Sunday 4 March 2012

Why you should read Jason Arnopp's blog

On a wet Sunday afternoon, it seems unlikely that I'm going to write anything better and more helpful than a few posts I've found on Jason Arnopp's excellent blog. In fact, on a warm Tuesday afternoon with a following wind, I'm still unlikely to write anything better that these posts which are really good.

I've worked with Jason on a radio sketch show - and he wrote some hilariously demented sketches. But he also writes a bunch of other stuff and written about writing. He's written a very good piece on how stories can go wrong called "Five Ways to Kill Audience Satisfaction" here.

There's another post about attitudes to scripts, breaking into the business and luck called "Your Script is Not a Lottery Ticket" here. I particularly like the bit where he says "Don't succumb to that deeply weird Scriptwriter Quirk which compels you to sling an imperfect script into a competition 'just to get something in'."

And if you're starting out in the writing business, there's an excellent post called 'Eight Ways to Annoy People whose help you want.' Here. It's brilliant and sadly very true.

It was also through following Jason on twitter that I came across this post about a letter a rookie magician wrote to Teller, from Penn and Teller, my favourite part of which is this:

Love something besides magic, in the arts. Get inspired by a particular poet, film-maker, sculptor, composer. You will never be the first Brian Allen Brushwood of magic if you want to be Penn & Teller. But if you want to be, say, the Salvador Dali of magic, we'll THERE'S an opening.

I should be a film editor. I'm a magician. And if I'm good, it's because I should be a film editor. Bach should have written opera or plays. But instead, he worked in eighteenth-century counterpoint. That's why his counterpoints have so much more point than other contrapuntalists. They have passion and plot. Shakespeare, on the other hand, should have been a musician, writing counterpoint. That's why his plays stand out from the others through their plot and music.

It applies to comedy just as much. Cheers, Jason. Keeping feeding my writing soul.

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