The moment returns?

Posted in Uncategorized on August 25, 2008 by deelaps

Just letting the tunes drift through my mind. Fantastic tunes from UNKLE Global Underground, big wide spaces that remind of a battle field filled with marauding warriors blasted by magical winds and trumpet calls to arms…

Hey the point is, there is no point in putting pen to paper unless you can transpose the feeling, the moment(s). Describing something that’s forced, a stagnant cardboard cut out is pointless. Better to have zero structure but at least drop something with a pulse. The structure the leading of the words through doors to a place that can be called a story can come later.

Jasper Goodall

Posted in Uncategorized on August 1, 2008 by deelaps

Just read this article on this dude from UK Brighton whose an iconic graphic illustrator; cool article and loved the closing line from him. This could be a great theme for an inciting incident in my next story; thoughts on a postcard please…

As the interview draws to a close, he switches over to earnest armchair philosopher mode. “It’s about letting go of desire. You don’t need a big fast car. You don’t need a beautiful girlfriend. You don’t need everyone to adore you.” It’s as though Jasper Goodall’s lifestyle, which seemingly encompasses all of the above, just became surplus to requirements.

For the full artice click this link

The Coen Bros & Brad…

Posted in Silverscreen with tags , on August 1, 2008 by deelaps

Just had to post something on this, haven’t been this excited about a movie coming out for a long time. The trailer looks aw some, perhaps finally a movie that will combine what the Big Labowski and Fight Club did into one memorable trail of comic lunacy. Here’s the trailer for your pleasure, see you at the premiere?

Story – part 3 (pages 201-300)

Posted in Story on July 30, 2008 by deelaps

All these tips from Story really started to stack up by about P300. I knew I was going to finish and I knew I’d be better for it. However I still think that there is still a less tangible side from writing that comes from within. Mr McK states quite rightly about the importance of writing from the outside in but what about that vial of leaking stardust that spills pure creative Novocaine into our blood. What about creating a meme that will spread throughout your audience like wild fire. Yes as much as these fundamental rules need to be given respect i also rate individual style and talent as the real kicker that can carry a book simmering and bubbling above the myriad of stories… OK here is another round of superb ditties from the Page Python, turn on, tune in and drop out…

Extract: P212

But if history has taught us anything it’s that when toxic nightmare is finally cleaned up, the homeless provided shelter and the world converted to solar energy, each of us will still be up to our eyebrows in mulch

Thus whilst the quality of conflict changes as it shifts from level to level, the quantity of conflict in life is constant. Something is always lacking like squeezing a balloon the volume of conflict never changes, it just bulges in another direction.

Extract: P213

Life isn’t about master criminals with stolen nuclear devices holding cities to ransom. No life is about the ultimate questions of finding love and self worth, of bringing serenity to inner chaos, of the titanic social inequalities everywhere around us, of time running out. Life is conflict. That is nature. The writer’s challenge is how to orchestrate this struggle artfully, delicately, beautifully, ironically and with such aplomb and panache that the reader is left in state of enrichment.

Extract: P243

The understanding of how we create the audience’s emotional experience begins with the realisations that there are only two emotions – pleasure and pain. Each has it’s variations joy, love, happiness,  and anguish, dread, and terror to name a few. At it’s heart , we’ll lean life gives us only one or the other!

Extract: P254

How might we write a love scene? Let two people change a tire on a car. A textbook on how to fix a flat. “hand me the wrench. Don’t get dirty. Let me…whoops.’ However as their meet sparks fly it’s the unspoken thoughts that let us see through the surface. ‘He thinks she’s hot and she knows it.’

Extract: P255

We realize we cannot go around saying and doing what we’re actually thinking and feeling. If we all did that, life would be a lunatic asylum… In truth it’s virtually impossible for anyone, even the insane, to fully express what’s going on inside. No matter how much we wish to manifest our deepest feelings, they elude us. We never fully express the truth, for in fact we rarely know it… No text without a subtext.

Film Reference: Annie Hall

When Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) speaks directly to the audience “confessing” his fears and inadequacies, he also lies, dissembles, cajoles, exaggerates and rationalizes, all in a self-deceived effort to win us over and convince himself he is doing the right thing. Subtext is present even when a character is alone…

Definition: P259

Opening & Closing Value. At the end of the scene, examine the value-charged condition of the characters situation and describe it in the positive/negative terms. If the value has undergone change, then the scene has turned.

Extract: P288

The Inciting Incident is the Story’s most profound cause, and , therefore, the final effect, the Story Climax, should seeminevitable. The cement that binds them is the Spine, the protagonist’s deep desire to restore the balance of life.

Extract: P290

The alteration between tensions and relaxation is the pulse of living, the rhythm of days, even years. In some films it’s salient, in others subtle… each story speaks it’s natural accent, but never in flat, repetitious, passive non events, or in unrelenting, bludgeoning action.

Extract: P295

This is why we tend to tell stories about lawyers, doctors, warriors, politicians, scientists – people so positioned in society by profession that if something goes haywire in their private lives, the writer can expand the action into society. MY THOUGHTS: Perhaps the opposite with Fight Club; Normal office worker ant gets to make a huge change… neat… that’s got mass appeal.

Under The Influence 2 – ispace

Posted in Misc on July 24, 2008 by deelaps

OK so I’m sitting at work in my lunch time trying to think about my next move on the novel, writing front and despite donning big white TDK head phones and failing to ignore the constant interruptions (I’m a CAD Manager for my sins) things just won’t flow in that direction. That got me to thinking about where i work at home and when and how do I best turn on that creative tap. Well for me I have a vision of what my spare room in the house would look like when I’ve transformed it into my studio. It would have to be white with a smattering of colour, super cool desk, big cork board splattered with inspirational cuttings of art and articles and piles of my favourite books surrounding me giving off creative vibes.

This space is just so important, a sanctuary where the music flows and the creative batteries are almost guaranteed to get juiced. Even though some of my most lucid words have appeared whilst sitting on public transport the idea of having an ispace if you will just seems so comforting and almost necessary. I just don’t have it yet, just moved, countries, area, house you see…

So my list of writing Catalysts would go something like this: –

  1. ispace (including cool desk and white leather & chrome Buck Rogers style chair)
  2. ipod
  3. imac (Can’t afford so got a HP Notebook)
  4. coffee or glass of wine (sometime separate sometimes alternating 🙂 )
  5. cigarette (although i don’t smoke so scratch that one!)
  6. post / pin board
  7. energy (see item 4… or have a red bull)
  8. peace and quiet apart from the music (scratch that have wife & 2 kids)
  9. Inspirational reference material (books, comics, art, newspaper cuttings, photos)
  10. inspiration (see item 1-9)

For some great creators i-space check out the end of the William Gibson video in my previous post or this fantastic article on Jonathan Hickmans workspace… get yourself an ispace and revel in your little hub of physical creativity.

Story summary – part 2 (pages 101-200)

Posted in Story with tags on July 22, 2008 by deelaps

On with the snake charmer and somethings are really scaring me, like all the things I kinda new I was missing from my novel but just couldn’t explain, comprehend until now… I especially mulled over the words on page 138, thought Donnie Darko  and American Beauty and thought yeah give the audience something that they figure out. That’s the magic moment, envisage. Pop corn on lap, you turn and give a knowing look to your friend; we’ve both figured this out and both know waht the other is thinking and no words have been spoken, awesome. Silverscreen telepathy of the audience if you will!!! OK enough jibber jabber fool, part 2 here we go.

Items in this part include: –

Extract: Pretty much a straight copy in the form of a golden nugget quote from the book.

Definition: One of Mr McKee’s little terms that helps cherry pick key components.

Extract: P101

True Character:These are the choices your character will make under extreme increasing pressure. The greater the pressure the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the characters essential nature.

Extract: P105

The function of Structure is to provide progressively building pressures that force characters into more and more difficult dilemmas where they must make more and more difficult risk-taking choices and actions, gradually revealing their true natures, even down to the unconscious self.

Extract: P111

Story is an instrument by which you create such epiphanies at will, the phenomenon known as aesthetic emotion.

Extract: P115

The more beautifully you shape your work around one clear idea, the more meanings audiences will discover in your story…

Definition: P117

As a result of the climatic action, what valuepositively or negatively charged, is brought into the world of my protagonists? Ask yourself what is the chief cause or forceby which this value is brought into your story?  The answer to these two questions is your CONTROLLING IDEA.

Extract: P122

The proof of your vision is not how well you can assert your controlling idea, but it’s victory over the enormously powerful forces that you array against it.

Extract: P138

The most memorable & fascinating characters tend not to only have a conscious but unconscious desire, Although these characters are unaware of their subconscious need the audience senses it.

Extract: P139

To interest us a character must have hope; if I love, if I win the lottery, if I discipline myself, if this, if that…

Extract: P145

Story should focus on the moment when the protagonist takes an action expecting a useful reaction but instead the action provokes forces of antagonism…

Definition: P177

Writing from the inside out; we do NOT imagine a scene from one end to the other locked in a single characters view. The writer shifts points of view and asks if i were this character in these circumstances what would I do?

Extract: P179

the substance of a story is the gap that splits open between what a human being expects to happen when he takes an action and what really happens.

Definition: P194

The Spine; Deep desire of the protagonist to restore balance to life. Each word, chapter, image is ultimately an aspect of the spine.

 More from pages 201-300 next week!

Story summary – part 1 (pages 1-100)

Posted in Story, Uncategorized with tags , , on July 15, 2008 by deelaps

Found the first one hundred pages of the book OK, but part of me wanted to throw it over my shoulder like a whisky stained, fag burnt self help book, that’s just a sack of empty SFA. However every time I was about to throw in the towel out popped something; a little ray of sunshine if you will that cleared some cloud cover to some of the problems I’ve been circling in my own writing and before I knew it I’d turned another page and on we went… me and Mr McKee the guru, the snake charmer (oh I like that) and his story on Story. 

Items in this part include: –

Extract: Pretty much a straight copy in the form of a golden nugget quote from the book.

Definition: One of Mr McKee’s little terms that helps cherry pick key components.

Film Reference: This is where a direct film reference helps to give some perspective.

Extract:Page 12

Story isn’t a flight from reality but a vehicle that carries us on our search for reality, our best effort to make sense out of the anarchy of our existence.

Extract: P 17

The writer shapes story around a perception of what’s worth living for, what’s worth dying for…

time to die...

time to die...


Truth is located behind, beyond, inside, below the surface of things, holding reality together or tearing it apart…


From an instant to eternity, from the intracranial to the intergalactic, the life story of each and every character offers encyclopedic possibilities. The mark of a master is to select only a few moments but give us a lifetime.

 Definition: P34

A Story Event creates meaningful change in the life situation of a character that is expressed and experienced in terms of a value and ACHIEVED THROUGH CONFLICT.

Extract: P35

What value is at stake in my characters life at the start of the chapter.  Then turn to the end of the chapter and ask where is the value now? Has it flipped from positive to negative? If the value hasn’t changed then you should ask, why is this chapter in my book?

Extract: P65

Each tale you create says to the audience: “I believe life is like this.” Every moment must be filled with your passionate conviction or we smell a phony.

Film Reference:Dangerous Liaisons P83

Despite the antiquated setting, within minutes the audiance felt intimately at home with it’s corrupted aristocats – they are us!!!


Given a certain conjunction of events, we too could part company with reality…. our toughest task in life is self-analysis as we try tofathom our humanity and bring peace to the wars within.

Extract & Definition: P95

The most important question we ask when we write a love story is what’s to stop them. Who are the blocking characters / forces.

Pages 100-200 next.

Story summary part 0

Posted in Story with tags , , , on July 10, 2008 by deelaps

Ok I’ve just read Story by Robert McKee in preparation of either rehashing my existing unpublished novel Surface to Air or as scary as it is starting on a new novel from scratch….

When I was reading the book I stuck in a little coloured page marker whenever something made sense, gave me a lesson if you will or a moment of understanding perhaps clarity about what’s important in creating a Story that crackles with a life of it’s own and infects your audience in a way you’d never dared dream of.

My intent then is to create a series of posts under the categegory of Story in this blog that will become my summary of what I got out of Mr MG’s (as I’ll now refer to him) well reknowned book; Story – Substance, structure, style, and the principles of screenwriting.

I hope it works for both those readers that have both read his work and those that haven’t. To get your juices following here is a scene from the film Adaptation where the main character played by Nicholas Cage goes to an infamous Robert McKee seminar. It’s a brilliant little insight into writer, guru… hope you enjoy this and my coming posts on Story.


Under the influence

Posted in Tunes with tags , on July 10, 2008 by deelaps

OK I know this next post is meant to be about Story but I just felt the need to focus on the catalysts, the vibes the little and big things that make our imaginations wake up from their pod life induced slumbers and recoil into action. Well for me I think beyond film, books and comics it has to be art work and music perhaps sprinkled with a little loosen-er (AKA a cheeky cab sav or for all you Spanish speaking compardres vino tinto).

Yeah for me when I’m sitting in my pod life train rattling home nothing helps to lift the grey worker ant mists more than a top tune on ipod; if I have a good book in my hands then even better and on occasion I grab for my notebook and pen and scribble down something inspired, unforced that will hopefully become part of something bigger perhaps a story at a later date… who knows?

I guess music like books and films carries a story, the code if you will that gets the neuro transmitters in our grey matter firing. My current favourite flavours of inspiration would have to be Angels and Airways  and Cut Copy. So to that end get your pens poised and listen to the CC clip below. Enjoy; right I’d better get back to that post on Story I’ve been promising now… oops. Dave.

Mr G’s latest interview on the Spook Country

Posted in Authors with tags , on July 10, 2008 by deelaps

Here is a cool interview with the main man regarding his latest book; interesting insight into the man behind the book. Enjoy