What CAROL Taught Me As A Writer By @MEJessicaLau

Continuing our series of posts on what individual movies or TV shows have taught us as writers, here’s Jessica with her story of how CAROL inspired her. Enjoy!


CAROL, saviour of my writing soul! 

I’ve been trying to write a screenplay for a long time now and I had started several projects. But somehow it just doesn’t work out. Either I was struggling with the genre or I didn’t had my story straight. My projects always stranded and the first thought that popped into my mind was: “See! You’re not good enough!” Although I kept on writing I sort of half gave up.

Then one day, just a few weeks back, out of a sudden a new idea came to me out of nothing. It felt so good and so right that I was confident this would work. And again there was this little voice inside me that tells me: “No, no, just stick with your life, you’re no good at writing.”

But, like it’s pre-destined: I watched CAROL around this same time. I fell in love with this movie immediately. Not only because of the most talented and beautiful Cate Blanchett. But it was the screenplay that intrigued me the most. Phyllis Nagy adapted it so well and Todd Haynes extended it into a beautiful movie.

And it was then that I realised that this is the kind of movie I want to make! I was thinking way too complicated, trying to write a screenplay that makes the crowd happy.

But I forgot what makes me happy. I just want something simple and small. Something like CAROL.

It took Carol’s writer Phyllis Nagy 15 years to adapt the novel into a screenplay. The thing I’ve learned from all this is, time isn’t an issue. As long as the story is there and you believe in it, you can write it!

CAROL has taught me to pursue the things I love, to be true with myself and never give up. I love screenwriting! That is really the career I want to pursue. And I will not give up!


7OLRMzGzBIO: My name is Jessica Lau, a working mom, constructing stories in my head all day long and occasionally I write down some brilliant ideas that I have to work out. Follow me on Twitter as @MEJessicaLau and find me on Facebook, HERE.


Has a movie, TV show, or something else inspired YOU as a writer?

This is a new series for the blog, “What [TITLE/NAME/THING] Taught Me As A Writer”. Write a short, to the point article and get your message out to the LondonSWF network!

  1. Pick a movie, TV show, screenwriter, object, event – whatever!
  2. Write up to 250-350 words on what it taught you as a writer AND WHY.
  3. Don’t forget your 1-2 sentence bio, plus links to Twitter, blog, etc.
  4. Send a pic (jpg only) if you want us to include a particular one, but do make sure it’s rights-free.
  5. Send it to Lucy V or via Bang2write@aol.com.

Looking forward to reading your posts!