Hello in Five Words

This week I’m obsessing about two things: plot and State of Play.

As a writer, plot is where I work the hardest.  I have a hard time saying hello in less than five words.  Writing query letters killed me (if I could tell the story in one page, why bother with a 320 page novel?).

Now that I’m working on my second book, I’m paying particular attention to plot — I want to make mine as tight and compelling as I can right from the beginning.  I’m always looking for ways to do it better.

That brings me to this week’s second obsession –the BBC mini-series State of Play. Oh. My. God.  If you haven’t seen this, stop what you are doing and rent it, now.  (I’ll wait. I’m still just getting to hello, remember?)

I don’t watch much television, and when I do it’s usually with half an eye while I read or edit or something else.  Not with this show.  It’s so tightly written, so action-packed, that I can’t do anything but sit on the edge of the sofa and bite my nails.  It doesn’t hurt that it stars Bill Nighy doing his best malevolent long-legged spider impression (he alternates between that and sprawling hound dog) and cute little nibble James McAvoy from Atonement. (James, did you hear I wrote a book? The role of Cort is wide open — call me!)

Each show has heart-stopping action and twists, but it also has compelling characters (some of whom don’t make it through), whip-smart dialogue, and cliff-hanger endings.  I’ve seen the first three episodes and ordered the final three.  All in the name of research, of course. If you watch it, leave me a comment and let me  know what you think.

Oh, and hello. 🙂

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Liz Michalski


  1. patry francis on December 1, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Just added the first 3 episodes to my Netflix list–top spot. I’ll be back to discuss!

    • liz on December 2, 2010 at 10:02 am

      State of Play is on my Christmas list. I was bummed to read the writer turned down the chance to do a second season!

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