Analysis, Storytelling Geekery

Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet – The Waterboy

A while back, I posted what was intended to be the first in a series of analyses of films using Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet.
I’ve put off doing more since. Among the reasons are the fact that the second film I tried to apply the formula to was Cowboys and Aliens, which I found difficult to classify at a crucial part, and Casino Royale, which I thought did some interesting things with its structure when I looked at it analytically. (I intend to analyse Casino Royale, but want to do a few more examples of the ‘classic’ style of beat sheet first.)

The next film I analyse will be a comedy – Adam Sandler’s The Waterboy.
When writing I felt like I was being a bit humourless looking at a comedy in this way, particularly one with a style so OTT. But the structure is still there, and is quite easy to spot, which I think proves that even bold, silly films like this need to have a decent structure to function as a story.

Continue reading “Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet – The Waterboy”


Belated Review: Pramface Series One

The second series of BBC Three’s teen comedy Pramface has just begun airing in the UK, prompting me to go back and watch the first series. I missed it at the time, partially because of it’s frankly awful name. It was also partially because it looked like a BBC attempt to ‘deal with issues’ or to identify a market and write specifically towards that, rather than telling a story.

It's a seriously awful, awful name.
It’s a seriously awful, awful name.

Continue reading “Belated Review: Pramface Series One”


Bornoffside Bits

After missing the first scheduled Lower League Week of the year due to other commitments, today a Lower League Fortnight has gone up at Bornoffside.

In it, I write about lower league involvement in three different cups, Dean Saunders waiting for the moment he starts being quite good to leave his job (again) Port Vale spending money, Notts County’s chairman surfing the web, and Graham Westley was booed by his own fans on his anniversary.

Click here to read The Lower League Fortnight: Glory of the Cups

Not THAT kind of cup, silly!
                                                        Not THAT kind of cup, silly!

I’ve also had another in the series of African Cup of Nations previews published, this time for Togo.

Click here to read African Cup of Nations Group D Preview : Togo

All Bornoffside previews for the competition (and subsequent coverage) can be found at the Africa 2013 section


A Tournament For All of Africa

Over at, the plan is to cover the forthcoming African Cup of Nations in South Africa. With the tournament due to start in a week, previews have started going up this weekend.

Africa_Cup_of_Nations_037 by Schubi-uetersen                  Taken from Wikimedia Commons

Previews for Group A went up on Friday – previews for South Africa, Angola, Morocco and Cape Verde.

Previews for Group B have started going up today, including my look forward to how the Ghanaian national team will perform, despite having left many of their star players with their club sides.

Click here to read what I have to say about Ghana’s chances in this year’s tournament.


A Toolbar Redesign? Woo and Yay!

I’ve recently redesigned the toolbar at the top of the blog, All your favourite features remain (presuming you have favourite parts of the blog of an obscure writer/reviewer, which I can only assume is the case).
I’ve added a review section, to help you look through the things I’ve reviewed, and find something you’d be interested in.
I’ve been working on a little scifi project, which I’ve vaguely hinted at in a previous blog post and will write more about soon.

As this was always intended to be a blog about writing, I’m adding two new sections to be regularly updated.
I’m going to talk about the projects I’m currently working on, and the state of the progress of each.
I also intend to keep a day by day diary of the different types of writing I do.
I’d imagine both of these will become more interesting if I finally reach the stage where I become a writer of note, but it’s there if you’re interested.
Basically I’ve decided that I envy the types of writer who spew out every thought they ever have, and have decided to become more like them.

Not the most fascinating post, I admit, but my hundredth in total, and hopefully helping to mark a new, more prolific era here on the blog.


Writers Contract for 2013

As you’ve probably seen, the new year has just begun. It’s been mentioned in the news once or twice, as well as on some calendars. I’m not totally sure where all the time zones start and end, but as we’re now almost 120 hours into the New Year in Greenwich Mean Time, I think everyone’s made it across.
The tradition is to make resolutions, to look at things in our lives that need changing, and come up with a plan to make that change. Most of my bad habits (the ones I care about, anyway) are linked to my inconsistent writing habits.
So I’m going to do something I did briefly 13 months ago – a writer’s contract, a public commitment to do a few things that will get me writing on a consistent basis.

Practical tip - it's hard to sign a contract when you have no table to rest on, and also a pig is trying to seduce you.
Practical tip – it’s hard to sign a contract when you have no table to rest on, and also a pig is trying to seduce you.

So, my commitments from here on. I intend to: Continue reading “Writers Contract for 2013”


T’was the Season to Be Jolly…

Over at, my weekly round-up of Leagues One and Two, the Lower League Week, has returned for the first time this year, cleverly disguised as The Lower League Christmas. (Okay, maybe not so clever).

Football in the midst of World War One. Back in the days when players wore their international caps while representing their nation.
Christmas day football in the midst of World War One. Back in the days when players wore their international caps while representing their nation.

In it, I covered the form of Gillingham, Port Vale and Tranmere over Christmas. All of them are battling for the title in League Two, Two, and One respectively, and all of them surprise challengers for one reason or another.

Leon Clarke has signed for Coventry, Hartlepool United have broken two club records in the last month, and Barnet’s management team have broken up. Bristol Rovers have appointed a new boss, who’s helped to force his Plymouth equivalent out of the door. Rotherham have a transfer target which is either delusionally ambitious, or a sign of how far the Scottish league has fallen, dependent on how things turn out.

And there’s evidence that it’s not Lazio, Roma or Millwall who have the most extreme fans in Europe, but Oldham. I also round up the other significant news over Christmas.

All of that can be found in The Lower League Christmas