90 results for 'writing'
During the wee hours on Wednesday, January 13th, while I twiddled my thumbs waiting for an email that didn't arrive until much later that morning, I switched the television set on and flipped through the channels. When nothing on HBO caught my attention, I tuned into a local channel to watch one of those mindless gossip shows that are telecasted in the middle of the night. What I saw was shocking and nothing to gossip about!
Earthquake in Haiti, 7.0 on the Richter scale! Haiti. I thought to myself ... "It's just a small island in the Caribbean, they're just getting over the hurricane... (more)
So what does the writer set out to achieve?
Well, the novelist wants to be read, the poet and radio writer wants to be heard and the screenwriter wants his stuff to be seen. Otherwise it's a waste of time. I don't believe in writing for yourself. Oh, and for those that didn't know, poetry is written to be heard not read. But the best prose should read like poetry.So, whither writing and whither the writer?The writer will always exist because humanity will always require information and entertainment. It is the delivery methods that are changing. Digital and broadcast will continue to... (more)
It is a given that fiction is not fact. It is, in fact, not true. It is a lie, and I, as a fiction writer am a liar. People pay me for what I write and I am, therefore, a professional liar.
There, I've admitted it.Once the fiction writer does that he can start to enjoy it. He can stand at a bar and when asked by someone, "So, what do you do for a living?" he can reply with pride, "I tell lies."
There should be no shame in this, it is an honorable profession. Many fine men have been liars. Take Shakespeare, lauded today, but a terrible liar. That A Midsummer's Night he wrote, lies.... (more)
...mainstream publisher shows some signs of an ego which is actually necessary for a writer.
This scenario is flawed and is about to be blown out of the water.Let's accept that publishers are commercial businesses run to make the owners money. They are not in the business of promoting good writing. You, as the writer, are asking them to invest a significant amount of money in paying you an advance, editing and printing your book and ultimately marketing, advertising and distributing it. They have no guarantees of any return on their investment and are therefore loathe to take many... (more)
Writing natural dialogue isn't magic. Like every other kind of writing it requires work, but because most people know how to speak they imagine they can write speech and refuse to do the work. Don't fall into that trap and listen to what I've got to say.
"So, what's this problem with dialogue, then?""I don't know, but I just can't seem to get it right.""What's wrong with it?""It doesn't read natural. Sort of stilted.""Did you read it aloud to yourself?""Yeah, that's when I knew it wasn't right. It sounds like I'm reading from a textbook.""Well, some people sound like that.""Not the characters... (more)
Epic characters remain in the mind long after the novel is put down.
They must have qualities which raise them above the mundane, skills and abilities which ensure that their actions are not only heroic but memorably so. Characters such as these are surely easy to write but, in fact, are incredibly hard. mThe truth is that our epic heroes must be rooted in humanity, otherwise the reader not only dislikes them but may end up hating them. Not a good position for a protagonist. So, which vulnerabilities can we give our superman (or woman)?
TV detectives of the 70s revelled in this.... (more)
...at his publishers wouldn't have picked up, so why did he need me?
Simple, and it came to me when I recalled my own start as a writer. He had no confidence as a writer. All that money, successful businesses, fancy house, flash cars, and he was scared that someone would mock him for bad writing. Imagine how bad it is then for the newbie writer when he sets out on his career. Success breeds confidence, but the newbie has no success to rely on, he's only just written his first words. And when he submits it anywhere there's a 99.9% chance that he'll get a rejection slip. Which he needs... (more)
... surely not all comedy geniuses sprang from the ranks of the bullied. To my mind the comedy impulse operates on a much simpler basis, the need to be liked. We court popularity by giving people the safe, non-addictive, drug of laughter.
But that's not what this article is about, it's about writing comedy screenplays, which is a much harder proposition than writing gags. You'll note that the three stalwarts named above gained their greatest honors with movies. They may have started out as gag writers, but ultimately the glittering prizes only come via the silver screen. Having said that... (more)
...can't, or shouldn't, analyze humor. That to analyze is to destroy. Be that as it may, what follows is a short look at a brief sketch I wrote for radio. I didn't set out with the aims I ultimately describe, only to write something funny, but if it helps anybody else who wants to get into comedy writing so much the better.
(A howling Arctic wind is blowing.)
COMMENTATOR: (a fairly close relative of David Attenborough)As we look across the icy wastes we see an age-old sight that typifies life here close to the North Pole. A lone figure beside a hole he has... (more)
... The reader's needs must be regarded as paramount, surpassing even the writer's desire to express herself in a voice she regards as totally her own. I'm sure I read an adage once about 'knowing thy enemy', not that I dwell upon such things, but similarly the writer must know the character she is writing. It is of no use to write of an African princess if one has no knowledge of how such a person exists. The honest writer will take her pencil and notebook in hand and research that existence. I do not of course expect her to travel to the dark continent in order to discover such truths, that... (more)