Giving good story: it’s all about the posture (but never posturing!)

If you love writing, you just love writing. I’ve got several fresh projects on the go  (film, stage and TV) and it’s a lovely time, tending the garden, straightening the bamboo poles, checking the rainfall, soil and consulting the manual…I also have several (*metaphor switch alert*) fully formed babies out there, trying to find their way to their audiences. Maybe they’re more like eels in the wide Sargasso Sea.  But my point is, how lucky I am to be doing this.

Today, I’m running a course on dramatic structure, enabled by the marvellous peeps at Theatre Royal Bath’s Engage Programme. It’s really about how you, too, really CAN tell a great story and let your mind go wild if your structure works. I love structure: in music, painting, language, life and stories. We all look for patterns (from superstitions to coincidence to aesthetic beauty) and they allow life to ‘sing’, like strange harmonics from violins or the singing sands of the Sahara.

Today’s course all started off with a post here (Mr Benn & the hero’s journey), where I twigged that even kids’ TV – and especially clearly, the ’70s Mr Benn – has the same basic skeleton as The Wizard of Oz, Rocky, It’s A Wonderful Life, The Hobbit… (etc etc). We ran some shorter workshops for the enthusiastic parents of Paulton Junior School back in the summer, and today, I get to explore more deeply with a smaller group of writers.

I’m also working with a couple of other writers on their scripts and sharing my own work with a couple of novel-writing friends, giving each other feedback and providing sounding boards (rather than unalloyed enthusiasm, which is never very helpful). So, thankfully, I am very definitely a jobbing writer once again, working in a community of greatly generous artists, with (luckily) very very little ego on the rampage (none!). And if you are ever interested in the ideas that crop up here, you know where to find me.

If you’re writing, be kind to yourself; if you’re not, enjoy some drama, comedy or a book!

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