And lo and behold! This year November doesn’t take me by surprise – at least, not entirely. This is the time of the year when, as a rule, I discover that oh, there is such a thing as a November, and other, wiser people set down to write first drafts, while I bemoan my inability to do the same, and end up doing… something else.
Well, you know what?
No sudden discoveries, this year – and no bemoaning. Just the something else. I have this play I’m writing on spec… well, I’ve hinted at it a few times with Nina, and she still has to veto the idea, so perhaps, rather than entirely on spec, I’m writing it on some hope. Anyway, I have a completed first draft, and half a notebook’s worth of notes for a second… Continue reading
And so I learned that, while I’d always assumed that people walked to the Theatre via Bishopsgate, Bishopsgate Street and Shoreditch, this was not the case. Not that the Burbages wouldn’t have liked such a straightforward route to their playhouse – but there was opposition from the local landowners – particularly from the Earl of Rutland, who effectively blocked the easy access… Continue reading
I’m off to HNS Scotland 18 – the Historical Novel Society’s conference, back to the UK this year – three days of talks, workshops, networking, a gala dinner complete with ceilidh, and even two pitch sessions with literary agents.
This is my second experience with the HNS: two years ago I was preparing for HNS Oxford 16, and I was very excited, but also terrified at the prospect of meeting two agents – and, if I’m honest, a little nervous about the whole thing as well… you know, telling people that yes, I’ve written this novel in a language that is not my own – oh, your language, incidentally… Continue reading
Do you remember last Saturday’s post, and the prompt with the anthropomorphised cities?
Well, a couple of interesting things happened because of that post. The first is Davide Mana‘s take on the game – which, it seems, has produced not only four lovely sketches, but also the resurrection of an old and intriguing project of his.
There are heaps of writing prompt sites, out there. Really: the Net is a-swarm with them – and, under other circumstances, I might have missed Writing Prompts…
And it would have been a shame – because, you see, I came across it via this prompt…
…And, while I don’t particularly think that London is a teenager, I was definitely hooked. I followed the link, and found the site’s page of prompts for history and social studies, filled with other equally interesting and unusual prompts.
The site’s author, you see, is a teacher, and uses these prompts in the class, but they are perfect for grown-ups too, I find – all the more because it’s not so often that one finds history-geared prompts. I’m most definitely giving a few of them a try – either for my own freewriting, or with my Scribblers group…
What about you, o Readers? What is, for instance, your city? And why?
There is this competition, you see – short stories, historical setting… I really, really want to submit. I’ve known about it for quite some time – and, in fact, for some reason, at first I thought the deadline was in late April. So I began brainstorming ideas back in March, and went through old notebooks, mining for those little Could This Be A Story notes, or hastily sketched half-page notions, and wrote down lists of promising ideas… and then hit on something I liked. Something that was tied to my work in progress. Something promising. Continue reading
Some twenty years ago, on an early summer day like this, I was sitting in a street café in Pavia, waiting for a friend. I’d just bought myself a book at the bookshop next door – and, anticipating a longish wait, I ordered a grapefruit squash, and started to read.
The book was William Somerset Maugham’s Theatre – quite perfect for me, judging from the back-cover blurb – and so there I sat, very much enjoying the picture: street café, book, summer day… And as I read… Continue reading
Once upon a time, I wrote a post about a game I’d played with some friends during a Parisian holiday: every night we’d each choose the one thing that stood up for that day, and tried to put it in one sentence. It could be anything, as long as it could be conceivably scribbled on the back of a large postage stamp. Continue reading
It doesn’t qualify as something new – not by any stretch of the imagination – but I’ve enrolled in a MOOC with the University of East Anglia, called Introduction to Screenwriting.
“Were you getting bored?” my friend Mita asked, the tiniest tad sarcastically… And of course not, but it’s a two-week course, small enough to fit into a hectic-ish schedule, right before the school-play-madness begins… And, what’s more, Week One so far is proving full of food for thought. Continue reading