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Joining the dots

Starting a new screenplay can be a daunting prospect. You’ve had the idea in your head long enough, now’s the time to transfer it to paper. But what about the groundwork – the fleshing out of the bare bones before you begin? I used to think that writing an outline was a waste of energy. Why sit and write a…

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The devil is in the detail

Novelists can usually be divided into two camps: those that enjoy research, and those that loathe it. I belong to the former, and spend hours trawling through books and articles for subject-related matter. But how much detail should end up in a novel is open to debate. Too much and you risk the reader’s irritation. Yes, some readers enjoy textbook…

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From novelist to screenwriter: Take 4

Making a movie is easy. You just get a bunch of actors, point the camera, and it’s done. Actually, there’s a bit more to it than that. You may also need the following: Script Location Director Editor Bags of cash With these things in place there’s a chance you’ll make good progress. But when the shoot is finished, how do…

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Surfing the Edge: a survivor’s guide to bipolar disorder – The Launch!

Bipolar Disorder affects around 60 million people worldwide. Its symptoms range from black depression to a high-octane mania that burns itself out like a plane crash landing on the runway. Unlike many illnesses, it is rarely suffered in isolation, but has a direct impact on the family and the community at large. To coincide with National Bipolar Awareness Day on…

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Villain of the Piece

What qualities do you look for in a fictional character? Someone who helps old ladies across the road? Someone who puts all their spare time and effort into furthering the interests of mankind? I very much doubt it. And yet when it comes to the bad guy there’s an almost universal desire to see him (or her) suffer. Ever since David slew…

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Surfing the Edge: a survivor’s guide to bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder affects around one-percent of the population. Its symptoms range from suicidal depression to full-blown mania, where the individual believes him or herself to have godlike powers. Surfing the Edge: a survivor’s guide to bipolar disorder is the testament of three people who’ve experienced the illness first hand and lived to talk about it. The stories are honest and revealing, and…

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The Weevil in the Biscuit

One thing I love about the theatre is its intimacy. Film and television does a fine job of creating tension and drama, but it can never quite remove the barrier that separates the subject matter from the audience. Watching a play is a completely different experience: as a member of the audience, you’re invited in to share the unfolding drama.…

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