Philip Whiteley's Blog

January 23, 2019

A dash of magical realism

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 1:31 pm

I’ve been back to school: learning screenplay. There isn’t a long-term plan to become a scriptwriter, more a case of stretching myself and learning about a slightly different world. My tutor, Julia Berg ( is inspirational. As well as giving advice on strong storylines, compelling dialogue and organizing the pitch, she offers to put the work of us, her delegates, to producers in the industry – a process about which I possess not one clue.

She sees potential in The Rooms We Never Enter; the premise is strong and topical, while she likes the dialogue. So, deep breath, I will give it a go.

There has been an indirect benefit for me of attending the courses: ideas from the other delegates – not just on screenplay but for the book itself. A theme in The Rooms We Never Enter is the concept of the ‘Rooms’ that the lead characters know about, that they dream about, and that they dare not or cannot enter: metaphorical and real. Some of my colleagues on the course suggested enhancing this theme, with fresh sections about Karen’s recurring dream of the mysterious upstairs rooms, suggesting a magical realism element in which her daughter Bronte intuits some of these and paints them.

I hope that I possess the skills to convert this promising idea into convincing story-telling. I am impatient to pen the new sections, but I guess I should wait until the crowdfunding goal is reached and I prepare the final draft for Unbound.

The following is the short version of the pitch (known as a logline in the screenplay world, and the ten-second sell in book publishing) that Julia helped me draft:

One of the wealthiest people in Britain falls in love with a single mum on a minimum wage. This romcom, with a touch of magical realism, explores the fears of the wealthy and the dreams of the poor.

Ultimately, hopefully, I land a TV rights deal. That would be magical – yet also real.

  • A link to the crowdfunding page for The Rooms We Never Enter is:

1 Comment »

  1. The logline is like the elevator pitch – can you sell something in the time it takes to travel with the boss/customer in an elevator – love it.. looking forward to your new book, thoroughly enjoyed Marching on Together..

    Comment by Roger — January 23, 2019 @ 3:23 pm | Reply

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