50 Years of The Doctor – My Favs

By now everyone has had a chance to watch Day of the Doctor half-a-dozen times and to tire themselves out exclaiming how brilliant it was to see David Tennant as The Doctor again. Which means that we can now rationally discuss how awesome Dr Who is.

I grew up watching Tom Baker hand out jelly babies and foil monsters that looked surprisingly like someone wrestling their way out of a sleeping bag. The Cybermen scared me so much that I had to watch those episodes from behind the couch. As a pre-teen Sylvester McCoy and Ace showed me that all alien planets were filled with evil that only the Doctor could remove. Then David Tennant came along and managed to chew dialogue, scenery and spit out gold without you noticing the Daleks had really dropped the ball on their ‘exterminate’ threats.

So it is hard for me to pick a favourite Doctor, probably harder than picking the most ridiculous monster costume on the show. (Seriously, Cybermen were guys wearing earmuffs and cricket gloves painted silver! The Dalek weapons are an egg beater and plunger!) Thus, it is easier for me to just go through all the Doctors and make a few comments.

Eleventh – Matt Smith: not a fan.

Tenth – David Tennant: my favourite Doctor.

Ninth – Christopher Eccelston: short run that paved the way for David.

War Doctor – John Hurt: a legend bringing the legendary to a legend.

Comic Relief Doctor – Rowen Atkinson (and Richard E. Grant, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant, Joanna Lumley): Brilliant!

Eighth – Paul McGann: didn’t get a proper shot at the character. Good to see him do this introduction to the 50th anniversary though.

Seventh – Sylvester McCoy: one of my favourites.

Sixth – Colin Baker: I’ve never seen any of his incarnation.

Fifth – Peter Davidson: One of my favourites, and if David Tennant is to be believed, one of his as well.

Fourth – Tom Baker: The man, the white-man fro, the insanely long scarf. Jelly baby? Also, Douglas Adams wrote three serials for this incarnation of The Doctor and a few other episodes besides.

Third – Jon Pertwee: What’s Worzel Gummidge doing in the Tardis? Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow!

Second – Patrick Troughton: Meh.

First – William Hartnell: Watching these early episodes you really can’t figure out how this became a long running show.

I look forward to the new Doctor, Peter Capaldi, and the eloquent language skills he will bring to the role.

Update: an A-Ha tribute to The Doctor.

Update: an interesting take on the recent 50th anniversary episodes, just ignore the silly comment about Sherlock. http://tealeavesdogears.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/steven-moffat-doesnt-understand-grief-and-its-killing-doctor-who/

The Myth of Writer’s Block

Okay, so today I was going to dedicate a post to The Doctor and the 50 year thing, but I got side tracked with watching old episodes and this wonderful video. So instead I’m posting this interesting take on Writer’s Block by Amanda Patterson from Writers Write (original here). As per usual, my comments are in blue.

If you write one page a day you will complete a 365-page novel in a year. TA: Or 500 words a day is 182,500 words or two novels (one if you are writing fantasy, or got carried away).

You are crippling yourself by not starting to write. If it seems an overwhelming task to write a whole book, start with an opening paragraph, then a page, then a chapter. Your first sentence is the first step to being published. TA: Remember, you don’t have to start at the beginning, you can just write down the ideas you’ve had, then link them, or turn the ideas into proper sentences and paragraphs.

Most people who want to write have the belief in their creative success systematically driven out of them – by the business world, by their family, their ‘friends’ and their life experiences. TA: But don’t worry, they’ll be the first ones queuing up for a free copy of your book when it’s published. Tell them you’re busy!

If you were told you were going to die tomorrow, would you regret not having written? TA: Always good to write down the list of people trying to kill you, helps the cops no end.

These are the five most common excuses we hear at Writers Write.

  1. Family:  I have children. I’m the family taxi. I have to be there for my husband/wife. TA: Kids are there to steal your dreams and youth.
  2. Work:  I work long hours. I’m too tired after a day at the office. I have to work overtime so that we can afford a new car / bigger house. TA: Working on someone else’s dream, not yours.
  3. Time:  I’m too busy. I’ll do it tomorrow / next month / next year. I can’t write late at night / early in the morning. TA: Everyone gets 24 hours – well in a solar day at least, 23hrs 56mins in a stellar day – use them wisely!
  4. General:  I’m not inspired. I’m too old/young. I’m too tired/depressed/sick. TA: Seriously? Then just read the books others write.
  5. Our Favourite:  It’s not what you know but who you know in publishing. TA: Publishing isn’t writing, nor is it reading, nor is it the reason you write. Besides, Snookie “wrote” a book; publishers will publish all sorts of trash.

You can have your book or you can have your excuses. You can’t have both. !!!

All of the above are obviously important but don’t fool yourself, writers write; pretenders to the throne make excuses. The reasons for not writing are laziness and lack of self-discipline. TA: Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.

Do you really want to become a writer?

Writing is lonely. Writing is hard work. Writing is discipline. There is no quick fix and there is no one to applaud or to criticize you. You will be your own boss and you will have to motivate and reward yourself. And after all of this you will face the possibility of rejection – the dedicated writer will not stop here.

Remember: You have permission to write badly. (In your first drafts, of course TA: or if your name is Stephanie Meyer or EL James, all your drafts and finished work are written badly)

Follow @Writers_Write

See also: http://sdwriters.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/how-to-sneak-around-writer%E2%80%99s-block/