Anyone seen the traveling lemon lately?
Do you recognise that chap on the right? He looks a bit like - no, an awful lot like - Benedict Cumberbatch dressed as a pilot. An airline Captain actually.
Yes, Cabin Pressure is back on Radio 4 for a fourth series and I am a happy bunny. It's written by the chap on the far left, the daft Arthur in the series, but in real life, John Finnemore. I'm writing this blog as a result of reading an interview with him on the Radio Times website. Go HERE. I think it's funny (the bit about the frog) but that's not the reason I'm linking to it. What we get is insight into how he works. Obviously, he's a clever, well educated chap with a sense of humour but he hasn't given up looking, learning and asking questions about his writing. I love the fact he watches TV comedies with a notebook to hand. In particular, take in the section where he talks about plotting and character: the twin pillars of successful writing.
There's also a link on that page to the iPlayer site and the first programme in series 4. I was one of the seventeen thousand applicants for two hundred tickets to the recording. Needless to say, I didn't get any. Some things in this life are a matter of chance and that's all there is to it. Being a successful writer requires chance but more than that, determination. Before that that though, we have to write, keep writing, experiment, fail, cry, learn, write more. We can do this by ourselves but it's often quicker and much more fun together.
Check out Courses HERE and Workshops HERE
ps For Cabin Pressure fans, I only have one more thing to say: 'Yellow car!'
I haven't read this, but I know what it is. Do you?
Last Saturday's Guardian included a feature - HERE - about the best-selling books of 2012. The top three for most of the year were The Amorous Adventures of Anastasia by Ms E L James. No, wait...that's not right. You know, don't you? Who doesn't? After all, Ms James surpassed J K Rowlings record earnings of over £40 million in a single year way back in August. Gosh. That's a colossal lots of books sold.
Perhaps (and let's hope) it's a blip. The world isn't really seeking more sadomasochistic love stories, is it? The article suggests not.
Sex, however, isn't going away. One of the reasons I asked Jane Holland to give a workshop for CreativeWritingMatters is that during my teaching and competition-judging career I have read a considerable amount of writing about sex that is inappropriate, shocking, hilarious, or absent altogether. Worse, is the, this goes here, that goes there, Biology text book writing. Eeek! It's a tricky subject.
Perhaps a lace hankie might be the most erotic thing in your book? Or a pair of handcuffs, if you're Ms E L James. Do you want to write Mills and Boon Spice (sensual and sexual stories for discerning women) or erotic stories to upload onto the Kindle Store. Perhaps you want to avoid anything overt altogether, but are your characters to remain celibate throughout your book?
Go HERE for more info about the Writing About Sex workshop.
I'm arranging another short story course and also a course for writers wishing to take their work to the next level. More info soon!
Here's to a Happy and Rewarding 2013!