:43 am

      LOL. No one deserves to have their privacy invaded in that way.

       
  5. Lady of Wealth

    September 7, 2013 at 11:03 am

    I think you are an effortless writer! πŸ™‚ ooooh you work with ‘Techie’ Sanusi? Nice… I used to write at some point in my life, but….. (i wish i knew what happened). i’ve tried to several times, but i only end up with a line or two. Unfortunately my mum burnt all my journals/writings when she found them, because she thought they were too sad and dark, and I shouldn’t be writing and reading those kinds of things 😦 (Yes, they were all sad and creepy, but that;s what I liked to write. *shrug*) Now i cant even write at all… 😦 . i will keep trying though….

     
    • anagail

      September 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Yeah, I sometimes work with Sanusi. I like dark…as relates to sexuality. But hey! You just wrote a post on response. Maybe we could do a collabo thing you could write about πŸ™‚

       
  6. Ebun Oluwole

    September 7, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    This just inspired this itsebunite.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/for-the-love-of-writing/ πŸ™‚

     
    • anagail

      September 7, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      Glad to have been an inspiration πŸ™‚

       
  7. highlandblue

    September 7, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Had no idea you were the author of the BB journal LOL. I’m a huge fan.

     
  8. tianasagoh

    September 7, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    From winning english prizes, debates and essay competitions for my school, the major part of me has always wanted to write. Just don’t know how to yet. Want to be like you when I grow up.

     
    • anagail

      September 8, 2013 at 5:16 am

      You are already writing πŸ™‚

       

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