David Milroy – Emerging Writers Festival, 7 Enviable Lines

If Ambassador Milroy has a website I can’t find it, but google David Milroy and you will find his name attached to a range of really interesting and well regarded projects. He’s a musician, writer, playwright, artistic director, he’s won Deadly Awards and he has a really nice presence. I found him to be a really down to earth interesting guy with that rare combination of thoughtful plus active plus playful mind. His key points were:

  • Writing is a manifestation of thoughts, so have lots of thoughts.
  • Bananas, dark chocolate and peanut butter can help the creative process
  • Having a lie down can also help
  • Deadlines are good
  • Get critiques from people you trust, varied people (they don’t all have to be industry people), honest people
  • Less with the exposition, more with the drama
  • When stuck, pick a character and kill them. If everyone says no no don’t kill that character… you know you’re on to a winner. I jotted this down as a David Milroy comment… I’ve just read Graham Clements writing up this panel said Luke Devonish made this comment! Oh no, where is the truth? Oh recollection you are imperfect and this was a spot where I looked at text and filled in blanks, so Graham is probably right.
  • Visualise. Visualise and strip it back to bodies in an empty space and visualise it without big fancy props or a hundred set changes.
  • Humility is important
  • Co-writing can be dangerous territory, be careful
  • Obsession is ok and sometimes the house might fall apart for a few weeks (so get the timing of your obsessive binges right so you’re bills are paid relatively on time).

And tomorrow, at lastly last it will be the articulate and snazzy Kathryn Heyman… who by those weird washingmachine actions of the world recently taught my Dad in an intensive novel writing workshop. Dad’s been raving about her ever since.

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