Posts Tagged ‘Star Wars’

Despite a very busy end to 2015, and a couple of cinema trips to start off 2016, I have got to grips with the whodunnit. I reckon I’ll be finished this week coming, in fact.

I also had a great idea for my next book…

I don’t know if I should go wandering into more books when I have accepted that poetry is probably the most enjoyable writing I can do, and I have a number of part-completed novels sitting around waiting for love or a decent send-off.  But this is an amalgamation of a number of ideas, with pre-existing characters.  It’s a follow-on to my Family Tree novel, the one I may well be self-publishing this year.  That gives me the characters, the structure of the novel, the background stories and so on. It really feels possible, and if nothing else I was to get a document outlining all the key ideas and scenes so I can use it in the future if I want to do so.

Sequels do seem all the rage at the moment, don’t they?  There are whole sets of books being made into films, and films that are part of a franchise are particularly in the news right now.

Which takes me onto the cinema.  One of the films I saw was Star Wars: The Force Awakens and as someone not overly excited by the original trilogy, and very unexcited about the prequel trilogy, I was not entirely sure it was worth seeing this.  But it was enjoyable, and without spoiling anything, I liked to see where some of the original characters went next.

The other film was actually a recorded live theatre performance of The Winter’s Tale.  I studied the play way back in my school days and it’s not my favourite Shakespeare by any stretch of the imagination, but it came to life on screen, being performed as designed, not read by a bunch of teenage schoolgirls.  I appreciated it far more than I did as a student!  My only complaint was that it was a lot more money than a normal cinema ticket, and our seats were rubbish – not ones I would have chosen at a real theatre!

Still, it’s all inspirational – seeing worlds expand, seeing words come alive when performed, seeing someone bring an Elizabethan play into a Victorian setting and make it real for a 21st century audience – these are the things that make me want to create.  They make me want to write, to explore, to explain the world in its multitudinous different ways.

It is this inspiration that gives me a push when I need it – no writer can rely on inspiration entirely, but if I can feel inspired to build on what I have done, it helps get me through to the finish line. It awakens my fingers, my mind, even if it is unrelated to the story I am telling.

So here’s to a finish line that I can see coming up in the next few days, and to a week fuelled by the writer within.

Here’s to 2016.

Happy writing,



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Now that project month is over I thought I’d reflect on some of the things I missed in the writing news, but I got sidetracked by a story that hit the culture headlines this week – the prospect of another three Star Wars films.

This reminded me of the efforts made a few years ago to encourage people to list their religion as Jedi on government census forms, and got me thinking about how some ideas become part of our cultural landscape.

As I have said before, storytelling is hugely important, and many stories remain part of our consciousness for centuries.  Their characters, or memorable quotes, become part of everyday language – and even if we have never read the stories ourselves, we use the terminology.

We might think of Shakespeare, who is the source of a number of phrases still in use today – and who would know they are using phrases written for Elizabethan plays?  Or Bram Stoker: he was not the first person to write about vampires, but Dracula is probably the most famous literary vampire (in English-language literature, at any rate).

A more modern example might be George Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’, a book that spawned the phrase ‘Big Brother is watching you’ amongst others.  The idea has taken hold and we now see the phrase used by some people when talking about covert surveillance – or reality tv!

So why do some stories seem so much bigger than others, and why do they seem to last in our consciousness for such a long time?

I don’t have an answer, really – it could be that they’re taught in schools so each age group is introduced to them; it could be that they survive and others don’t either because they went out of print or were not as popular when released; it could be that they caught the public mood of a time, and became famous/notorious as a result.

Nowadays, marketing has a bigger part to play, but I don’t think that’s enough on its own – it might make something fashionable but it won’t make it timeless.  On the other hand, the Harry Potter series has grown from a set of books into a world-wise phenomenon covering films, clothing, holidays, tours and countless official and unofficial websites plus lots more, so marketing clearly has some influence!

Of course we don’t really think about the fact we are using Shakespearean phrases, or referring to mythological characters.  Maybe in another five hundred years, people will say they’re as forceful as a Jedi, and it’ll be perfectly meaningful…

Happy writing,



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