Too Many Ideas - the impworks Blog
March 5th, 2014
February 26th, 2014
February 12th, 2014
February 5th, 2014
January 29th, 2014
January 23rd, 2014
(to the tune of The Hole in the Ground with apologies to Myles Rudge and composed by Ted Dicks and Bernard Cribbins)
There I was, a-fillin’ this ‘ole
‘Ole in the ground, so big & sort o’ round it was
And there was I, fillin’ it full
It was flat at the bottom and the sides were steep
When along comes this bloke in a hardhat
Which he lifted and scratched his ‘ead
Woooh, he looked down the ‘ole
Poor demented soul and he said
“Do you mind if I make a suggestion?
Don’t fill there, fill it elsewhere
You’re filling the whole London underground
The holes got a hole, it’s much too long
And you can’t fill a hole with what don’t belong”
I ask, what a liberty, eh?
Nearly bashed him right on the hardhat
Well, there was I, a-stood by me ‘ole
Pouring concrete for all that I’m worth, I was
And there was ‘im, standin’ o’ there
So grand and official with his TFL staff card
So I gave him a look sort of sideways
And I leaned on me shovel and sighed
Woooh, I lit me a fag
And havin’ took a drag I replied
I just couldn’t bear to fill it elsewhere
I’m fillin’ it now ‘cos I don’t want it there
And if you disagree, it doesn’t bother me
That’s the place the ready mix gonna be
Well there we were, discussing this ‘ole
‘Ole in the ground, so big and sort o’ round
It’s not there now, the ground’s all flat
And beneath it is the bloke in the hardhat
And that’s that!
January 22nd, 2014
January 15th, 2014
January 9th, 2014
I’ve been reading The Secret State by Peter Hennessy and I was struck by the differing definitions of Secrets and Mysteries used to describe what security and intelligence services know and what its very hard for them to know. Here are just a few initial thoughts on the impact of the difference on writing thriller and detective stories/adventures.
Secrets are things (facts) that can be found out – through skill, effort and chance.
Mysteries are things (intentions) it is extremely hard to discover – except by having sources really close to those making decisions.
Secrets tend to be hard facts which are hidden or concealed. They are clues. The range of a weapon, the money paid into a character’s bank account or the recipe for a drug.
Mysteries are things that can’t be found out – if the enemy will use the weapon to start a war, if the character will do what they’ve been paid to or if the drug will be used for good or evil.
Secrets can be found out by investigation, by spying, by surveillance satellites, listening devices and a whole bag of other tricks.
Mysteries may be discovered by having someone close to the character who holds them in their head.
Secrets (unless red herrings or lies) tend to be concrete and immutable things.
Mysteries can be turned into Secrets by methods both believable and unbelievable: a confidant, pillow talk, telepathy, truth drugs, mind reading and preternaturally competent profilers.
Secrets give you lots of clues that you can reveal to characters and readers.
Mysteries are what keep them guessing to the climax of the story as to what will happen next.
January 8th, 2014