Your Name:
Your Email Address:
Your Question:
Please enter the code above in the text box below:

Search past questions

Submitted by visitors to this website

Posted by Lizzie

February 15th 2012

Hi Mr. Nicholson. First of all I wanted to express how much I love your Wind On Fire trilogy - they were books I read as a child and now rereading them I feel that they are stories I will continue to take with me through life. I am so in love with the characters and feel your writing has had an enormously profound effect on me as an aspiring writer myself. I am currently writing my first feature length screenplay of which the first draft is nearly done, though I feel that the story is far from being finished. There is an intense pressure from those around me who are urging me to finish it so that I can 'get it out into the world' and I find it hard responding to this. I read in your answer to an earlier question that good writing takes time and I was wondering if you could give advice to a young screenwriter who wants to succeed, but is finding a conflict between the process of writing a screenplay and the people around me who are so eager to see it finished. I believe they think the time it's taking me is due to laziness rather than care, yet I know in the professional world of screenwriting one must strike a balance in the time it takes to write one alongside the pressure of getting it done. Thanks so much, and thank you for writing The Wind On Fire trilogy. It's beautiful.

William Nicholson responded:

I'm very sympathetic to your problem. Yes, it's true that good writing takes time. However, I don't mean that any one piece takes time. Cumulatively, work by work, you get better. The key to the process is exposure of your work to the responses of others. It's not comfortable, but it's vital. My guess is that you're not lazy at all, but that you are afraid. You want your work to be perfect before you show it; or at least as good as you can get it. I think this is a mistake. Better to write fast and expose your work, then to rewrite, than to brood over it alone for ages. Screenwriting, even more than other forms, only works if it communicates well. You can test this on almost anybody. So I guess what I'm saying is by all means hold it back from the final crucial professional test, whatever that might be, but don't hold it back from scrutiny by those around you. You should find that their response energises you and improves the work.

Posted by Kathy

February 8th 2012

So excited about the Les Miserable movie! A question I have about that - do you know what accents will be used? Since it's set in France, will it be French accents? It's also a West End musical, will it be British accents? But it's a Hollywood movie, will it be generic American? So curious about that! Thanks for the response and can't wait for the film.

William Nicholson responded:

I don't know the answer myself yet. I think, as a Brit musical, the accents will be largely British. Certainly there'll be no attempt at cod-French.

Posted by stephen wynne

February 8th 2012

The tv film new world released in 1986 was shown once do you know if its will be aired again in britain? Stephen Wynne.

William Nicholson responded:

I'm afraid I doubt it. The BBC own it. I've never heard any talk of another screening.

Posted by Eden

February 5th 2012

Hello Mr. Nicholson, I would like to say how much I loved your Wind on Fire Trilogy. I felt as though I was Kestrel and at times in love with Bowman. Initially I came to this website to ask you to look into making the trilogy into movies. Knowing that has been asked and answered I now ask, what is holding you back? Specifically, what kind of proposal are you looking for? I am desperate to see this story come to life on screen. Thank you for your time.

William Nicholson responded:

I'm happy for the books to be made into films, but I'm not getting the approaches from film makers. I think the films would be expensive, and that may be a problem. But if the right offer came along, I'd welcome it.

Posted by Anna

February 5th 2012

Hi. When I was younger I read the Wind on Fire Triology, and it was most definately my favourite book at the time (and I will always remember that). The other day, I found the book on my bookshelf and began reading it again. And whilst I was reading it I couldn't help comparing it to today's society, because of all the rankings and the such and how everything these days is a comparison to the people around you. And also how different neighbourhoods reflect the wealth of a person and the way they are viewed. When you was writing 'The Wind Singer' were you by any chance comparing it to actual society, or is it something totally made up. Also, I so dearly want to be a writer one day, do you have any advice that could get me that little bit further? I find that I can't seem to write full novels at all, I end up rambling on about nothing. Thank you.

William Nicholson responded:

I definitely intended when writing the Wind on Fire to be making oblique comments on our society. If you think about it, nothing is made up. It's all reflections on the only reality we know. Advice for you as a writer: you need to get in as much practice as possible, so maybe get into the habit of keeping a journal. Write down your observations, thoughts and feelings as often as possible. Apart from honing your technique it'll cause you to reflect on your own life more deeply. If full novels are proving tough, try a shorter form. How about a radio play? Whatever you do, don't be in a hurry. Good writing takes time.

Posted by dominique triggs

February 2nd 2012

I’m currently studying Drama and theatre studies at A level and for my unit 2 I’m performing Mary Hanlon’s monologue from Map of the Heart. I would really like to know what inspired you to write Map of the Heart and what was the aim and message of it. Was it about the characters individually finding meanings to their lives? Also was the character Mary Hanlon based on anyone in particular? Are they any reasons why she is the way she is? Hope I’m not going on too much but also have you been to Sudan and was the civil war in the play based on real events? I really like this piece and would love to do it justice, you input would be really helpful. Thanks

William Nicholson responded:

The character of Mary wasn't based on anyone real, no. And yes, I have been to Sudan. But the play isn't really about Sudan at all, it's about marriage. I wanted to write about the way we take a life for granted until it's gone, and only then learn to value what we've lost. Apart from that, since you're the one to perform the piece, the more you decide for yourself what it's meaning is, the better. Given that I'm not on hand to coach you. Have fun.