It’s Modern Family’s Jay Pritchett.  It’s Star Trek’s Doctor McCoy.  It’s Orange Is The New Black’s Galina “Red” Reznikov.  It’s a Hollywood (and small screen) staple, and some might conclude a complete cliche. Yet the ‘crusty but benign’ character, forever firing off conflicting messages of love and disdain, has something to tell us writers.Read More →

  It’s Modern Family’s Jay Pritchett.  It’s Star Trek’s Doctor McCoy.  It’s Orange Is The New Black’s Galina “Red” Reznikov.  It’s a Hollywood( and small screen) staple, and some might conclude a complete cliche.  But the crusty but benign character, that bundle of conflicting messages of disdain and love, has something to tell us writers.Read More →

  Three drafts of ‘to be or not to be’. There’s probably a bunch more where that came from.*   First drafts are the raw materials of my industry. I get to read a lot of them.  I love them. They are what they are; the first in (hopefully) a progression of ever more distinguished versions of a good story. Whether you are a complete novice or you have fully emerged from those difficult, uncertain times to the infinitely more difficult and uncertain times of being a hardened professional, first drafts never stop being appalling things.Read More →

So, you’ve got a story?  Oh, yay!  You think this is a good story, one that’s crying out for a damn good telling? You want to tell this remarkable story to the world, or at least tell your community or your circle of friends, or your daffy old Aunt Eustace. But where do you even begin?  If you find yourself teetering on that starter block, rocking back and forth, thinking about diving into a writing project, but somehow you just can’t quite take the plunge, here’s one great exercise to start.Read More →

In honour of the extraordinary and rare moon we are having in the last few nights here in Australia, I’ve been thinking about rare things that can happen in a writer’s lifetime.  It’s not all beer and skittles, or a bed of roses or fun in the sun. Life as a writer is never going to be easy, but once in a Super (rare) moon, odd things happen…Read More →

So often I read about things to advance yourself as a writer, be you a playwright, novelist, screenwriter or whatever. And it is interesting to read how others have made it happen for themselves.  And I get it. Knowing how to get out there, connect, shine brighter than your competition, and champion your work is hard and you need all the advice you can get.  I still read those lists and I love them.  But I’m also aware of all the mistakes I’ve made along the way and how I have at times sabotaged my work and my career…. Read More →