Saturday, 29 June 2013


Is anything taboo anymore? Shelagh Delaney's play, A Taste of Honey, was challenging in terms of its subject matter when it was released in 1958. Its story is one of a sexually permissive mother who ignores the plight of a daughter who is made pregnant by a young black sailor who deserts her. Support in the situation comes from a gay man. 
It's still a powerful play, one I'd watch were it to be shown at a theatre or on TV, but do its social challenges still exist? 
Are mixed relationships or sexually permissive people taboo anymore? Are there any taboo subjects? Mixed marriages are commonplace now - does that mean taboos no longer exist?

Do you think there are still taboo subjects?

A radio producer once told me I could afford to be braver with my writing.

It was true and I took it on board.

Write bravely about a taboo.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013


This is a picture I took at Stonehenge during the summer solstice celebrations. it looks light but it was only about 4 o clock in the morning. Before I went I imagined the stones would be swarming with Hippies, Druids and New Age souls chanting free the stones. It wasn't like that. The event was heavily staffed with security personnel, there was a drugs amnesty and a vast bucket for people to drop their spliffs etc in before they went near the monument. Some people were drunk and cheerful, others were dancing, some to the music inside their own heads. There were one or two druids, a few hippies and a lot of new age travellers. I enjoyed the event enormously but didn't get any of the spiritual vibes I secretly hoped  I might.

Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles features a scene in which Tess is lost in Stonehenge, trying to feel her way around. I was imagining this scene when I was there.

I thought there was a lot of potential for stories at Stonehenge. 

Could you write a story about the lives of Druids or others who may have used the stones when they were first erected? 

Is there a story in the people whose caravans filled the field nearby or a person who visits sacred sites? Write some notes. See if you have the makings of a short story. 

Monday, 24 June 2013

BBC writersroom - fantastic up to date information for writers

BBC writersroom is a great on-line resource for writers. Opportunities in the form of competitions and initiatives to submit scripts for radio, television and theatre are updated frequently. It's possible to read examples of scripts and watch interviews with writers of current programmes. There are tips, inspiring success stories and a definite flavour of what's currrent and important in the world of commercial writing. 

Find this resource at