Monthly Archives: September 2016

The Writer’s Alphabet vol. 20; “T” is for Theatre

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I love theatre because it is literally alive, and live, and living right in front of my eyes. Sure, shows are workshopped and previewed, rehearsed and remounted, but every time I step into a theatre, and every time the lights go down and the actors take their marks, it is the beginning of a new, unique show. Every performance is different, no matter how the cast, the stage manager, and the director try (or don’t) for consistency. Every single show will have a dropped line, a tech malfunction, an inflection, or an improved performance. These are just a few examples of things that make every performance unique, but I think the idea is clear. Live shows are performed by living human beings. Every night is different because every night people are different. This obviously excludes casting flips, and director’s notes, but those two things also contribute to how the performance I saw on a Thursday could be different from the performance you see on the Friday.

Further to the “living thing” point, I love theatre because until the next performance, there are no do-overs. There isn’t an editing bay to cut together filmed scenes. If someone messes up on or off-stage, that miscue is a part of the show. This is not a bad thing. In fact, I celebrate it because in the shows I’ve seen, missteps have led to some of the best comedic moments and showcased the talent of the actors and their ability to seamlessly recover without breaking character. Plus, most of the time the audience won’t even notice.

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The Writer’s Alphabet vol. 19; “S” is for Suck

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Everything sucks*.

*Note: For the purpose of this post, “suck” is defined as being bad, shitty, terrible, worst-thing-ever, oh-my-god-this-is-horrible.

Everything sucks, not all the time, but everything will suck, or may, at some point. This post probably sucks. Even after a couple rereads and edits, it might be terrible, but it’s Wednesday and I need to post a Writer’s Alphabet column otherwise I get major anxiety. So this festival of suck is what you (and I) get.

Everything will suck. Everything also won’t suck, but let’s focus on the more negative side and flip it into a positive. Here are 4 intro examples before I get to the writing example for your pain or pleasure: Continue reading


The Writer’s Alphabet vol. 18; “R” is for Repetition

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I read a lot about writing. I probably read too much about writing and should spend more time writing, than reading about writing. That being said, one of the common bits of advice that repeatedly appears in what I read is that good writing comes down to repetition. This includes specific pieces, but also general processes. Another is to cut down on the use of the word “that”. I clearly need to reread those articles as I’m sure you noticed I used “that” FIVE TIMES in this paragraph. That being said, repetition is key to producing good written works and here is what I’ve come up with as supportive evidence: Continue reading


The Writer’s Alphabet vol. 17; “Q” is for Quitting

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For two months earlier this year, I thought I had quit writing. I hadn’t written anything of significance and I couldn’t feel any ideas. I say feel ideas because if the writing doesn’t give me creative and literal goosebumps, I know I am not inspired to write it. I repeatedly read the adage commonly attributed to Picasso (“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.) Reading it was as far as I got. So I thought I had quit. I was wrong. Continue reading


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