I finally handed in my Jellicoe script and I think (hope) that it’s pretty much all there. Next week we have a read-through with actors (by no means a film casting exercise) which is the final step to the Screen NSW Aurora Workshop we were invited to be part of earlier this year.

On that day there will be nine actors in total who’ll have to read multiple roles (there are 28 speaking parts – the longest monologue belongs to Jonah Griggs and the shortest belongs to a townie skater who calls out “Incoming” to herald the arrival of the cadets in Jellicoe).

For a scriptwriter, hearing your script read out loud is exhilarating and confronting. I’m a tiny bit frightened that I’m going to cry during some of the scenes and I don’t want to lose my credibility in front of professional actors.

On that day the actors and industry execs will give feedback. Then I go off and fiddle around with the script one more time before it’s “taken to market”. I’m writing Quintana of Charyn at the moment so whenever I hear that term, I always imagine a medieval market town where people are trading fleece for gold coins. We’re going to need a couple of million gold coins.

I’m proud of this script. It’s been technically three years in the making but untechnically it’s been longer than that. It’s taught me a lot about patience and the importance of less is more. I’ve worked with incredible mentors who didn’t care whether people loved the novel. I was never allowed to ride on the coat tails of Jellicoe fan appreciation. What’s important to all of us (Cathy Randall, the director and Sue Taylor, the Producer) is that the script stands on its own. Next week, when nine fresh ears hear it spoken out loud, we’ll know if I truly succeeded.

Handing in the script has made me realize that I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed being a writer as much as I do at the moment. I’m kind of where I want to be writing wise and I’m enjoying the process although I find the novels harder and harder to write – especially the fantasies. But the early Froi feedback has been so totally amazing that it’s really overwhelming at times. It makes me want to get Quintana of Charyn so right. And as much as I’m moved by what readers have to say about my work, what I think I appreciate even more are their expectations. They compete well with mine and force me to lift my game.

PS. And I can’t reinforce enough how I would love to visit and hug every single person who has shown FotE love through letters and blogs and especially on goodreads. Sometimes it’s the only way you know people are reading your work and it’s always the early feedback that means the most.

Now I’m off to wager a bet on The Melbourne Cup.
58 likes ·   •  21 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on October 31, 2011 23:20 • 3,040 views
Comments (showing 1-21 of 21) (21 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten I have read The Jellicoe Road no less than about 4 times in the space of two months and it made me cry every single time. What a beautiful, heart-wrenching story you have woven, Melina, I cannot thank you enough for bringing this story to the world. All my love from Kirsten in New Zealand.

message 2: by Kate (new)

Kate I can't wait to hear more on "On The Jellicoe Road"! It is so exciting hearing all the gossip behind it! Thank you so much for bringing my fantasy world more to life - I don't know what I would have done without Jellicoe Road and Froi .etc. You truly have me addicted to your work and I just hope you know how much everyone loves you for your personality and talent!

message 3: by Roshini (new)

Roshini I am so excited about this. Jellicoe Road is a perfect example of why people shouldn't dismiss young adult fiction. And why this genre sometimes makes more sense than a lot of 'adult' targeted books. Thanks Melina!

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Best of luck with it all! Just a side note: as it happens, I watched 'Looking for Alibrandi' for the first time this afternoon, though I have read the book several times. It was great, and it never ceases to amaze me how you capture the teenage voice without belittling us or making us sound 'angsty.' Great work!

message 5: by Tina (new)

Tina I can barely imagine how brilliant it would be like see the Jellicoe characters brought to life. I still remember reading it for the first time and thinking about it for days afterward. I hope the script reading goes well. Best wishes!

Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner I am so excited. I had no idea it's going to be a movie.

message 7: by Carly (new)

Carly Bowden so exciting to hear!

message 8: by oliviasbooks (new)

oliviasbooks I usually do NOT watch films of books I love, but with Melina Marchetta being responsible for the script, I might change my mind.

message 9: by BrocheAroe (new)

BrocheAroe Can't. Wait.

message 10: by Val (new)

Val I'm so excited for this and for you! Jellicoe Road is my all time favorite book and I can't wait to finally see Taylor, Jonah, Chaz, Raffie and everyone else come to live on screen.

message 11: by Grace (new)

Grace I cannot wait for this to come out! Jelicoe ROad is one of those very individual books that can merge seamlessly into movies. Good luck!

message 12: by Laura ~~ Bells (new)

Laura ~~ Bells oliviasbooks wrote: "I usually do NOT watch films of books I love, but with Melina Marchetta being responsible for the script, I might change my mind."

Couldn't agree more!

message 13: by Mayomi (new)

Mayomi What this is getting made into a movie. happy dance

message 14: by Lonleypurplecat (new)

Lonleypurplecat oh my god. this is the first I have ever hear On The Jellicoe Road will be made into a movie. why didn't anyone tell me? If not for this blog, I think I would have never found out, until like 20 years later. I can't wait for the movie. cant wait. cant wait. Jellicoe Road is one of my all time favourite books and I personally think that books that turn into movies suck, take for example Twilight. But I'll make an exception for this one.

message 15: by BelleScar (new)

BelleScar Ahhhh!!! What??? This is awesome news... Now my day is officially off to a great start... One of the best books that I have ever read..

message 16: by Margarita (new)

Margarita Theres gonna be a movie!!?!!!!OMG I CANT WAIT!!is it gonna be with american actors or Australians?I mean the books won a best award for best book ever!!HOPE SO!!

message 17: by Lauren (new)

Lauren I also had no idea! Fantastic surprise though! I return to watch 'Looking for Alibrandi' every year though so bring on another brilliant Marchetta screen adaptation! :-D

message 18: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Oh, and did I mention 'On the Jellicoe Road' is my favourite of the books? Score! :-D

message 19: by Leonela (new)

Leonela Serrano Sweet. I love the book "On the Jellioce Road". I read it over summer break and did my summer book report on it. It was one of the beat books that I ever read. If it became a movie I would go see it.

message 20: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I am trying to get every one I know to read FotR and FotE. You are an amazing writer and I thank you so much for sharing your characters with us. I love everything you give us. And I will continue to scream it loud just how much more ppl need to be reading your stories. Thank you, Melina. You've truly made my reading experience a wonderful and meaningful experience time after time. Best of luck with all your endeavors!

message 21: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany Oh my goodness, I will fly to Australia for this movie if I have to. This is my favorite book!

back to top