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.

It’s Week 5 - the last week of A Play, A Pie and A Pint - but don’t cry just yet!

You’ve still got three more chances to see The Queen of Lucky People by Iain Heggie, munch on a delicious homemade pie and have a scrummy pint here at the Traverse. And we’ve got more lovely guest pies for you until Saturday. Here’s the selected five from last week.  

Last week’s Guest Pies of the Day were cornish pie on Tuesday (artistic impression only available), mussel pie on Wednesday, peppered beef on Thursday, bacon and egg on Friday and sausage roll on Saturday. This is in addition to macaroni pies, scotch pies, haggis pies, veg and haggis pies and pork pies, served cold. So much to choose from, so little time!

Come join us this final week, for The Queen of Lucky People by Iain Heggie. It’ll be yummy, and brilliant, and all the things in between!

Gerda Stevenson’s Top Ten Writing Tips

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So we’re at the end of the penultimate week for A Play, A Pie and A Pint - Skeleton Wumman has received lovely reviews and tweets. 

And to celebrate the new writing of A Play, A Pie and A Pint, we’ve shared writer and director Gerda Stevenson’s top ten tips for would-be writers. We’ve the full length tips for you here:

(1) Write about what you know: if it’s not your own experience, then research your subject in depth.

(2) When writing for theatre, visualise the space, and the movement of the actors in that space, and think carefully about the practicality of scene changes - theatre isn’t the same as film or TV.

(3) Try to keep changing the rhythm, from scene to scene, so that the drama isn’t all on one level, and in one tone.

(4) Think about the voice of your characters, the kind of language, the expression they would have that is unique and particular to them as individuals.

(5) Don’t judge your characters - leave that to your audience.

(6) Don’t tell your audience what to think - better to ask questions.

(7) Don’t worry about having a total sense of the whole play before you start writing. Let your imagination discover that as you write - your play will reveal itself through the very act of writing.

(8) Avoid clunky exposition - i.e. Character A giving information to Character B which Character A knows Character B would already know, simply to ensure that the audience gets said information! Find a way of embedding the information within the action, so that it emerges, rather than being presented crudely.

(9) Sadly, due to very small production budgets, it’s unlikely that your play will be produced professionally nowadays if you have a big cast. A maximum of four characters is probably realistic - but if you’re clever about how you construct the drama, you can have your actors double, and this way have more characters than the number of actors. 

(10) Go to see a lot of theatre, and read a lot of plays.

Next week, in the final week of A Play, A Pie and A Pint, we’ve The Queen of Lucky People by Iain Heggie from Tuesday 22 -Saturday 26 April.

Here it is, this week’s TravCast is with Iain Heggie, writer of The Queen of Lucky People. Listen here: http://bit.ly/1k9sX6v #travcast #traversetheatre #PPPTrav #edinburgh #Iainheggie #PlayPiePint

Here it is, this week’s TravCast is with Iain Heggie, writer of The Queen of Lucky People. Listen here: http://bit.ly/1k9sX6v #travcast #traversetheatre #PPPTrav #edinburgh #Iainheggie #PlayPiePint

It’s Week 4 - the penultimate week! - of A Play, A Pie and A Pint here at the Traverse and we’re still going strong with lovely guest pies. Here’s more photographic evidence of just how tasty they are. We will miss the pies when they’re not around. 

Last week’s Guest Pies of the Day were herby egg and bacon on Tuesday, artisan pork pie on Wednesday, tarragon chicken on Thursday, fish pie on Friday and beef and horseradish pie with gravy on Saturday. This is in addition to macaroni pies, scotch pies, haggis pies, veg and haggis pies and pork pies, served cold. We are surrounded by pies. 

This week, it’s Gerda Stevenson’s Skeleton Wumman. Come on by for a fabulous play, a delicious homemade pie and a scrummy pint. 

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

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