It’s almost the end of October’s #loglinechallenge! Our star of the month was Jackie Jager, who has been persistently creative and active in our Facebook group and has amassed an impressive collection of new story ideas! I caught up with Jackie, ahead of our new November challenge, to find out what she thought of it…
What do you write?
I write screenplays, mostly. I’ve also written many reviews for teenage literature, an educational book for English as a Second Language, a translation of a Sports Encyclopaedia for children, some short stories, poems, two unfinished novels and some two dozen songs.
How long have you been writing? Where did it all begin?
I’ve done most of my writing after I quit teaching in the Netherlands and moved to Spain. I was given the freedom to discover what I would like to do with the rest of my (working) life and it appeared to be writing. Now, I’m back to teaching as well because I still like to eat.
What made you decide to take part in the #loglinechallenge?
After I promised my partner and myself to at least enter one of my scripts in a screenwriting competition, which I did, I came across a screenwriting course in London with Charles Harris (Euroscript). I felt tempted to finally discover the techniques behind the writing I had been doing for four years.
I went, came back inspired, felt daunted by the overwhelming screenwriting industry and signed up for the London Screenwriters’ Festival. Intending to make the most of it I’ve worked hard to get ready, reading loads of information.
In that cloud of information I saw the October #loglinechallenge. I thought it would be a good way to prepare for the pitching sessions at the LSF and I thought it would be good to push myself to do something a little more serious than just entrusting my ideas to my devoted old laptop which only criticises my grammar and spelling.
Have you found it easy, so far, to come up with an idea/logline every day?
I don’t think it is easy at all and I told myself off for entering because it started to look like procrastination from what I should be working at: my scripts. However, somehow I’m determined to make it now that I’ve entered and, I think, in some way it is a good mental push to force yourself to think about something else – another possible film – every day.
Have you found working from prompts to be a good way of exercising creativity? In what ways has the process of working from a prompt challenged you?
It has challenged me creatively as well as professionally; the prompts often push me into territories which are not so comfortable for me (fantasy, horror, science fiction, action, romantic comedies) and trying to deliver a line every day feels like an accomplishment.
Has the #loglinechallenge inspired you to embark on any new projects?
So far, I haven’t had the time to embark on new projects but I have many ideas and can’t wait to start afresh after the LSF.
Do you feel you’ve improved your logline-writing as a result of taking part?
I find it difficult to say whether I’ve improved. They do come to me more easily now and I’m not so scared to insert things that to me seem totally unreal.
What is your favourite entry so far and why?
My favourite entry so far is #3 Faking it. Nice challenge to rewrite history and prevent the Vietnam War.
Determined to expose the Johnson Administration´s scam in spreading rumours about an imaginary and media-supported attack on their battleships in 1964, critical reporter Frank has to gather all his strength to outsmart the government as well as the media to steer public opinion and prevent the deaths of more than 4 million soldiers and citizens.
Would you recommend the #loglinechallenge to other writers? Why?
I would definitely recommend others to take part and make it into a real competition.