Saturday Sit Down with JMMcDowell

It’s only a week away to Martini Bond at Manchester Pride. Rehearsals are going well, which is more than I can say for the props list…They are piled up in a corner and need checking – have we lost the meerkats? Where’s the gangster’s hat? And Suzi Bazooki’s bazookas? Then there’s the lighting to sort, tickets to sell, PR…Thank goodness for JMMcDowell and her Saturday Sit Down. She has very kindly given me a spot on her blog to talk about the play, writing, hopes and dreams. And it was great to be in touch with a fellow blogger. Throughly recommend it!

August 10, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , . Blogging, Comedy writing, Fiction, Humour, Theatre. 9 comments.

Ben Affleck and Herbert Kretzmer show the way for ‘second acts’

The Hollywood actor-turned-director Ben Affleck recently spoke about being given a “second act” after he won the Best Director award at the Baftas for his film Argo. Similarly, Les Miserables lyricist Herbert Kretzmer told The Guardian he “was able to give up my day job at 61” after it became clear that the show had a fairly certain future. (more…)

February 21, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . Comedy writing, Fiction, Publishing, Writing. 14 comments.

Victim of method acting

“Just hold your leg up higher and straighter. A ninja kick,” the director said. “Put your hands round his neck…Mike, stick your tongue back in.”

“She’s hurting my neck,” said Mike the prop guy, who is the victim of Menopausal Ninja, one of the Martini Bond baddies.

Mike the props guy in Martini Bond

Mike prefers a bird on his head rather than hands round his throat

“She’s supposed to.”

“Can’t she just pretend?”

“I dunno. Method acting has its place.”

We were all giving one of the cast a bit of advice on developing their roles. We have enjoyed a few runs in London and have the time now to develop the play for its Manchester dates.

You can see the longer you have to work on the actions and words, the funnier it becomes. Or at least that’s the plan.

How about you? Does your work improve the longer you spend on it? Or do you do endless changes without really getting anywhere?

February 7, 2013. Tags: , , , , . Blogging, Comedy writing, Humour, Publishing, Theatre. 18 comments.

TV sitcom writer Maurice Gran on how to beat writer’s block

“Who was the person I hated most at school and how could I kill them now?” This was one of the top tips on how to beat writer’s block by Maurice Gran, a leading sitcom writer in the UK. (more…)

January 10, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . Comedy, Comedy writing, Publishing, Writing. 15 comments.

Taxing time for Amazon et al – and me

Amazon, Google and Starbucks are not paying enough corporation tax in the UK. That was the excuse I needed to stop surfing the net about how to publish your ebook through Kindle Direct Publishing – an Amazon service. The coffee I could buy from Costa – a company that does pay their way. (more…)

January 3, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , . Books, Comedy writing, Publishing, Writing. 24 comments.

How to write…cut down on blogging

How to write a book in 30 days… Yes, 30 days! THIRTY DAYS. Had to shout it to myself a third time just to make sure I committed to doing it. 30 days, though.

Can it be done? It’s a method, with a schedule and lovely headings that say things like “Downtime”. Unfortunately, that didn’t mean stop writing and start partying … And plot sketches. Well, the plot is a bit sketchy. And subplot threads. Yep, the subplot is threadbare … Do I need subplots?

The Guardian's How to Write a Book in 30 days

Ha! 30 days…Why not make it 15? Or 5? Or 3…months? Years? Oh go on, rub it in, why don’t you?

(more…)

October 22, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Blogging, Comedy writing, Humour, Publishing, Theatre, Writing. 11 comments.

Don’t give up the day job…

What’s the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you? I’m asking this because I read a profile of the playwright Penelope Skinner in the Guardian newspaper and her creative writing teacher had told her: “You can’t predict what people are going to like: no matter how bad it is, there’s always going to be one person who likes it. What you have to do is find that one person.” (more…)

September 27, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Blogging, Comedy writing, Humour, Publishing, Theatre. 18 comments.

Home alone

Being a writer can be solitary job – and you can end up shutting yourself away from the world. Author Howard Jacobson told the Sunday Times Magazine just that this weekend – he liked to shut himself away to write. This sent a shudder down my spine because it was a little too close to home. (more…)

August 27, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Blogging, Comedy, Publishing, Writing. 15 comments.

Tweets are a treat

So Martini Bond at Camden Fringe has had its thee-night run. And it turns out it is one of the best-selling shows at the fringe this year – but I’m waiting to find out the actual figures to see exactly how well it has done. But by the audience reaction: it was a resounding success. Well, I would say that, wouldn’t I? (more…)

August 20, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Comedy, Comedy writing, Fiction, Theatre. 5 comments.

You just can’t make it up

“Cern’s in France,” one of the cast of Martini Bond was telling me. “No, Switzerland,” I said. “France. My sister used to live there.” I quickly looked it up: “It’s on the Franco-Swiss border… Besides, it’s fiction, and I thought you could just make it up.” But one thing I’m learning is that you can’t. (more…)

June 25, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Blogging, Comedy, Comedy writing, Fiction, Humour, Publishing. 12 comments.

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