Up to now in the romance world

I had a psychology class about relationships yesterday.

There’s a difference between what men and women want, in that traditional dynamic.

Men want someone nurturing.

Someone they can get along with and who’ll help raise their child.

Women want someone with power, who they believe will support the family and help raise their child.

Generally speaking, and we’re all on a bell curve for everything, that’s what the deal is.

Since I’ve been living long term in singledom, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, darning my own clothes, I have a lot of the nurturing, I guess, and I just want someone to support that.

I don’t show a lot of power.

It’s also never been valued, because in my childhood if I ever showed it I’d get the beating down.

But I have to show power to win relationships, not just with women but society.

To start showing more power, and since I have a date tonight, I been thinking about how I should reframe my life.

To highlight if not pre-existing, but new power.

So here it is, my new life narrative where I don’t talk about the jobs I’ve had or the study I’ve undertaken to get out of menial work.

“What do you do?” she’ll ask, because they always do.

“So I wrote comedy as a kid in school but got told it would not amount to anything and not to waste my time. I kept making little things and writing, got published in a few places, but family and friends kept reminding me it was pointless and to never try stand-up. I moved to Bendigo for work and after a few more people said there was no future in writing anything and it’ll fail, I met some people doing stand-up comedy who saw my act and said, Yes. Three years since I’ve had a successful Melbourne International Comedy Festival show, preformed in England and Iceland, I’m helping to produce a Bendigo Comedy Festival, and I have a 100 seat room booked at the Adelaide Fringe. So things are looking up.”


Not Dating Advice (part 1)

When I was a kid, not saying I’m much more than that now but you know, many years ago there were movies, and like today, they showed the guidelines for dating and human behaviour.

In these old movies there’d be some woman, some upstart woman, and the guy would come along and say, “Hello beautiful,” and the woman would be all like, “Go away I’m busy,” and the guy would go away, but he’d soon be back.

“Hello beautiful,” he’d say, this time with flowers.

She’d be all like, “Go away. I’m busy. I’m working the family oil farm all by myself, and getting a doctorate, which means I’m planning to become a doctor, and I’m doing something else, something, rule of three, because I’m a strong independent woman.”

And the guy would go away, and then come back, all smiles, holding a wrench to fix something, something rule of three, saying “Hello beautiful,” and this would be alright. He’d fix her problem, because after all he’s a man and he can fix women’s issues. Not all women’s issues. Some of them are aided by tampons. You don’t actually need a man with a wrench or spanner or some cleaving equipment in that situation. I’m not saying men are needed to fix any issue. That’s just what happens in these movies. You know?

I’m looking at the audience (that’s you) and I think I’m okay with that point. Am I okay? I’m getting a head nod from the woman in the front row but I’m not sure if that’s an “okay” signal or a “We’ll talk about this later”.

Anyway, I think I’m okay, what the movies would do next was show the guy with flowers, or chocolate, or something, fix things, because he was wooing her.


I have a speech impediment but “wooing”, you understand that? Basically modern day stalking. The guy would stalk her, wear her down, break her will, Audrey Hepburn used to try to balk this trend in movies but it would happen, the woman would submit, give up her silly dreams, plan to make a nice kitchen, and they’d end the film with a wedding, bing-bong bing-bong, happy ending.

Can’t do that today. I say hello to someone, they tell me to rack off, and I go home to masturbate into a pillow. I can’t come back with a wrench. No. That would not be okay. I can’t stand underneath a window with a boom-box playing her favourite love song.

First of all, I don’t know how romantic Beyonce’s “if you like it you should have put a ring on it” is at one in the morning, played by some guy standing in shrub next to the clothes line. Mostly I know that the neighbours would call the cops. Or she would call the cops. Or a passer-by would call the cops. The cops would be called, I’d have to explain myself and saying “I’m wooing her” would not be good enough.

No. Times have changed. That’s all I’m saying. Times have changed.

An Angry Monologue on Marriage Equality

The No campaigners are out, and they’re making their thoughts known. For instance, they worry:

What our kids are being taught in schools!Television Advert by Australian Christian Lobby

  • But when have kids ever cared about what they get taught in school? My niece and nephew visit, I ask “How was school?” they say, “Yeah ok.”, “What did you learn?” “Nothing much.”, “Did you do anything?” “Kylie had subway for lunch why can’t I have subway?”
  • They care more about their friends than their teachers!
  • In fact a parental guardian has a much bigger impact on a child’s development than schools do. No-one gets older and says, “Oh, I’m turning into my year 9 teacher Mrs Richard’s,” because classrooms don’t have that big an influence. It’s TV first, parenting second, app on the phone, your friends, music, TV again, home life and somewhere down further is schooling. If you’re worried about the school teaching all morals and values, then you’re not leading a good example as a parent.

Definition of marriage, “It’s the union of a man and a woman to create a child.”Matt Canavan (Liberal Party Senator)

  • This is a bit of a “fuck you” to the infertile. Is he going to go into cancer wards and strip off engagement rings from blokes with testicular cancer, or women who have had ovaries removed?
  • Is he going to bash down doors of couples enjoying their 85th wedding anniversary, while morning telly interviews them, and tear up their wedding certificate, proclaiming “This marriage is annulled! She’s had menopause and you’re no longer of child bearing age.”?
  • Marriage is what two people do when they love each other and want to stay together, and they use the word because the term civil union is dull. Creating a child is not a definition for a relationship.

It goes against parental rights Eric Abetz (Liberal Party Senator)

  • Right, so according to some people a relationship is about parenting. But same sex marriage has no impact on parenting. Same sex couples can already adopt kids. An argument of needing a mother and father to be parents is only a big fuck you to single parents.
  • It’s just kicking in the guts the father whose wife died in child birth, and mother whose husband died in Afghanistan. It’s not relevant to the debate, and it’s only mean to really nice people struggling to do their best.

It’s a restriction of freedom of speechEric Abetz (Liberal Party Senator)

  • Abetz, a leader of the No vote, also says it’s an attack on freedom of speech, but people don’t have to use the word.
  • How’s this for freedom of speech? I already have same sex friends who have been married. They got dressed up and married their partner and invited a whole bunch of friends and had cake. They used the word married a lot. They exercised their freedom of speech to use it, just as I am doing now. We can still say words. Watch. Nigger, nigger, nigger. I can say words. It doesn’t fucking matter. No-one can stop me. Except those trying to stop freedom of speech by stopping people using a word.
  • The whole point of preventing Marriage Equality is to actually stop freedom of speech. An argument to allow freedom of speech should be an argument for the Yes campaign!

Freedom of Religion Eric Abetz (Liberal Party Senator)

  • Oh, so the idea is it limits what religions can do? First, we shouldn’t have a religious state. Anything that legislates because of decisions by a religion must be avoided. It hasn’t worked for Muslims states, Jewish settlements, or Buddhist countries. Don’t do it!
  • Second, religions don’t need to recognise any marriage. This legislation is about using a word. Not forcing everyone to use a word. People can’t be discriminatory now, despite their religious feelings. Florists, bakers, and photographers have to provide a service regardless of a customer’s gender, religion or ethnicity, but they don’t have to use a word to label those people. They can already supply civil union cakes, flowers, and pictures. They can’t discriminate now and they won’t be allow to in the future. Only religions will be exempt. There will still be religious freedom.

It’s all about using a word, and it’s stupid to try and stop people from using words. Words are forever changing. It is awful (once a word meaning “worthy of awe”, now meaning something disgusting) to manufacture (once a word meaning handmade craft, now applied to mass produced objects) an argument against people who are nice (once a word describing a senseless person, now someone polite) is silly (once a word describing happiness, now means foolish) and propagated by cheaters (once a word describing a person employed by a king, now a deceitful person). But, you might ask, who is giving this semantic masterclass (once a word to describe students showing their learnt skills to their master, now an education session given to students by a proclaimed authority)?

I’m not gay or bi. I’ve never been married or had a relationship. I’m 38 and I’ve never known what it feels like to sleep next to someone. I’ve never arrived home to a partner’s welcoming smile, had the pleasure to laugh or cry with them, and never been able to help them in need or been supported by them in peril, though I’m constantly baffled by the flippancy people treat this bond.

I have such amazement that people find a partner, and for some to want to devalue it is horrible, with a justification of a claim of ownership over a word ridiculous.

I’ll not get anything out of a Yes vote. Some people will be happier. Some very lucky people, who know what it is to be happy, will be happier. I’m all for supporting that. There’s no good argument against it.

Luke Morris.

61 words that have changed meaning (including one that hasn’t really)

Here are some words that have changed meaning over the years. To review them or learn more look up: www.etymonline.com or visit www.thehistoryofenglish.com

Otherwise, enjoy….

  1. Masterclass: Was a display by a pupil to their Master to show what they have learnt, common in martial arts. Now any class taught to students by someone identified in some way as a master.
  2. Smart: Was something sharp. Now someone with intelligence (eg: a sharp wit).
  3. Camp: Was an open area of ground. Now a term for temporary housing in an open area.
  4. Buxom: Was an obedient person before God. Now someone with big breasts.
  5. Handsome: Was someone easily manipulated. Now someone with good looks.
  6. Inmate: Was someone allowed to live in a place. Now someone restricted to living in a place.
  7. Boombastic: Was cotton padding or stuffing. Now refers to exaggerations and noise above substance.
  8. Deer: Was any type of animal. Now specifically a deer.
  9. Nice: Was a senseless person. Now something pleasant.
  10. Silly: Was used to mean happy. Became to refer to the weak. Now those who are foolish.
  11. Awful: Was “worthy of awe”. Now something disgusting.
  12. Fizzle: Was the production of quiet flatulence. Now refers to failing at things.
  13. Wench: Was a female child. Now wanton women.
  14. Fathom: Was the understanding of things. Now also a measurement of depth.
  15. Clue: Was a ball of yarn (clew), perhaps as used in a maze. Now a helpful tip to solve a problem.
  16. Myriad: Was 10,000 things. Now a lot of things.
  17. Naughty: Was reference to having nothing. Now badly behaved.
  18. Spinster: Was a woman who spun in dance. Now an unmarried woman.
  19. Bachelor: Was a young knight. Now an unmarried man.
  20. Flirt: Was a flick of the fingers or sudden movement. Now being sexually suggestive towards another person.
  21. Hussy: Was a housewife, or someone working at home. Now a disreputable woman.
  22. Counterfeit: Was legitimate times. Now fraudulent times.
  23. Egregious: Was someone very good. Now someone conspicuously bad.
  24. Quell: Was killing something. Now just subduing it.
  25. Divest: Was depriving others of their rights or possessions. Now refers to selling off investments.
  26. Meat: Was any food of solid nature, including vegetables (such as in having “meat and drink”). Now food of flesh.
  27. Cheater Was someone appointed to look after the King’s land. Now mistrust of the king’s cheaters resulted in belief the person is dishonest.
  28. Furniture: Was equipment or general supplies (even a furniture of knowledge). Now more permanent articles in a house.
  29. Girl: Was a child of either sex. Now specifically a young female.
  30. Pretty: Was a crafty and cunning person. Now someone good-looking.
  31. Sly: Was a respectable skill, as in being sleight of hand. Now means sneaky.
  32. Cray Cray: Was two crayfish. Now double crazy.
  33. Bad: When kids say bad these days, they mean good. And to shake your booty is to wiggle one’s butt.
  34. Gay Was merry or happy. Now associated with same sex relationships.
  35. Thongs: Are a term for flip-flops in Australia, New Zealand and other countries. Used by America to describe underwear.
  36. Cell: Was a small enclosed, like where monks and prisoners live. Now people in America use it as a contraction of cellular in reference to their mobile phone.
  37. Totes: Was small potatoes, often fried. Now a contraction of totally.
  38. Like: Was solely an expression of attraction. Now a filler when you can’t think of, like, think of what you’re, like, saying, and that.
  39. Trump: Was a selfish and manipulating individual. Now president of America.
  40. Manspreading: Was the exposure of a male’s ball sack area, albeit covered by their pants. Now describes the scene of males leaving an area when a UFC fight ends.
  41. Facetious: Was a general term for a witty remark or person. Now considered someone flippant of a serious matter.
  42. Angel: Was any messenger. Now refers to a higher being.
  43. Misogyny: Was the hatred of women. Now means a dislike of women.
  44. Artificial: Was a skilful construction. Now a false construction.
  45. Fetch: Gretchen, stop trying to make fetch happen! It’s not going to happen!
  46. Brave: Was used to imply a coward. Now is someone who is courageous.
  47. Dude: Was a fancy dressed fool. Now used for any male, and sometimes female.
  48. Decimate: Was to mean “kill one in ten” (deca is Latin for ten). Now refers to destroying of everything.
  49. Literally: Was used to mean an absolute occurrence. Now it is frequently used to describe an unlikely or exaggerated occurrence.
  50. Bully: Was an encouragement of a good person, potentially a date. Now refers to someone who is a complete arsehole.
  51. Asshole: Was the exit point of a jack-ass. Now an alternative spelling for arsehole (a human’s exit point).
  52. Doom: Was a reference to law and legal obligations (the Doomsday/Domesday book). Now a reference to the end of something (maybe the result of a criminal act and thus the person is doomed in court).
  53. Guy: Was a frightful male figure. Now any male, and often any person.
  54. Hilarity: Was a calming situation. Now a situation of great noise and
  55. Manufacture: Was something made by hand. Now a mass produced item.
  56. Nuisance: Was a real injury. Now a minor inconvenience.
  57. Passenger: Was anyone travelling. A passing person. Now someone travelling alongside another.
  58. Radical: Was a root need. Now a drastic change.
  59. Sad: Was having had one’s full of food, and thus satisfied. Now an unhappy feeling.
  60. Villain: Was someone who worked the land, associated to a village. Now, through reference to someone that’s come into town and caused a ruckus, a villain is a nasty person.
  61. Marriage: Was a reference to a lasting bond between two loving people. In 2004 the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, decided without a vote, to legislate its meaning to exclusively refer to a male and female relationship – perhaps planning to make Australia an extremist religious state. Marriage is still widely considered a non-gender specific term, and religions don’t own the dictionary, and having a religion dictate government terms and conditions is a really bad idea, and language is forever evolving and even if words did have an original meaning they will forever evolve no matter what anybody tries to say or do. To believe otherwise is just cray cray.

How to Make a Movie

The End

This guide is not for the entire film process. For those seeking that, you need money and practice. This is for the first step. The script.

First you need characters that the audience can relate to.

Then you need a setting.

Finally you need a goal, particularly for one character (your antagonist).

Eg: Two managers, in fast food stores, one aiming to make the ideal food (a chiko roll), or a father and son, in outer space, and the father seeks reunion.

To stop that goal being reached there needs to be obstacles.

Eg: a feud or a Jedi battle.

Obstacles can take many forms. The classic process is the Hero’s Journey, where there is conflict, division, self-realistion and atonement (basically every Will Farrell movie), so the character has changed along the way.


Stage one: establish characters, scene, goal, introduce major conflict and a sign of resolution. For a major 90min movie this is all done in the first 10min.

Stage two: make the goal hard to reach, and by the end of this stage it seems impossible. This is the next 70min of a 90min movie.

Stage three: Goal is achieved, and character has learnt a life lesson. The final 10min.

A good example of playing with this format in the Bendigo Comedy podcast was with Tara Bell and Mike Elliott. There the antagonist was an overly happy guy at a store, and he wanted to work at a store closer to town, or the city as he considered it. On his way to the interview was a Mosque protest, and the protesters did not respond well to the happy guy getting on their tram. Despite the conflict, the happy guy made the angry people see that life was good, characters changed, and the happy guy got to his job interview. The end.

It’s a simple structure often repeated. The hard thing is making the pieces of a movie fit, as changing a character’s motivation can change the entire film (eg: it doesn’t make sense for Greedo to shoot first).

Ultimately it’s about building a plot line, because as Alfred Hitchock said, “I’ve written the script, now all I need is the dialogue.”*

*actually I can’t find the actual Hitchock quote. Maybe he didn’t say it. Anyway, it’s a good quote.

Things Learned From the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Listed in order of seeing them, here are the acts and things I learned during the 2017 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. These thoughts and observations are my own, and as with all advice, it is most applicable to the person giving the advice. Feel free to add you own opinions, advice or corrections in the comments section below.

Dan Connell – Stacks On

The dry voice. There’s a beat to Connell’s delivery. Many comics, and this is not a negative, work at a high tempo. They smile and laugh, intending to encourage the audience to smile and laugh too. Connell doesn’t do this. He does grin (almost winks), with a knowing nod at the punchlines, but he doesn’t bounce around. His delivery is calm, paced, and perfect for his material (more on that later).

Michael Williams – Escape from a 90s Educational CD ROM

Awe inspiring. I’ll be honest, as much as I enjoyed this show many in the audience did not. Williams created a world with a story, and he went through it with character development and analysis – the funny kind. It was not stand-up comedy, but it was a terrific creation with video interaction and effects. It was probably pushing what an audience expect from comedy (again, more on this later), but I thought it great writing, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Factious – Pants Down Tour

Fart jokes and dick jokes. I know that sounds disparaging, and I have no intention of being such, but I saw this show directly after Williams’ and the difference was stark. The Factious trio are new(ish), and produced a show of sketch comedy with occasional stand-up routines. They entertain, and on the night I attended they had more laughter in the crowd than the Williams gig I attended. They also reminded me that polish takes time in front of an audience (more on that later). It will be interesting to see how they develop their show the more they preform.

David Quirk – Cowboy Mouth

Detail is funny. As with Dan Connell, the comedy does not come from engaging the audience – though it’s clear each performer can do this. Instead large parts of their humour is in the events and mundane elements of life – our quirks (if you will). This is also what makes Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell a funny book in parts. It is the odd detail in our bafflingly silly lives.

Danny McGinlay – Banner Man Live

Here’s a guy who can work a crowd. Danny is the endearing comic who wants to make everyone laugh. He had over 200 people in the hall laughing with his crowd interactions and performances – the acting out of comic characters which he sometimes created on stage. He had genuine excitement at showing some of the football banners he had made, and retelling the events around them. There’s not much to be learnt from a Jedi master of this kind of stand-up – except the importance of characters in comedy. Mostly he’s a funny bugger. You can’t replicate that.

Ashley Greblo, Shaun Rosaia, Cody Jones – Three’s a Crowd, not an audience

Practice, practice, practice. Again new(ish) to the scene, these three stand-up comics joined to perform approximately 16min of material each. I have seen them perform regularly, and each act included well-rehearsed (aka often-used) parts in their set. I know from experience that regular performance tightens material, as parts that don’t work for the performer or the audience are removed, and even some parts are expanded on. This gives the act confidence, which adds to the performance. While they have different styles, each knew how to pace their delivery for the punchlines they knew would work.

Sammy J – Hero Complex

A story structure pulls people into the act. Right from the start Sammy J pulls the audience into the narrative by outlining a high stakes mystery. This introduction reminded me of PG Wodehouse, and how those books often use a hook at the beginning. From there Sammy J smiles and performs though a narrative about a series of unlikely connections in a bafflingly real life story, using video and musical elements in the performance. He also interacts with the crowd (at one point making a sexist remark, he reached out to me in the audience for a high five. I didn’t want to but I couldn’t leave the guy hanging so I reached back. He then admonished me for laughing at the joke, thereby making the audience feel better about themselves and getting a bigger laugh from the audience, and also ruining my chances with the three single women sitting next to me. What a jerk. Good show though).

Alastair Trembley-Birchell – F%*# a Duck, Here We Go

Professionalism. ATB (as we like to call him) nails every part of stand-up. Great writing with a smiling, playful, almost whimsy delivery – a blend of the dry and happy. His story about buying his family tortilla instead of pancakes was the funniest thing I saw all Festival. He bumbled a couple of sentences, and forgot a section of his routine so stopped to include it. It was because they were enjoying the fact that he clearly knew what he was doing. A bump in the highway doesn’t ruin a scenic holiday, or some such analogy. Equally, when there are big laughs the audience might think the comic will stop for the adulation, but no, ATB continued because that gives trust that there is more to come. Plough ahead, when the going is great and when the going is tough. That’s professionalism.

A Reason Why I Do Movember

15232146_10154578192560569_8043678542376390879_nLast weekend a mate told me how, three weeks ago, he twisted his knee and felt a sudden, sharp pain. He then hobbled for half a day before the pain reduced to nothing. Now his kneecap feels like it shifts, he can’t turn very well, it feels sore if he runs, and every so often he gets a return of the pain.
He figured it would just fix itself.
I told him if it is a ligament tear, he needs to see a doctor. That injury wont fix itself, and waiting three weeks will only cause the ligament to withdraw, making a full recovery near impossible.
He said he would go see someone.

He revealed this problem ten minutes into a general conversation.

I do Movember because in the world of men, it’s tough to suck it up, eat some concrete, and put up with the pain, while hoping the problem will go away. This applies to mental and physical health.
I believe talking is the most important part of Movember, so don’t send me any cash. Instead, ask a friend how they’re doing. Even if they don’t tell you truthfully, it will be a start, and besides that, you’ll get to talk to a friend – which is a good thing anyway, so do it.

Is Satire Bad?

A year ago Max Gillies gave a talk at the 2015 Bendigo Writers Festival.

He discussed impersonating former Australian Prime Ministers, and lamented the lack of characters in politics today.

The question to ask is, who is to blame for that?

Satire is partly about exposing faults in people so that the imperfection can be laughed at.

It is really about humanising the leaders.

But if people laugh at politicians, then the politicians must lose perceived integrity.

People want to vote for the person with the least faults.

Exposing a politicians faults reduces the idea that the politician can lead, and so less people will vote for them.

Politicians already do not want to show errors, and the fear of being joked about only increases the fear of being themselves.

It is disastrous for a politician to have a nervous tick exposed, or a stutter ridiculed, a smoking habit advertised, or to be portrayed as highly impressionable if they ever accept someone else’s idea.

To hold the trust of voters politicians now maintain a dull media controlled image.

The problem is, politicians who do not worry about their image are also those who care least about other people’s opinions and well-being.

Satire has caused dull politics, and in the gap given rise to egotistical politicians.

Is politics too important to laugh about, and should we restrict satire of it?

This is an open question, so while the title suggests an opinion, I’m keen to hear thoughts on if satire is causing more harm than good.

Go ahead.

There’s room below to have an opinion.

Bendigo Writers Council – March workshop 2016 – Wayne Gregson on column writing

Speaking about the newspaper industry, journalism and the distinction of being a writer, Wayne, let’s be honest, painted a bleak outlook. He is known locally for his work at the Bendigo Advertiser, including his Down the Mall column, and has worked with newspapers throughout Victoria, including writing a column that was printed nationally. The dot points that follow are notes from the talk, therefore reflecting Wayne’s opinions. (In some cases my opinions are listed in brackets [aka parentheses].) At the end of this article is a summary of a short talk I had with Wayne on the issues raised.

  • A journalist’s job is to report events, not to send a message that helps form an idea.

  • A writer must communicate an idea, and that is the distinction of a column writer to a journalist.

  • A writer must give honesty and that can be scary for a writer to do.

  • Wayne believes journalists do not work for money, as the money is too low to attract the money seeker. (Though I would argue that it can attract the fame seeker who wants to see their name in the byline and influence society. This is Rupert Murdoch’s key motivation.)

  • Columns are the attractive part of the paper compared to the dry journalism, yet column writers are also poorly paid. (I have seen many people complain about their work and pay. If you are a writer or journalist, or anybody, you’ll unlikely be happy with your pay. So better that you’re happy with your career/work.)

  • The Bendigo Advertiser in the 1990s employed 30 staff to ensure facts and content was accurate. Now it is 12 employees (at most) and content is not always checked for facts or grammar.

  • Column writers can have fun, including word play, which is something journalists don’t do because journalists only do facts and not fun.

  • It is arguable if journalists in newspapers today do, in fact, stick to reporting facts or whether they try to influence opinion. (I suggest taking the same news event as reported in The Age, The Herald Sun and The Australian, and read to see if the use of language could influence opinion)

  • The Herald’s language is/was targeted at someone who didn’t finish school, and therefore the journalist really had to know their topic in order to explain it clearly enough. A journalist for The Age could write to a higher comprehension level but that allowed for some laziness.

  • Back in the day if you got a fact wrong, you personally apologised to the people involved.

  • Reporting is only to be concerned with who, what, when, where, and why.

  • One of the best writers of a column according to Wayne was Lennie Lower, who wrote fun articles, drank heavily, and died young. There is a book of Lower’s articles.

  • In some circles the column is content where advertising should be. (I see that in most circles the blog is where the column have moved.)

  • With the loss of local newspapers there has been seen a reduction of local community involvement. Less people attending events etc.

  • More people read online, but there is so much clutter there, there is less pay. Example: a leading online news service, the Huffington Post, does not pay contributors.

  • Papers are dying because people believe all creativity should be free, because it is free on the internet.

  • Terry Pratchett, a famous writer, was a journalist before having more fun.

  • Dave Barry is a column writer at the LA Times. They pay him and therefore he has time to do a good job at writing.

  • A newspaper should tell you something about the community that you don’t know.

  • Exercise: a message was sent around the room in a whisper, it was returned with great error. Proof that the further from the source you are, the greater need to check facts. This was also shown by the example of a book that analysed newspaper reporting.

At this point the workshop stopped for a tea break and I asked Wayne if, given that newspapers are dying, that journalists and column writers don’t work for money, and if the paper is of high importance to a local community, should papers adopt a Not-for-profit model.

He believed this was impossible, and a little foolish, as only competition helped generate funds and lowering the revenue expected would lessen pay further and reduce the standard of reporting and writing. He stated that society receives the media that it deserves, and if people are not willing to pay for it, then they should not have one. The only exception that could possibly work is the ABC, and even that has faults.

I proposed a kind of donation system that people pay their local newspaper so that it may continue to operate and that society can continue to have the benefits of a local media service.

He believed this was a good idea.

Bendigo Writers Council – February Workshop 2016: Angela Savage on Crime Writing

This was a great talk with many tips and exercises for writers of all genres. Below is only a fraction of the advice Angela gave to our attendees, and should wet the appetite for those who haven’t attended a Bendigo Writers Council workshop before.

  • Focus on your passion. Do what you want, not what other people are doing.

  • In crime, and everywhere, if the story is good enough the exact facts do not matter.

  • Learn about the world, again good general advice, as it will also improve the scope and believability of your writing.

  • If you are excited by it, others will be too. When writing for your audience, remember that you are your first audience, and if you enjoy and are excited by the writing then others should be too.

  • Angela didn’t like her first novel attempt. It was thin on plot and big on self exploration.

  • The drive of any story is in the idea, character or setting/situation. Decide on one for the theme.

  • Crime writing is fun, you learnt things and people read it.

  • Angela’s first book took five years and seven drafts before acceptance by the publishing.

    • It also had 30,000+ words removed at the line edit stage by the publisher. This was because it lacked pace. Angela’s latest book only had 300 words removed.

  • The first draft is only getting the story down. The second, third, and forth draft is writing.

    • It might take 6 months to write, but then 6 years to edit.

    • If you forget something in a redraft, it probably wasn’t that important.

  • To help with plotting look at moments and consider “what if”. Take your character on a walk before story writing. Where does the idea, character or setting/situation lead. Whenever stuck, revert to that.

I took another four pages of these notes.

For more on crime writing contact Sisters in Crime or Brothers in Crime.

For details on the next Bendigo Writers Council workshop see this link: http://bendigowriterscouncil.weebly.com/