Wednesday, February 16, 2005

University Challenge

University Challenge

Thanks to the Eagle and Child Pub Quiz [and indeed Becky's prowess on Google, not that I condone cheating] I feel that I've learnt lots of useful things this week. The postcode for the Shetlands is ZE, the name of the 1915 play Hobson's Choice was inspired by a guy in Cambridge who made his customers take the next horse in line rather than chosing their own and the battle two days before Waterloo was called Quatre Bras. We also managed a more impressive third place after coming last when we did the Quiz a fortnight ago*. So success all round.

Given that my work levels are just reaching their peak for this term it's rather unfortunate that I've finally lost all fear regarding my new play. Indeed I lost the fear in rather spectacular style yesterday afternoon and ended up plotting out, using lots of different coloured pens which I'd got for a bargainous £1 in Smiths a few weeks ago, the entire play. I finally settled on the characters and their names and have pinned down the story arc. I even started writing. I've still got lots of little details to work out, and I need to root the story in a particular year, but I think I finally made the break through from having 'the idea' and keeping lots of random notes and writing out bits of dialogue that I like to jumping into the swimming pool. Or something like that. It's a bit different to SSoB as it's not a play in a room. It also isn't as unified in time, there's a span of just over ten months, hence the need for me to plot the play rather tightly. It's really rather exciting though, as I've got these new characters in my head, waiting to come out with lots of things different to the ones in SSoB. The only thing that I'm semi-worried about, and maybe even the semi is too much, it's more of a gentle nag in the back of my brain that may or may not develop into a full blown headache, is the possibility of it getting caught up with reality. Or, as that's not quite right since I've plotted the play away from reality, that people who read/(hopefully) see it will get it caught up with reality. I don't mind so much with SSoB, there's a lot of me in there, but with the new play it's more awkward if it gets caught up. I like to think that I've plotted it in such a way that though the idea came from personal experience, that I've moved it away into a realm of obvious fictionality. It's already mutated a couple of times so hopefully I'll be able to eventually banish that little nag. But the fact remains that it's about a band, or since I'm not entirely sure how many members a 'band' actually has to have to qualify as a 'band' it's about a duo. And a little bit about their fans. Which does lead to some interesting/ slightly sticky possibilities. Once I've layered in the third major storyline, and undoubtely pursued some route that only emerged as I was writing, though I'm on safer territory. I kind of hope that people will see my own almost-popstar fixations as a jumping off point and not the sum total of the parts. But we'll see.

*It should probably be noted that we did cheat more this week, though.

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