Doctor Who (and now Primeval) writer Paul Cornell – who among other things is pitching a new series to the networks accoridng to his blog – has just been interviewed for the BBC Writer’s Room site and by Forbidden Planet International blog master Joe Gordon.
Paul’s Primeval episode screens this coming Saturday, with a Colombian Mammoth on the rampage down a motorway. Not the easiest of things to hush up, then.
In his BBC interview, Paul offers a valuable piece of advice for would-be writers: seek out harsh criticism, because it’s the only way to hone your art.
“It is your job as a writer to seek out harsh criticism of your work and change because of it,” he feels.
“Your mum won’t give you harsh criticism of your work. It’s her job not to. You’ve got to find people who will genuinely give you harsh, tough, scathing critique of your work. And then you’ve got to change because of it. I see people coming up to editors and saying to them ‘So what did you think of my piece?’ and the editor will tell them. And the would-be writer starts to argue, starts to say “Oh no, you see what I was trying to do there was…” He’s fending off the criticism because he doesn’t want to listen. Doesn’t want to change.
“And at that point, the editor might as well turn around and walk away, cos he’s not listening, this would-be writer. What he’s got to do is stand there making notes, taking it all in and accepting it.”
He also offers cures for writer’s block and many other useful hints for better writing.
• You can read more about what Paul’s up to on his own blog, House of Awkwardness
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.