Doors open inwards to enclosed spaces and outwards into wild city streets, quiet country lanes or even undiscovered worlds. There may be tiny doors in the skirting board or amongst the roots of trees, doors into the mountainside and heavily barred and bolted doors that guard the entrance to a fortress. Doors can take us … Continue reading Door
Here’s another way to create a character that might develop into a story. Jonathon Miller, the director, said that sometimes a prop, and a direction to handle or hold it in a particular way, could help an actor get a better sense of the character they were playing. The example he gave was a handbag, … Continue reading Pencil case
Actors, when taking on a new role, often choose an item of clothing to help them get into character. Most commonly, they choose footwear. When they put on a pair of clumsy, outsize boots, comfortable carpet slippers or a pair of stilettos, their posture changes immediately. Their shoes affect the way they move about and … Continue reading If the glove fits
Samuel Pepys was a civil servant in late 17th century London. He kept a diary for ten years. His daily entries recorded who he met and who he entertained, his conversations with his wife and his noting of business, good food and theatre visits. His record of his everyday life allows us to have a … Continue reading Mr Pepys, the diarist
Perhaps you could keep a food diary. Nigel Slater, the chef and writer, said in a recent interview that he has kept a food diary for years. His books all emerge from these daily records of shopping, growing, cooking and eating. Perhaps you could start your writing by listing what you have eaten. Was it … Continue reading What are you eating?
The weather is always a topic of conversation in countries like England where the weather is so changeable and often seems unpredictable. A weather diary is interesting from a scientific point of view and you might wish to get technical -note the wind direction, learn the names of cloud formations, note the temperature. You may … Continue reading Whatever the weather
We’ve talked about Gilbert White and his diaries and letters before. It is worth returning to him. His notes and observations are full of life. He captures details of each day so that we can imagine the seasons and something of the life of people at the time. He writes often in note form. Look … Continue reading Natural histories
The start of a new year always brings a flurry of advice about becoming the new you. We may be making lists of the things we resolve to do in the coming year. You and those you write with are already writing. You may not be writing every day (and that is a gentle aspiration) … Continue reading Pause