Friday, May 21, 2010


I don't know what's happening today. This is my third attempt to put this blog posting up.

For all you need to know about writing a one sentence synopsis, Nathan Brandsford has some excellent advice.

Have a great weekend


For some reason, the blog below has been corrupted.

So, the link for nathan brandsford's blog on how to write a one sentence synopsis is in this one instead.

No comments:

One Sentence Synopsis.

How do you sum up your book in one sentence?

Easy. No comments:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Writing a synopsis is hard...but so is writing a novel if you've never done it before, or fixing a PC. So here's a little game for us all so we can learn how to write synopses.

1 - Take any book off your shelf that you've read, whether it is fiction or non-fiction.

2 - Sum it up in one sentence.

3 - Sum it up in one paragraph.

4 - Sum it up in two paragraphs.

5 - Repeat every day with a different book.

(Thanks to Nathan Brandsford's Blog for the idea)

Happy synopsis writing!

Monday, May 17, 2010

We Happy Few: The Director's Cut

We did it. After four months of despair, actors dropping out, rewrites, cuts and another actor dropping out just before the first dress rehearsal, we successfully put on three shows.

We cut out one major character; we cut another several pages of dialogue; we even missed a few lines on each night. In the end, it was a success. Even our last minute casting of a minor role worked well.

The highlights?

- On the first night I had a real bottle of whisky to hand round in the last scene, but forgot to tell one of the actors. She proceeded to take a large slug of what she thought was cold tea and nearly choked. It was all we could do to prevent ourselves from corpsing.

- On the second night, in the same scene, one of the ladies took the bottle from another a bit too quickly and ended up spilling some down her chin.

- The cast party afterwards...just because we could finally relax.

- Having a a cut up kotex sanitary towel stuck on my face three nights running in place of a beard.

Next up is Babes in the Wood in December. Watch this space.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Down, But Not Out

"Depression isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign that you've been too strong for too long."

When you carry a mental load on your own for a long time, it will wear you down as much as carrying a physical load will. The difference is that no one can see your load and tend to dismiss it.

I've heard it said, that when you share a burden it's eased. That's not always true as some burdens cannot be shared, not matter how much people listen and understand. That doesn't mean you don't need support, just that no one can ease the pressure.

At the moment I have a play to get ready for, a council to fight, a business to run and various other mental and emotional pressures to deal with. Of those, only the play is positive. The hardest to deal with are the unmoveable bureaucracies that I depend on.

I'm looking forward to the play. Performing gives me a lift, especially when what I do makes people laugh with me. I'm also looking for a break from the other pressures so I can rebuild my life: I'm just not sure when it will come.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

10,000 Hours Makes You an Expert

According to research by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers, to become an expert in something, you need to spend 10,000 hours practising it, allied to some talent.

He goes on to prove that theory for sports people, musicians and computer programmers.

The question is, how does that apply to writing? Is it just the writing that counts. or do we include researching, planning and reading?

In short, what skills make a good writer and what do we need to practice at?

Here's my list:
  • Writing of any form. Emails only count if you put time and effort into creating them.
  • Critical reading. Whenever you read with one eye on style and substance, such as reading a book with the aim of writing a review of it.
  • Planning. Programmers. musicians and sports people plan their training in order to get the most benefit from it, so why discount it for writers.
  • Researching. Knowing what to leave out is as important as knowing what to put in. Discovering what makes a good story can only help you write a good story.

    If you can put in 10,000 hours doing those things you will be an expert. It may even help you get published!