Hi old friend. I mean, you’re not that old. You moisturise?
This blog has been, in its most recent incarnation, my ‘Yule blog’. Loads of Christmas historical nuggets. They’re still there. But now they’re there, rather than mine that festive trove any more (history of swede mash? Bit tenuous), I’ve decided to move on to my latest fascination.
Or more correctly, writing stories.
Or even more correctly, the bones that make the skeletons of stories. This should, I should note up front, apply to writers of novels or scripts of any length or medium – books, TV, radio, film. Any narrative story – mostly fiction, but also non-fiction. Stick around to help develop yours.
For a while, I’ve been quietly obsessed with story theorists – from mythologist Joseph Campbell, to the guy who turned Campbell’s wisdom into writing advice Christopher Vogler, to Hollywood wunderkind Blake Snyder, to Eastenders guru John Yorke, to many more. We might explore bits about some, all or none of them in future irregular posts.
Posts will be irregular. I shan’t post too often here. But it’s part of an ongoing project to collate my thoughts on story structure, if there is one, what works, what doesn’t work, why it works, and can I get a book out of it.
Alright, I steered into that one a bit abruptly. But yes, I’ve got a half-started Word doc on my laptop, crystallising some thoughts on all this, in I THINK a new way. I wasn’t going to do much with it, but in the last few years I’ve given occasional talks/workshops/seminars (all the same thing – only difference is how much you let others talk) for BBC Writers Room, London Screenwriters Festival, and various other gaffs. We’ve looked at the aforementioned writers-who-write-about-writing and their fave structures – but a new story pattern has come out of it too.
A few ‘students’ (they were only my students for a day, but I’m calling them students) have asked me if I’ve put this in a book. I haven’t. Maybe I should. Maybe instead I should use this pattern to write some big new telly show and see if it works. Maybe.
But first, this blog.
We’ll get to My Big Idea in a few posts’ time, perhaps. But first, I wanted to dwell on a few other story motifs, mis-steps and mental meanderings. So we’ll look at starts and middles and ends. We’ll ponder why so many scripts fail to get to Act 2 quick enough. We’ll speculate on which are the trickiest bits to write right. We’ll wonder if we should be plot-plot-plotting before writing any dialogue.
But first, what Game of Thrones can learn from Noel’s House Party.
Yes, you read that right. It’s a genuine opinion that I shall attempt to convey in the first proper blog post… next time on the all-new PK’s Writing Blog.
(While you wait for it, you can read about the history of Christmas if you want. You don’t have to, but it’s right there \/ \/ \/)