Month: July 2017

Mark Forsyth: it’s pretty bloody simple.

This blog isn’t really the place to review or puff current books, but I feel I have to put in a good word for Mark Forsyth’s Elements of Eloquence (full non-disclosure: I don’t know Mr Forsyth and have no connection … Continue reading

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Mamet: a world without time

While I’ve got Mamet’s book on my desk, here’s a couple of nice quotes, both of which I claim apply to all writing as much as theatre: (p154) The mystery in drama is time: how to use time, how to … Continue reading

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Friday word blog: sharpening your claws

When my cat enters the room, she gives a small greeting meow and goes straight to the sofa to sharpen her claws. (Occasionally, we’ll yell at her for this, but she just stares at us while continuing to shred our … Continue reading

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Mamet: just say the goddamned lines.

I’ve been reading David Mamet’s Theatre (Faber 2010), and incidentally, if you’re an actor, writer or director – or you aspire to be – then you can do worse than studying this little gem, memorising it, and applying it in … Continue reading

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Edith Wharton: a duologue of silence

We are super-Wharton fans here, and here is one of my favourite passages from her famous “war-novel that never even mentions the war”, The Age of Innocence:   Seated side by side on a bench of the half-empty boat they … Continue reading

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Friday Mars blog: perchlorates and beyond

Apparently the surface of Mars is covered with a thin layer of propellants called perchlorates. These are toxic to life – meaning, presumably, life as we’ve found so far on earth – but there may still be “life as we know … Continue reading

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Hitchcock: not a librarian, then.

Consider these two superficially similar chat-up scenes from Hitchcock films. In both, the man eats while the woman doesn’t. In both, the woman’s character name is “Eve”. In both, the man thinks he’s in charge in the situation and that … Continue reading

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Our Policy on Spoilers

This is a site for writers, not for readers. Readers love to be immersed in a story, and they love the kick that comes at the end – the moment that pulls the whole meaning of the story together. Writers … Continue reading

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Greetings, Earthlings.

There’s a 1951 short story by Norman Mailer called “the Notebook”. A young writer – yes, an undisguised Mailer himself – is out with his “young lady”. She is trying to make him aware of the moment, of what she’s … Continue reading

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