Bruce Colman. Adam Fairbanks Jr.
And a cast of...quite a few.
Now to our story...
'Looks like this is it Old Boy'.
'Yes Chum, we really are up against it this time. Bit like Sundance and
Butch Cassidy at the end.'
'Well, not much left to do. We're out here, and they're in there. I
guess we have to go in all guns blazing.'
'Don't like our chances.'
'Against that horde? We wont survive, but we have no other choice. Do or
die, now or never, bite the bullet,
Go for broke....'
'Holy Moley! Where did you spring from?'
'Yes, we got that bit. What the hell are you doing here? And anyway,
who are you?'
'IT IS ME, ROBBIE THE ROBOT!'
'It is I, Robbie the robot.'
'FOOLISH HUMAN. IT IS YOU, ADAM FAIRBANKS JR.
I, AM ROBBIE THE ROBOT!'
'Yes, well be that as it may, you're not in this story.'
'NO, I COME FROM THE FORBIDDEN PLANET WHERE WALTER PIGEON DWELLS.'
'Where Walter Pidgeon dwells.'
'I JUST SAID THAT, AND ANYWAY, HOW CAN YOU READ THE SPELLING MISTAKES?
I DO THE JOKES AROUND HERE, MISTER.'
'I think the robot's right Adam...'
'Let's try ignoring him Bruce, perhaps he'll go away...'
'You said that already!'
'...NING. THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A SERIOUS ARTICLE. YOU TWO ARE TURNING
IT INTO AN ARSE!'
'That's "ass" or "farce".
'JUST AS YOU WILL HAVE IT. SEEMS TO SUIT YOU BOTH. WAR...'
'Yes, "warning!" We know that bit.'
'NO, WARNER BROTHERS!'
'What the hell do they have to do with this?'
'I HAVE A SCRIPT THAT MAY INTEREST THEM.'
'What's it about?'
'THE GREAT MUSICIANS!'
'What Great Musicians?'
'PAGANINI, FOR ONE. SEE HERE!'
'That's Page Nine! This is a telephone book!'
'FABULOUS CAST. SLIM PLOT. I WONDERED ABOUT THAT WHEN I PICKED IT UP AT
THE POST OFFICE. ANYWAY WARNER BROTHERS WILL BE MOST INTERESTED, I AM
SURE. IT WILL BE A FOLLOW UP TO THEIR OTHER WONDERFUL FILMS: DUCK SOUP,
HORSE FEATHERS, ANIMAL CRACK...'
'That's the Marx Brothers, not Warner Brothers...'
'OH, AND YOU KNOW SO MUCH? JUST YOU WAIT TIL THIS IS BIGGER THAN
'Nothing could be bigger than Harry Potter!'
'I WAS TALKING ABOUT HARRY HOUDINI, BEFORE YOU RUDELY INTERRUPTED. WHO
IS THIS HARRY POTTER ANYWAY?'
'The Forbidden Planet must be a long way off in space and time...'
'YES, YES. ONCE UPON A TIME IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY...'
'Oh look Robot, why do you have to have the last word?'
'Um, er, excuse me, please.'
'FOUL CREATURES OF THE ID! WHERE DID YOU SPRING FROM, AND WHO, SIR, ARE
'I happen to be the writer here, and I kind of
feel...well...like I don't seem to be in control...'
'Look, my dear fellow, why don't you just mind your own business and get
on with whatever it is you think you do. Go and have a sherry and leave
this mess to me. I'll get it sorted out. Manuel! Manuel!'
'Si Meester Fawlty?'
'What are you doing with that rat?'
'Ess not a rat, Meester Fawlty, ess Basil the hampster. I not doing
anytheeng with heem.'
'Oh what's the world coming to, tsk! tsk! Rats, robots, rodents,
(speaking of,) Manuel! Throw it away.'
'I said, throw it away!'
'Si Meester Fawlty.'
'NOW LOOK HERE! GET THAT CREATURE OFF MY LEG!'
'Mister Fawlty say, "throw you away".
'Not the robot you idiot, the rat, the rat!'
'Ess not a rat, ess a hampst...'
'Oh yes, Sybil, (my little viper.) I thought you'd be about somewhere.'
'Basil, stop interfering and come over here!'
'Of course dear, just getting things to order, you know. Or you would if
you weren't always stuffing your face with chocolat...Ow! What was that
'Just getting things to order Basil dear. Manuel, do let go of Robbie's
leg and take your hampster outside would you.'
'Si Meessus Fawlty. I know nothing. I see nothing. I am only a poor...'
'I go, I go. Come leetle Basil hampster, we go...Ow! Meester Fawlty!'
'I thought I saw a bee on your head, damn! Missed it. Sorry about that
Manuel, hand slipped, so exceedingly sorry...'
'Basil. One more slip like that and I wont talk to you again!'
'Oh praise God, if only that were to be true...'
'To hear is to obey, (my little vial of suppositories.) But as soon as
you go off to your coven...'
'Basil, stop muttering and leave these people alone. You have work to
'Never, "we have work to do" is it? Just my lot, Sorting everyone else
out when it's you that really needs sortin...Ow! Sorry dear.'
'Our apologies gentlemen and, er, Robbie, we must be on our way.
'WHAT IN STARWARS WAS THAT?'
'I haven't the faintest idea, robot. I'm just the author and I'm
trying to get my bit in here about Agendas for Writers...'
'Well you can just 'butt' out. Adam Fairbanks Juniour and I have what's
left of this article to fin-umblerperqueri!!...'
Dear Reader, at this point I have again taken control, I think.
Yes, there are times when you are writing away and suddenly you
realise that you don't seem to be in charge of the subject matter: the
plot takes a strange divergence, or a character does something
unexpectedly that changes a whole series of events to follow and you
have to stop to assess the damage or the good news, depending on how you
view it. In reality, your 'subconscious' has
hi-jacked your 'consciousness' and gone off at a tangent, or
several different tangents, all at once, and you have to make the
decision whether to go along or call a halt and backtrack to your
original vision of how the work should be.
Now it is tempting to let the thing flow on, to allow "whatever
will be-will be." And if you do this you may find a whole new, marvelous
strand to your story.
Then again, you may be drifting ever further from your original
I have seen and reviewed plenty of writers in workshop
conditions who do exactly that; write by the seat of their pants, let it
go its own way in the hope that something magical will happen, allow the
plot to distort, to ramble, to go off seeking some unexpected revelation
that even the author has no idea or control over.
This course has many perils and pitfalls: the work can be lost
to the point that you need begin again to remove the muddied tracks. You
can become so confused that your original aims are lost in the morass
or, in despair, you push on into the dreaded 'Dead End.'
Here lurks 'Writers Block.'
Manet, the famous French painter, once said, "If you get it the
first time, that is fine. If you don't get it, then do the whole thing
all over again until you finally get it. Anything else is just so much
waste of time."
Here, I have wanted to talk about Agendas, and have been
forestalled and hijacked by other voices, other themes, and have ended
in ramblings that were not my original concepts. All I can say now is
that I shall resolve to make good for this in a separate article on
AuthorMe entitled, 'Writers Agendas-A Serious Examination.'
For now I have to say that, as usual, time is running down
'JUST A MOMENT! I HAVE A QUESTION.'
'WHAT HAPPENED TO BRUCE COLMAN AND ADAM FAIRBANKS JUNIOR?'
'I...Do I care? Oh, very well. Let's check. Here, we can take a
look via this Electronic Warp.'
'...Go for broke.'
'Kick the door open, Adam Fairbanks Junior, and let's get it over.'
'There! Bruce Colman, as we suspected: a full classroom of Rabid
Students just waiting to tear us apart! All is lost! What can we do
against these kids and their insatiable desire for education?'
'Well, Adam Fairbanks Junior, I'm just stepping outside... I may be
quite some time.'
'OH WOW. THAT'S QUITE A COP OUT. SPEAKING OF, WHAT HAPPENED TO THE
WRITER OF THIS ARTICLE? SEEMS TO ME THAT HE HAS ALSO JUST STEPPED
OUTSIDE. ALWAYS THE SAME WITH HUMANS. WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH THE...'
'I'm still here. Hanging on by my fingernails...'
'FINGERNAILS? AN INTERESTING CONCEPT THAT WE, ROBOTS, ARE NOT FAMILIAR
WITH. FROM OBSERVENCE THEY APPEAR TO BE ATTACHED TO THE UPPER
EXTREMITIES OF THE HUMAN TORSO. OPPS! SO SORRY. I SEEM TO HAVE JUST
TRODDEN ON THE THINGS YOU NAME AS HANDS AND...NOW WHERE DID HE GO?
AH WELL, MUST HAVE STEPPED OUTSIDE. MAY BE QUITE SOME TIME.
THEREFORE IT IS UP TO ME, TO I...TO MY GOODLY SELF, TO SAY "OUT OF TIME,
OUT OF SPACE."
HMM...OUT OF OUTER SPACE. HAS POSSIBILITIES. "WARNER BROTHERS IN OUT OF
SPACE." I LIKE IT.
BUT I AM ALSO DECIMATED AND OUTRAGED: HURT AND DISTURBED.
I TAKE GREAT OFFENCE AT BEING ACCUSED OF ALWAYS HAVING THE LAST WORD.'
Editor - Australia