Tag Archive > writing

Rejection and why it’s good for you

By now I guess a standard joke about Fifty Shades of Grey must have emerged along the lines that none of the painful looking sexual practices shown in the film are half as painful as watching it.  Writing and submitting work is not quite the same as willingly being tied to a bedpost but in […]

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Don’t lie to yourself

Fiction, according to Stephen King*, is the truth inside the lie. Fiction – even comedy – while not factual, tells the truth about the world as the author sees it. So if you want to tell these lies well you have to be honest. Honest with your audience and honest with yourself. You have to […]

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Establish your stakes.

Why stakes are important even if you are not Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So let’s establish the stakes up front. For the writer it couldn’t be more important. Your audience is at stake. Unless they understand why the story matter to the characters, unless they understand the stakes, they will switch off the TV or […]

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The Show What You Wrote update

So some people have started receiving rewrite requests for sketches they sent into The Show What You Wrote. Nothing for me yet, but so far rewrite requests have gone to  people who sent in their sketches very early – unlike me, I was working almost up to the midday (extended) deadline on  29th March. I managed to […]

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Andrew Ellard on naming characters

Andrew Ellard (script editor on Red Dwarf, IT Crowd, and Miranda amongst other things) has a great Storify story on naming characters. His basic point is that you should make the character name evoke (or, perhaps, completely contrast with) the character. E.g. Mr Gradgrind tells you exactly what Dicken’s character is like.  On the other […]

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The importance of the Shitty First Draft

(Please excuse the Anglo-Saxon synonym for manure used throughout. It is entirely artistically justified. Well, mostly. And it’s shorter to type.) I asked Father Christmas to bring me the boxset of The IT Crowd this year, partly so I could watch them without watching 20 emotionally needy Microsoft ads on 4OD.  (If Windows 8 was […]

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Newsjack Series 7 Episode 2 – sketches sent

I’ve sent three sketches to Newsjack again (didn’t manage to write six like I always intend, and rarely do). (Submission guidelines are here in case you haven’t seen them yet – still time for one liners this week.) This week’s sketches were on Andrew Mitchell insulting the police (like everyone I would guess?) Waitrose’s twitter problems […]

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That Putin sketch is now Newsjack’s preview clip on their front page

My Putin sketch (very ably rewritten by the excellent Tom Neenan) is the preview clip for Newsjack. You can hear it here. And of course the rest of the show at 10.30 tonight on BBC Radio 4 extra.

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More on writing for Newsjack

In case you haven’t seen enough articles on writing for Newsjack here’s a good description of the emotional rolloercoaster of it all from Marc Paterson. There’s also James Cary’s now classic explanation of why you should give it a go. I already mentioned Tom Neenan’s blog post and of course I keep writing about NewsJack (when I […]

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Best comedy writing tip I’ve ever got: Put the funny bit at the end

Now, I haven’t yet scaled to the thin, slippery branches at the top of the comedy writing tree – so I am willing to believe there are other principles of the comedy writing craft I have yet to discover. But of all the tricks I’ve picked up so far this is the one I use […]

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