Thursday, April 29, 2010


I went out for a beer or two with a mate this week and he convinced me I should start a weekly podcast on my website and link it to this blog. Actually I think he bludgeoned me over the head repeatedly to make sure the idea staid put, judging by the way my head was throbbing the next day.

I have a few ideas of what I think would make good podcasts, the first being the long awaited "How Not To Be A Writer', post I was going to do. But I was wondering if there were any subjects other writers out there would like to hear about?

I don't know when the first podcast will be because I have to figure out how to do it in the first place and them upload it. I'm not a fantastic techie, but I will get the hang of it eventually. So send those ideas in and I'll get cracking.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I've been having a very cordial email conversation with a writer who's script I read a week ago, about what constitutes good feedback. We agreed to disagree, but I have to admit that both ways discussed have their merits.

As a result of that conversation I thought I would post part of one of those emails below to show my attitude to script feedback.

"I've seen script notes given in loads of different ways. The reason I give the bad news first and the good last is because I like the writer to go away with a positive thought fresh in their mind, not a negative one.

I also don't like to suggest to the writer how they should improve their script, rather I prefer to raise questions and allow the writer to come up with their own solutions, after all it's their script and they're the author of it, not me. Who am I to tell the writer what they should write?

Everyone has a different opinion on how honest you should be with notes. The Head Of Department on my BA Scriptwriting course upset a lot of students with his direct and honest approach, some very nearly quit the course because of it. But as he said if he told people their script was good, or tried to soften the blow, when the writer had actually fallen well short, they would be in for a real shock when they went out into the real world. Script editors and producers can't afford to be nice. If they're not honest from the start they're not going to get the script how they want it, which will cost them more rewrites, more money and more time.

However, what isn't acceptable in my book is rudeness, a complete slagging off of the writer and their work. A personal attack on the writer and their script isn't professional, and isn't welcome. Politeness doesn't cost a penny.

I know a writer who worked on a well know show just when a new script editor was hired. The editor went as far as telling the writer how to change individual lines of dialogue, rather than relying on the skill of the writer. No wonder he hated that script editor.

If a writer can't take honest, constructive criticism then as harsh as it sounds they are better off choosing a new career. Some of the feedback I receive still gets me down on occasion, even after all these years.

But at the end of the day criticism is subjective and the writer isn't under any obligation to listen to, or indeed act upon, any of it. However, they have to realise it will severely restrict the length of their career if they don't. Script editors and producers don't want to work with opinionated, stubborn writers only ones that do as they are told and can deliver what they want quickly and professionally."


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ashes To Ashes





I think I've sussed what's going on in the final series of Ashes To Ashes. There were certain things I spotted during the second episode that could be carefully laid clues. Then again I might be totally wrong. I'll list my ideas here and we'll see how close I was at the end of the series.

I think Jim Keats is the Devil. The reasons for this:-

(1) His office was in the basement - A metaphor for Hell.
(2) His office was scorching hot - As hot as Hell.
(3) Someone commented his office was fetid, meaning rotten or decaying.
(4) He wears horn-rimmed glasses - the Devil's horns.

Jim is also using his charm to try and get Alex on to his side, telling her he can help her, something the Devil would do. And does he really know where she is from?

If you remember in the first series Gene Hunt saved Alex as a child from the exploding car, so it's a good possibility that he is her guardian angel, which is why he gets up Jim Keats' nose so much. That would mean that the world they inhabit is purgatory, a halfway house between life and death, Heaven and Hell.

Again this is only a theory of mine and I could have got it all horribly wrong, but as I said let's see at the end of the series.

And as for Sam Tyler, I think he's very much alive and Gene Hunt is covering up for his friend (acting the guardian angel), but why? In Life On Mars Sam Tyler discovered his father was a crook and I think the bank robbery that supposedly got Sam killed was carried out by his father and Sam let him escape once again, but this time he followed his father to get to know him better. Well, that idea is a little dodgier than the Devil/guardian angel one above, but again we'll see.

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


I'm 41 that too old to still be pursuing a writing career?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


Enjoying Scriptfrenzy, although and unscheduled cold is playing havoc with my writing plans. I should be on fifteen pages by now, but I'm still on ten. Got to get my finger out and crack on. Ten pages today, whether I like it or not.