Thank you, the Onion, for reporting on the story of my life…
A place where I write about the writing life and writing projects in progress
April 22, 2010
April 10, 2010
Mad Norwegian has put up the table of contents of the collection of Doctor Who writing I’ve co-edited, Time, Unincorporated Volume 2. You can see it here. You’ll see my name come up a few times—sometime soon, I’ll talk about some of the pieces I wrote and the circumstances in which they were written. For now, marvel, as I do, that we managed to get so many incredible contributors in one book.
April 06, 2010
Listen to David Mamet, writing in ALL-CAPS to the other writers on my father’s favourite TV series, The Unit, about what television writing is all about. Some choice quotes:
WE, THE WRITERS, MUST ASK OURSELVES OF EVERY SCENE THESE THREE QUESTIONS.
1) WHO WANTS WHAT?
2) WHAT HAPPENS IF HER DON’T GET IT?
3) WHY NOW?
THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS ARE LITMUS PAPER. APPLY THEM, AND THEIR ANSWER WILL TELL YOU IF THE SCENE IS DRAMATIC OR NOT.
HERE ARE THE DANGER SIGNALS. ANY TIME TWO CHARACTERS ARE TALKING ABOUT A THIRD, THE SCENE IS A CROCK OF SHIT.
ANY TIME ANY CHARACTER IS SAYING TO ANOTHER “AS YOU KNOW”, THAT IS, TELLING ANOTHER CHARACTER WHAT YOU, THE WRITER, NEED THE AUDIENCE TO KNOW, THE SCENE IS A CROCK OF SHIT.
DO NOT WRITE A CROCK OF SHIT. WRITE A RIPPING THREE, FOUR, SEVEN MINUTE SCENE WHICH MOVES THE STORY ALONG, AND YOU CAN, VERY SOON, BUY A HOUSE IN BEL AIR AND HIRE SOMEONE TO LIVE THERE FOR YOU.