Friday, April 27, 2007

Creative Writing courses create crap novelists

...Or so this article argues.

It has a number of good points. Tragedy does seem to be held in higher regard than comedy, not just in novels, but in playwriting too. The Guardian called some of it's points about religion influencing the bias towards the tragic as 'controversial'. I hate it when people label something as that, when really they mean "I agree with these views but am scared by what my peers might think of me". Stupid Guardian writer. Anyway, it argues that you should write for your peers, not to please academics. And don't write "wangst".

In other news, Hoodies is whizzing it's way over to TWP hopefully as I speak, so with that out of the way, I can concentrate (for a bit anyway) on writing a new short story and beginning my new play. Oh, and my novel. Must not forget about that!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Deadline Looming

Hoodies has to be sitting on Sarah Francoise's desk by 9am Monday morning, and it's just about ready. I want to go over it again another couple of times and make sure I'm happy with it as it is. I would ideally like to turn it into a 'full-length' play, but for now I think this will have to do. We're all meeting up tonight and hopefully the others will give me their thoughts on it, and I can spend tomorrow making any adjustments that are needed. Mouse now opens the play, which I quite like, though I'm not sure if it will stay that way. I also have to pen a letter to TWP explaining why I went over their 'only three characters' quota and beg them to consider my play anyway. Hmm.

I'm itching to get started on my fantasy play. Thanks for everyone's comments on my previous post about it. It seems that everyone is really enthusiastic about it, and I really like it. I've been mulling it over since January, so now I will hopefully be able to dedicate time to write it.
So then, what next? Life after Momentum. There's a weird thought. I've been part of the programme for three years now. Wonder what it'll be like to be deinstitutionalised and working independently for a while? Quite daunting really.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Went to London last night to see Anthony Neilson's 'The Wonderful World of Dissocia', and I really enjoyed it. There were some bits that weren't as good as (in my humble opinion) they could have been (e.g. the actors seemed a bit uncomfortable during the first half, and the singing could have been better), but it was a really good play. The one point I wanted to raise though, is that why is it that when people in plays/films go to fantasy make-believe lands, at the end it's always revealed to be either a dream or that they're mentally ill or they're on drugs? Why can't the fantasy world actually exist? I mean, people didn't know that Australia existed until 1770 (apart from the indigenous people living there). Salman Rushdie wrote a brilliant essay sort of saying the same thing, but I do feel disappointed that these crazy places are always passed off as a hallucination or a cat nap in literature. It's not widely publicised, but Dorothy actually chooses to live in Oz with her Auntie Em in Book 6 of the Oz series, and yet most people take the film's "it was all a dream, and you were there, and you were there" ending as gospel. Just narks me off.

One other thing to note about being at the Royal Court is that all the girls in the building, aside from me, all looked the same. They were all skinny, flat-chested, with dark hair (mainly), all dressed in a manner that they would like you to call 'quirky', and were all talking pretentiously about this play or other (whilst drinking ridiculously small glasses of white wine). It was like the Court has a cloning factory out the back for creating it's staff and audience members. There was one girl in a group of people who was being introduced as a 'writer' to someone else, and she looked exactly the same as well. No wonder I'm perceived to not fit in there.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I've had a new idea for a play, which I hope I can write in time for the Vertiy Bargate prize, but I probably won't get it done in time. It's a fairy tale about a girl called Lara who lives inside her imagination and who doesn't cope with the real world very well. It sees Lara falling in love, but she is unable to deal with the relationship and ultimately she has to decide whether to stay in her fantasy world or enter reality. I am putting this play on the backburner though, as I've got to finish my Hoodies play first, which, I think will officially be called "Hoodies" from now on, unless I have a sudden flash of inspiration before I post it off.

The picture is by Zindy S. D. Nielsen

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The sun is out, but it's still cold

Yes, it is. I feel deceived by mother nature because it is so bright outside, but when I go out, I have to wear my winter coat. Of course, this could just be a phenomenon experienced by me with my abnormally cold blood, but I still feel justified in complaining about it.

Anyway. I should be working on the second draft of my play (deadline 30th April), but instead I am playing the Sims and reading Harry Potter (yes, I have the mental age of a twelve year old). My audition was unsuccessful for the leads of Witches of Eastwick, so at least I don't have that to distract me anymore.

I really want to write some prose again, and I was thinking this morning about getting back to Inter Vivos. One of the things that put me off writing it was that I had to come up with all this science and politics to explain events in my story, but I'm now thinking that if I make it more into a fairy tale, I don't have to worry about the correct procedure for heart transplants, and historical guerilla movements, and I can just make it up. I still want to finish this first NANOWRIMO draft, but then after that I can go back and rewrite most of it again. Also, because I chose to write in first person, it means my feisty heroine isn't in fact feisty; she's more passive because the narrator role has made her the observer rather than the doer. So I plan to fix this too.

I'm having a serious financial crisis, so am having to work at my second job every weekend to try to scrap some cash together, which does not give me a lot of free time to write. Time to hide The Sims 2 disc I think. Right after my pet cat gets a promotion...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

B*stards Finally Got Me!

Darn it! This blog is now Beta, after months of underground resistance work. Suppose I knew they'd catch me in the end.

Well, I've started on my second draft for my Hoodies play. Amanda says she likes it, and is going to tell me the details of some people to send it to after Momentum is finished, but Amanda said she liked High Street Aphrodite and that was a bit pants, so I don't know if I can trust her completely.

I've also had another brainwave about Inter Vivos (the novel I started for NANOWRIMO), specifically about the character of the Maiden, who I think is becoming 'me' in a distopian universe. She's this cold, ruthless Amazon-esque warrior woman, but now she has a back-story. So it's all good.

I have realised that I spend most of my time wishing that things were different. But I've just realised that instead of waiting for my Fairy Godmother to pop along (Disney has ruined me), I should actually get off my arse and do something about it! I can't just sit here and wish that my life was better, or that I was doing a job that fulfilled me. I have to actually work at those things and make it happen. I'm so lazy though. Anyway. So I'm coming up with a vague rota to see if I can get my arse into gear.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Ok, so if you hadn't gathered, I am back now from doing my show, Company, which was a rip-roaring success. There is a bit of a crap review of it on the Leicester Mercury site (I get a mention as one of the highlights though!), but the link to it won't work, so to read it go to and in the search box, type in 'Concordia' and it's the story posted on 23rd March. Auditions for the next show, Witches of Eastwick are next Sunday, so I'm busy practising trying to be sexy and hitting a high C.

In terms of writing, well I haven't really done anything more to my Hoodies play, but will be attempting to complete my second draft before the last Momentum session on Tuesday. There's a few changes that need to be made, but I think I can get those done in time. I'm actually quite happy about the shape it's in currently, and when those changes are made, I think it'll probably be the best script I've sent to TWP, so that's something. Of course, it breaks all their rules and they'll probably hate it, but I think I've developed quite a bit in terms of style and dialogue since those patchy 'High Street Aphrodite' days.

I've also posted a picture of me (and Robin!) in Cows the Musical. Found this photo the other day and so I thought I'd put it here so I never lose it again! I played the martial-arts wannabe 'Badly Dubbed Cow' and Robin was 'Laughalot'. That week in Edinburgh was probably one of the best weeks of my life, so thought I'd commemorate it here!