18 September, 2008

Russell T. Davies' Writer's Tale

The Times:

"Last year, Russell T. Davies, who revived Doctor Who, began to work on a book about the final series with the journalist Benjamin Cook. Their e-mail exchange provides a unique insight into the show - and reveals some of its most closely-guarded secrets"

"How I write

From: Russell T.Davies To: Benjamin Cook Sunday February 18, 2007 12:41:59 GMT

There's little physical evidence of the script process to show you. No notes. Nothing. I think, and think, and think...and by the time I come to write, a lot has been decided. Also, a lot hasn't been decided, but I trust myself, and scare myself, that it'll happen in the actual writing. It all exists in my head, but in this soup. It's like the ideas are fluctuating in this great big quantum state of Maybe. The choices look easy when recounted later, but that's hindsight. When nothing is real and nothing is fixed, it can go anywhere. The Maybe is a hell of a place to live. As well as being the best place in the world.

I filter through all those thoughts, but that's rarely sitting at my desk, if ever. It's all done walking about, going to town, having tea and watching telly. The rest of your life becomes just the surface, chattering away on top of the Maybe...and the doubts. That's where this job is knackering and debilitating. Everything - and I mean every story ever written anywhere - is underscored by the constant murmur of: this is rubbish, I am rubbish, and this is due in on Tuesday! The hardest part of writing is the writing. "

Article in full


Russell T Davies, BBC Breakfast News:

"That's why we have gone into the book in so much detail there's a lot of books that talk about television writing and they are all so formal - when they talk about three act structure and character development - but that's not what writing is. It's sitting there with an head full of ideas at 2 o' clock in the morning and trying to hammer them down on paper and that's what we tried to capture."

"The only lesson about writing is to write. I think there is an awful lot of people who sit there...who talk about it and suddenly they are in an old folk's home dying of old age and they haven't actually done it. Just sit down and do it, do it today., don't wait. It's always bad at first. The first thing you write is going to be rubbish and you will get better and better - it's all experience - and you never reach the end of that road and you just keep on learning as you go on all of your life."


Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale (Doctor Who) (Hardcover) is released on 25 September 2008 - Half price at Amazon

BBC writersroom event: Russell T Davies in conversation

1 comment:

Wyndham said...

I love Russell - he always talks a lot of sense. There is no secret to writing except in the repetition of it.