Production shots from Blue Raincoat’s First Cosmonaut, the tale of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space and the first human to see Earth. 

The latest #TravCast is with three of our Traverse young writers who’ve been Writing on the Wall. Listen here: http://bit.ly/RYuSkb #youngwriters #writingonthewall #traversetheatre #edinburgh #independence

The latest #TravCast is with three of our Traverse young writers who’ve been Writing on the Wall. Listen here: http://bit.ly/RYuSkb #youngwriters #writingonthewall #traversetheatre #edinburgh #independence

Rehearsal shots from CHORALE - A Sam Shepard Roadshow, two days showcasing the extraordinary range of Shepard’s writing, his poetry, prose and playwriting. At the Traverse, Friday 30 & Saturday 31 May http://bit.ly/1mqZHaM

Associate Director Emma Callander and Cian O’Siochain are getting set for the May #TravCast. We wonder who we’ll be hearing from this month… #newwriting #theatre #edinburgh #traversetheatre

Associate Director Emma Callander and Cian O’Siochain are getting set for the May #TravCast. We wonder who we’ll be hearing from this month… #newwriting #theatre #edinburgh #traversetheatre

Sell out #edfringe show ‘Banksy: The Room in the Elephant’ is here next week, 16-17 May #Banksy #TheSum #TobaccoFactory #traversetheatre #edinburgh

Sell out #edfringe show ‘Banksy: The Room in the Elephant’ is here next week, 16-17 May #Banksy #TheSum #TobaccoFactory #traversetheatre #edinburgh

Iain Heggie’s Top Ten Writing Tips

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So we’re nearing the end of another A Play, A Pie and A Pint season. The Queen of Lucky People has gone down wonderfully well.

This week, to celebrate the new writing of A Play, A Pie and A Pint, we’ve shared Iain Heggie’s top ten tips for would-be writers on Twitter. Here are what he calls his more ‘wordy versions’:

(1) Keep your attention off yourself, and on your work. Dont ask how good you are or compare yourself to other writers. Dont think how good/bad you are. Ask how you good/bad your play is. Your play isnt you.

(2) You may get to a certain stage where you can isolate your weaknesses as a writer. Give special attention to these issues. Maybe focussing on writers who are strong where you are weak. If you attend to your weaknesses in as practical way as you can, eventually you will get some traction on them.You will be very lucky if its overnight. Its not just a matter of skimming a book. Its also study and practise. New skills take some absorbing.

(3) Write because you love writing and are fascinated and absorbed by its problems, not because you want to be loved.

(4) Understand the component parts of a play so you can put words to them and really absorb them very fully so they are not sitting outside you like oil on water. This will enable you to be your own best critic.

(5) Put all your criticism of your play into practical points. Be as specific and detailed as you can about what is wrong. If you are specific the best most unexpected left of field answers will come, unbidden.

(6) Study the writers you love very closely. Make the study as pleasurable as possible. There is a good reason why you love these writers. We are an imitative species. Imitation is a good place to start. The ‘real you’ will gradually appear, unbidden. But this is a lifelong process. You dont suddenly arrive.

(7) You will have to struggle at times but if you dont love a major part of writing in general, take up something else. if you dont love a major part of the specific play you are working on, give it up - at least for now.

(8) Its useful to have some disciplines. Be a religious preparer or note taker or careful structurer or 9 to 5 er or always finish every drafter. Some discipline somewhere will leave you in the right state to enter ‘the creation zone’. Too little discipline leaves you too easily distracted and in avoidance mode. But too many disciplines will probably ‘block’ you.

(9) The competition is ferocious. Good plays used to get performed, sooner or later, as a matter of course. Now they dont. The bar is rising. You have to really want to do it.

(10) If you are starting out learn to live on nothing and if you can find a way to go full time, at least for a time, do it. When you are learning, some things might take a lot of persistence. 

And that’s it for our new writing tips for A Play, A Pie and Pint. We hope you’ve enjoyed them - let us know what you think! Who knows, we might do it again sometime.

Posts from our playwrights, artists in residence and about all goings-on behind the scenes here at the Traverse.

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