I can’t believe the MA is over! This year has gone so incredibly fast!

Just handed in my final project (Drop Kicks and Daisy chains) and I feel exhausted but elated.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Atrium… have met lovely, interesting people, I’ve learned so much about my craft and I’ve really developed my own writing style at last – who knew that I could write comedy?!

So, this will be my final post as  a student…. many more to come as a ‘proper’ writer I hope.

It’s been a blast….

love and hugs xxx



I can’t believe we’re half way through the summer holidays already! Still have lots of work to do on my MP. In the last 2 weeks I’ve completely changed the style and theme and also the fatal flaw of my protagonist! Even though it feels and flows much better, once again I’ve given myself the almost impossible task of trying to get a good draft finished by the deadline. Hopefully if I really put loads of time and effort in during the next three weeks I can get there.

It’s sod’s law that the most important and eventful period of my MA in terms of writing, is the very period that I don’t have much free time… i.e  my daughter is on summer hols from school and I have to keep her occupied!!! I feel sooooo guilty but the iPad and TV have never been used so much! Needs must though, I guess :o(

On a happier note, I love my characters! They’re almost real to me now and I know them even more intimately. I have to work on more their subtext but hopefully I’ll have a few days before deadline to go over all the dialogue and straighten that out.

Happy writing, as always x


When we (my daughter and I) broke up for the summer, I imagined that the next 6 weeks or so I would spend sitting in the garden with the sun shinning and the sea breeze gently cooling my brow as I worked on my final project film!

Well, the Welsh weather has certainly pissed on my chips so far! It’s been cold, dull,  and depressingly dark. Therefore I’ve been typing away in my little kitchen with my mini owl shaped hot water bottle on my lap and indulging in a constant stream of herbal tea and chocolate rice cakes to keep me going. Pah!! My boyfriend (who is Welsh but was brought up in England) has never heard the expression ‘piss on my chips’ – I wonder if it is a Welsh saying or more specific, Swansea?!

So, back to work and back to trying to figure out the structure for my film for the tenth time. I’ve reread Story by Robert McKee again, but a suggestion from my tutor Wyn, has proved much more useful – Into The Woods by John Yorke. It seems to work far better for my film as it’s a 5 Act structure rather than 3.  All I have to do now, is adapt the scenes I’ve already written, write loads more and make sure the dialogue is strong and the subtext is flawless! Not much to ask of myself hey?





Typical me! – I have decided to add yet more stress to my life and change my major project, 2 months before it’s due to be handed in. On the plus side, the project that I’ve chosen to write will actually be a rewrite of a film I wrote years ago. I’ve made this decision because I gave it to a Producer to read and he loved it…well, he said it had lots of potential but needs to be completely changed…hmmm. Anyway, he pitched the idea to a Director, who loved it and wants to see the script. So, hence the change of MP.

It’s all very exciting but I have several confidence crises every day! –  Will I be able to rewrite it in time? Will I be able to write it well? Will I be able to get the character arcs right? The list goes on. But this is what I’ve wanted for so long so I cannot possibly screw up this opportunity! At least, I have to give it my best shot and if it doesn’t happen then at least I can’t reproach myself for lack of effort.

I’m glad that University has finished now, but I do miss my mates! I met some lovely people on my course and I’m sure we will keep in touch and support each other during the coming years as we flourish as writers. I saw Tiffany on Saturday at Speedway GP in Cardiff, and it was lovely to briefly catch up and find out how she is progressing. I must get in touch with the others.

On another note, I’ve been asked to help (by the Producer) write some other projects, all of which stem from brilliant ideas and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in as soon as I’ve finished my Uni work.

I’m a bit disappointed that we won’t be able to have tutorials during the month of August, I would have thought that they would continue throughout the whole of the summer.

My film  is called Drop Kicks and Daisy Chains. It’s essentially a love story but it has lots of rugby in it too! I love the characters and have spent years with them, so I know them intimately :o)

By the way, some of you may have noticed that I have changed my writing name to Helen Minghella – this is because I was told that Helen Claire did not sound like a writer’s name, and Helen Veale is the name of a writer/Producer who owns Outline Productions. Minghella is my mother’s maiden name so it made sense, and I really like it too!

Good luck to all my fellow MA students! Happy writing over the summer!




I wish there were more hours in the day; more minutes in the hours; more seconds in the minutes! Or maybe I just need to manage my time better and actually do some bloody writing instead of practical, boring and mundane stuff like the washing, cleaning and ironing. Or instead of more pleasurable stuff like helping Yana with her homework, taking her to the park/beach/Easter egg hunts/play dates/the woods?!? Having said that, you don’t need to sit down at your PC or with pen and paper to write a story or come up with a great idea:

Whilst walking through the woods the other day Yana and I came up with a great story:  I had told Yana that when I was her age, I used to go into the woods and talk to these strange kind of fairies called Crystalyte fairies, they lived in the large oak tree at the foot of the woods. When the sun rose in the morning it would shine on the tree and all the crystals that were perched on the end of each branch would be visible and would shine brightly, giving light and energy to the tree and the underground passages beneath – but they are only visible to humans for one minute during sunrise, and only a few humans at that, ones especially chosen by the Crystalyte fairies, and I was one of these humans! The fairies told me that when I had a daughter I was to take her to meet them when she turns 7 (which she did recently).  Well, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so excited and animated. I took her to the tree and she started talking to it, asking the fairies to come out and play, it was the cutest thing in the world, but how was I to get out of this one??? Luckily I didn’t have to, we saw quite a few moth type creatures that fluttered by us quick as a flash! That was it, Yana was convinced they were the Crystalytes and they had come out of the tree to say hello to her. It was absolutely magical, and we sat down and started talking about them and their ‘world’. We came up with crystal names for them all and even developed some basic personality traits – Topaz is a feisty warrior, who protects the tree from intruders using her magical topaz crystal wand sword or sword wand (we haven’t decided yet), she doesn’t take any shit from anyone, but behind her tough exterior is a reluctant kindness and a very big heart. Then there’s Kimberlite, a total hypochondriac who doesn’t like the ‘outside’ world as there are lots of things that can make her ill – Topaz gets very frustrated with her! Then there is the Crystalyte Romeo called Malachite, a dark and handsome fairy who likes the limelight and fancies himself as a bit of an entertainer. There is of course a Crystalyte hierarchy, and right at the top are the King and Queen, Obsidian and Niccolite.

We made up about ten more characters and I’m eventually going to write an animation film, once I come up with some good storylines.

So, back to what I really should be working on, my Major Project and my Short Script. My MP as taken a back seat lately so next week when I’m in Scotland visiting Yana’s dad, I’m going to let him take over parental duties and get stuck into my secondary characters and their subplots – really excited, can’t wait. I’m also going to write the final outline for my Short Script, which I’ve turned on its head and swapped around the characters and their storylines. Again, really excited about it as I’m going back to my first love and making it a theatre piece.

On another note, I’ve been re-reading So You Want to  be a Playwright by Tim Fountain. It’s an excellent read and a must for any budding or established Playwright, in my opinion. I also ordered   Ten Traits of Faulty Dialogue by Robert McKee which arrived yesterday so can’t wait to get stuck into that too. But before all that, I’m going to enjoy Easter weekend with my family. I’m planning to go on an Easter Egg hunt, collect shells on the beach and eat lots of chocolate! Then I’ll start my work :o) Happy Easter everyone!! xxx



Chocolate, chips and A Welsh witch


Well, I’ve been sat looking at my new MacBook Air for the past hour or so with every intention of writing, or at least doing some work on my Adaptation project (TV treatment for A Welsh Witch, by Allen Raine). But instead….big sigh…I’ve been downloading Apps, and generally breaking in my new toy. I’ve also been contemplating what to have for lunch, should I be really naughty and have chips for the third day in a row, or a healthy chic pea salad or something.

I know if I went down to the shops and bought a big bar of green and blacks my motivation will come back and I’ll write for Wales – green and blacks dark chocolate is my drug of choice as it gives me a real high! Rather like lots of coffee.

Apart from all the above shit, it’s a really exciting time for me – all the MA modules that I wasn’t really enamoured with are over and the lovely ones are left! Don’t get me wrong, I have learned a lot from everything I’ve done so far but I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into the projects that are coming up in the next few months. If only I could get my arse into gear without the use of my DOC then I’d be laughing. I will eventually prevail and succeed!!





I can’t believe the first term of Uni is over!! And it’s nearly Christmas! Hooray!!!!  However, lots of work to do over the holidays – I need to tighten up my MP treatment and write the synopsis and pitch and I also need to write a 3000 word essay for Cultural Entrepreneurship (I haven’t even done the research yet!) I don’t know where I’m going to find the time to do it all but I’ll have to – lots of late nights with plenty of chocolate to keep me going me thinks :o). Really pleased to get some great feedback from Wyn on my MP, I think it’s going well and in the right direction. Now and again though, I have a mad fit of insecurity and question my ability as a writer….those days really get me down, but thank bugger they don’t last long and I soon bounce back and I regain my confidence again…until the next time…

Looking forward to January and to starting the Adaptation module and doing some more work on my MP.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year!! Love and Peace…