Tag Archives: Wikipedia

Don’t fall down the research rabbit-hole

Phil: Have you ever found yourself on Wikipedia reading up on something and unable to resist clicking on a related link? At the time you tell yourself it’s relevant to the topic, but then there is another link, and another. And another.

You start reading about tractor production in post-war America and half a day later you’re learning about the proclivities of minor German aristocracy in 1830.

It’s addictive, something to do with dopamine in your brain, and the urge to procrastinate while kidding yourself that any education is good. I mean, who doesn’t need to know about flat-roofed pubs for example?

I’ve just finished the enjoyable Funny You Should Ask book by the QI Elves. It’s full of unrelated facts such as what would happen if you tried to dig through the Earth, or what causes deja-vu. If you enjoy odd snippets of information, it’s a good fun read.

The most useful fact in the book isn’t in the main text, but the introduction.

When writing for the quiz, they start with the answer and then craft a question around it. Working the other way around means endlessly researching as they fall down the rabbit-hole (named after the rabbit-hole Alice falls down in Wonderland) finding linked facts when they should be working.

I’m not sure this will help cure my procrastination, but maybe it will do something for you. In the meantime, I need to go a read up on The Auburn and Lidcome Advance. You never know when knowledge of old Australian newspapers will come in handy!

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The World’s End


Candice: I went to the cinema on Sunday to see the final film in the Cornetto Trilogy, The World’s End.  Written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright the three films explore a typically British approach to the world falling apart around your ears, just carry on and ignore it!

The three films are “Shaun of the Dead“, “Hot Fuzz” and “The World’s End”.  I wont go into detail on each one but the premise is always a central character trying to find their way while Zombies, a Masonic Cult or Aliens are actually trying to kill them.

To quote Wikipedia:

“Each film in the trilogy is connected to a Cornetto ice cream, featuring scenes in which one of the main characters purchases a Cornetto of the appropriate flavour. Shaun of the Dead features a red strawberry flavoured Cornetto, which signifies the film’s bloody and gory elements,Hot Fuzz includes the blue original Cornetto, to signify the police element to the film, and The World’s End features the green mint choc-chip flavour in a nod to aliens and science fiction.”

Though on another wikipedia page it says it’s because Cornettos are a good hang over cure!

Phil and are always getting comments on how do we write together.  I think this is more interesting when you look at TV or film, as it’s quite common for a pair or even group of people to write this type of media.

It seems it’s all about plotting in their world.  I suppose if you have a timeline for a film, which actually likely to be a lot shorter than a book, then you can easily work out where things are going and what is character will bring.  I’d say that’s harder with a book as we didn’t know where we were going until half way through writing it, though that will probably be different with future books as we have the experience under our belt.

I think it’s also a much more collaborative process as a whole.  You see rooms of script writers throwing ideas around for a half hour comedy as it has to be fast and punchy.  A book has time to develop, hence how Phil and I could write whole chapters on our own.

I enjoyed the film, but not as much as Hot Fuzz.  The ending left me disappointed, I think there is a point where it could have ended sooner and I would have been happier.  I won’t tell you when as it will give the game away, just think sunsets.

As an aside, one of my claims to fame is meeting Simon and Nick at the Birmingham premiere of Hot Fuzz.  It was interesting as they are two very different characters, and this came across in the Q&A after, with Simon being very serious about his art and Nick more enjoying going along for the ride.


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