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Submitted by visitors to this website

Posted by Kyle

October 16th 2014

Hi Mr. Nicholson, my name is Kyle Misak and I'm a student filmmaker going to community college in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I am currently working on developing an idea I have for a film that I would like to shoot this coming spring; I have a couple of scenes written, some character bios, locations, and a long list of scene ideas, and an overall plot outline. I would love for a skilled screenplay writer to write the script, and so I was wondering if that might be something you'd consider doing? Let me know when you get a chance, thanks! -Kyle

William Nicholson responded:

I'm really sorry, but I can't help you as you ask: I'm just too busy with my own work. But you're quite right to look for another eye or mind to respond to your ideas, it really makes a difference. The truth is it doesn't have to be a professional. You'll find if you test your ideas on someone else, even the process of hearing yourself speak will affect how you regard your work - somehow it gets you out of your own head and into a place where you can be a little more objective. So don't be afraid to write your own script. Make it uniquely your own, and your film will be all the more special.

Posted by Karen Koon

October 10th 2014

Hi, Mr. Nicholson. I am a librarian at a small rural school in North Central Florida, Branford High School. Several years ago I purchased a class set of "The Wind Singer". I have a teacher who is now begging for a class set of the other two in the series. While I am super pumped over her enthusiasm and that of the students, I cannot seem to find them in class sets without paying a fortune, which we simply do not have. Could you suggest a vendor where I can purchase 30 titles of each?

William Nicholson responded:

I've passed this query on to my UK publisher. They tell me they'll chase up the US publisher, and failing that, sort you out themselves. Let me know if it works.

Posted by Nick de Grunwald

October 5th 2014

Hi I contacted you a couple of times before to say I loved your Sussex trilogy and Motherland (6th September 2012, and March 18th 2014), and just read your Begonias blog where you say you have space for paintings. I have done a lot of paintings (my website is nickdegrunwald.com) Please do have a look and if you like any, let me know which. They're currently in an attic in storage and aren't going anywhere, and I would much rather one of them could find a home with you and hopefully give you some of the pleasure I've had from your books. I know this sounds a bit unorthodox, but it's sincere....Best wishes, Nick

William Nicholson responded:

I've taken a look at your paintings and they're great. I'd love to do an art swap. I'll get in touch direct.

Posted by Mark McDevitt

September 30th 2014

Dear Mr. Nicholson, As a fan of your screenwriting, and "Gladiator" in particular, I wonder what your contribution to it was, given that there are 3 credited writers in the film's credits. Did you originate the concept, or was that given to you? Did your draft come before or after Logan and Franzoni? Just curious how film came together, and if you were pleased by what ended up on screen? Thanks!

William Nicholson responded:

A short answer to a complex question: the concept was originated by the first writer, David Franzoni, and developed by the second, John Logan. I came on board two weeks before shooting began, as what's called a production rewriter, to sort out issues that had emerged by then, specifically the character of the hero. I was hired for 2 weeks. My changes had knock-on effects, and I ended up working alongside the shoot for 15 weeks, until it was done. My work had nothing to do with the action sequences, which were already story-boarded, but everything to do with the emotions generated by the characters. I shifted the emphasis on Maximus as a fighter to present him as a farmer and family man drawn only reluctantly into war. I added the concept of an afterlife, which plays a significant role. I kept rewriting as we kept shooting. And I helped resolve the problems caused by Oliver Reed's death towards the end of the shoot. As the credits show, I was only one of three writers. We three, plus director Ridley Scott, producer Doug Wick, and executive producer Walter Parkes, can claim overall credit for what became a magnificent movie; and to that list you must add the superb actors, the designer, the cinematographer, the editor, and Hans Zimmer's perfect score; and so many more. I know that reads like a creepy awards acceptance speech, but it is genuinely the case. That's how collaborative movie making is. Sometimes you get a project where everyone does their job really well. That's what it takes to end up with a classic.

Posted by Anthony

September 26th 2014

Do you have any unproduced screenplays, and if so, would you ever consider allowing lesser know filmmakers to option your work?

William Nicholson responded:

I have many unproduced screenplays, but alas, they're all owned by the studios or production companies who commissioned and paid for them. Some of my best work is sitting gathering dust on Hollywood shelves. The owners of such scripts are usually willing to sell them on (it's called 'turnaround'), but they require a price that covers all the costs, plus interest, they've incurred on the project; which in effect means it's not worth it.

Posted by Dina Davis

September 19th 2014

I'm very much enjoying your novel, 'Reckless'.I loe your writing style, and the way your charactes are so bwliwvable. My question is: how far can one safely go in straddling the gap between history and fiction? Or, is there one? I'm finishing the last draft of a 'fictional biography'. It's called 'Capriccio' and is about the life of Assia Gutmann Wevill, the third in the triangle with Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. I've kept the real names of the protagonists, and fictionalised known events, as well as introducing some minor characters of my own. It's been a labour of love, and a long gestation, but a story which I feel deserves to be told from a new viewpoint. So, will I get away with it, do you think? Regards,Dina.

William Nicholson responded:

A sensitive area that needs very careful handling. As you may know I write fiction with real people in it a great deal, and have done since 'Shadowlands' dramatised the love life of C.S.Lewis. My own view is that it's okay to do this so long as: a) you stick to the truth as far as it's known; and b) where you invent to fill the gaps, you treat the real people generously. Lewis's stepson Douglas Gresham saw 'Shadowlands' and said to me, 'You've made most of it up, but it's the truest account of my parents I've seen.' This is an apparent paradox, but I think what he meant was that I'd touched an essential truth while creating fictional details. My own way of staying on the straight and narrow is to imagine the real person leaning over my shoulder as I write, and reading every word. There's a further issue you need to raise with yourself: what exactly is it you're writing? Is it fiction with some historical figures in walk-on roles, or are the historical figures the main characters? If the latter, why haven't you gone for an orthodox biography? We need some guidance to know what you've researched and what you've made up. I suppose in the end it's all about the signals you give. If you're writing a fantasy in which real people appear, tell me so. If you're trading on the reality of real people, make sure I can trust you to be meticulous with the facts. Maybe write a note that explains your method, and where you've gone for your information. It may interest you to read my next novel, out in the spring, called in the UK 'The Lovers of Amherst' and in the US 'Amherst' which does exactly this with the world of Emily Dickinson in the 1880s.