Sitcom Law

[Spoilers ahead] Q: What’s the number one rule of a sitcom? A: The characters don’t change. Take The Office (British version). Ricky Gervais put the nail in the show’s coffin by having his character become tolerable.The American version on the other hand is still plodding steadily into the future on the back of Michael being zany… over and over. So […]

Disarming Fantasy

Very little fantasy seems fantastic any more. A sweeping statement I know, but it’s true all the same. We’re too comfortable with it. While the magic and advanced technology doesn’t exist, for the purposes of stories, it may as well. Space ships, ray guns, zombies, dragons etc. are such a big part of our collective […]

Creativity Failure

I spent a decent amount of time this week drafting a new story. It was set in a post-apocalyptic world, where a cataclysm had turned the landscape into glass. My two protagonists, a weaver, who had failed to prevent the cataclysm, and an oven cleaner, whose daughter is injured by protection racketeers, seemed interesting, perhaps […]

Reading Meme

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack? Cookies. Yes, I’m very original. Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you? Nope. When I forget something, I tend to flick backwards through the pages, like a madman, until I find […]

Writing Again

Close to 11pm on a Sunday night. Clearly the best time to start writing again. Screw it. I’ve never been a morning person. So this is me resuming an earlier project. One that, to my annoyance, was too long to be used for a fiction assignment and too short to be used for my dissertation. […]

Supernatural Season Five

It’s finally back! Supernatural is one of the few shows that I’ve made the effort to follow from start to now. The fifth (and I hope final) season began right where the last one left off. Lucifer is risen and the brothers are left to pick up the pieces of their own mess. The writers […]

iPod Nano With… Video?

iPod nano now has a built-in video camera that lets you record fun as it happens. Then share it with friends on the Internet. It’s the video camera that’s small enough to take with you everywhere. Apparently, the one thing the iPod Nano lacked was a video camera. I understand. No other common consumer devices […]

The Pressure of Ideas

It’s been nine days since I handed in my dissertation. If I’m honest, I didn’t feel much. I expected relief and maybe a little joy. I was denied. I spent the next few days milling around, sitting on the settee, thinking that maybe I should be getting my arse in gear and doing something. The […]


Well, that’s it. Over. Done with. With my dissertation handed in, I’ve completed every requirement of this MA (short of turning up in a cap and gown and having Michael Parkinson give me a certificate). How does it feel? Kind of empty to start with. Tired. Irritable. I’m sure it’ll fade. But I won’t be […]

First Draft Complete

I’m officially declaring the first draft of my dissertation prose complete. Five fairly long chapters and 15433 (according to Scrivener) words later and I’m relaxing a little. Tomorrow I can start editing. The plan is… Break up the chapters and use Scrivener to label scenes as “main plot”, “sub-plot” (by character name), “action” and “exposition”. […]