Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Cure for Writer's Block?

Spike Milligan was part of a merry band of writers in 1950s Britain who were known as Associated London Scripts. They brought such shows as 'Til Death Do Us Part (became All in the Family in the U.S.), Steptoe & Son (became Sanford & Son across the Atlantic), The Goon Show (which inspired Monty Python), and Dr. Who to the television screen. In Spike & Co., biographer Graham McCann details Milligan's bulldoze approach to producing a first draft and subsequent improvements:

“Once he had started work on a script he disliked ever having to stop; he wrote as he thought, and if he came to a place where the right line failed to emerge, he would just jab a finger at one of the keys, type ‘FUCK IT’ or ‘BOLLOCKS,’ and then carry on regardless. The first draft would feature plenty of such expletives, but then, with each successive version, the expletives grew fewer and fewer, until by about the tenth draft, he had a complete, expletive-free script.”

I don't recommend this method for business writing—too much potential for slip-ups. But for personal use, it may be your good-luck charm. It certainly paved the way for Milligan's success.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...