Mark Goodwin's favourite songs
Created: Saturday, 14 December 2013 17:35
Written by Dan
Were you at the Haç, gurning and raving ? Were you at Cream, throwing shapes in the Courtyard? Were you at Gatecrasher, waving glowsticks around? Were you at Sankey’s, getting Bugged Out? Were you at Fabric, looking round thinking “It’s better up north”? If so, you might have been there with Mark Goodwin, Sebastian’s partner-in-crime from The Cheshire Sect. Here’s a playlist he put together for us to re-live those moments.
If you have no idea what we’re talking about, just try this in the gym or before a Saturday night out…
If you’ve got the Spotify app on your computer, tablet or phone, follow this link: Mark Goodwin - The Cheshire Sect - www.danfrazer.com
If you’ve not, follow this link:Mark Goodwin - The Cheshire Sect - www.danfrazer.com
What's it like writing fiction collaboratively?
Created: Wednesday, 30 October 2013 18:00
Written by Dan
Jagger and Richards, Gilbert and George, Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, The Coen Brothers… it seems as though in most artistic endeavours, whether its music, TV film or art, collaborations are commonplace. But it’s much less usual with writing a novel. Perhaps this is because novels are seen as highly personal projects – the lone writer sitting in a freezing attic poring over his typewriter with just a bottle of whiskey for company – but that perception has started to change. More writers are now writing with a partner, like Josie Lloyd and Emelyn Rees - or in the case of James Patterson and Wilbur Smith, several different co-authors.
Quite a few people have asked how the whole thing worked, so we thought we’d answer some questions:
It’s very unusual to write a novel with someone else. How did you manage it?
Frazer: Hemingway said “Write drunk. Edit sober.” So I do most of the drinking, and Dan does most of the editing…
Dan: Mainly because Frazer’s martinis are too strong for my delicate constitution…
Frazer: But, seriously, it’s not that unusual. Almost all successful movies or TV shows have teams of writers, so why not a novel? We bounce ideas around, reign in each other’s worst excesses, argue a lot and laugh more. All in all, it’s been a really enjoyable process.
But what about the practicalities?
Dan: Technology helps. We used Dropbox and adopted a strict version control to keep track of all the changes. Well, I adopted strict version control process. Frazer grudgingly let it into the house and gave it some token attention when it started to feel really badly ignored. The writing process wasn’t particularly regimented, as we each did a bit of everything. It started out with us creating the main characters together and then plotting out the basic story arc. Usually, I would sketch the chapter out roughly. Frazer would then flesh it out and I would cut out all his insane meanderings…
Frazer: You say ‘insane’, I say ‘genius’.
Dan: …and trim it down so people could actually read it.
Frazer: Yes, funny that. I have this strange belief our readers could cope with a sentence that’s more than one line in length.
Dan: Then we’d argue a bit about what to keep or take out. Leaving a chapter for a while before coming back to it later really helps – you forget who wrote what, and you can just focus on what works and what doesn’t. Technology kicked in again to help us for this bit - Frazer has a cinema screen in his basement so we hooked up my laptop to the projector and edited it together word by word. It worked well when Frazer wasn’t too drunk to speak coherently.
Frazer: What do you expect if you turn up after 7pm at night? A man needs something to keep him occupied. Anyway, I need to be drunk to cope with Dan’s pedantry- he’s the only man I know who would insist on re-writing a whole chapter because he’s convinced a fictional character (and a minor one at that) would have driven down Road A rather than an equally feasible Road B to get from his golf club to his house. Seriously! No wonder it took us over two years to write the bloody thing.
Dan: You can’t spell “pedant” without “Dan”…
There must have been some arguments along the way?
Frazer: If you were a fly on the wall you’d think you were watching two people on the brink of a massive fight. One moment we’re abusing each other and getting worked up over some ridiculously minor point, the next we’re laughing our heads off. Perversely, we find it funny to be as brutal and childish to each other as much as we possibly can. It’s hard to get through a session without juvenile sniggering. To call us immature would be insulting to schoolboys the world over.
Dan: *snigger* You said “hard”…
Did egos get in the way?
Frazer: Not really. It’s clear to everyone that I’m the talented one in the relationship. Dan secretly realizes he’d be nothing without me so he does as he’s told - eventually.
Dan: Not at all. Frazer secretly realizes that I’m the talented one and without me he’d be nothing, so I get my own way – eventually.