·   · 59 posts
  •  · 4 friends

How to Write King Lear

Folks, we can avoid the subject no more. Pandemic is upon us. Around the world, we’re closing our doors to the outside, stocking up on handgel, and worrying about our elderly and vulnerable relatives.

We here at Jericho are all 100% OK.

Over the last year or two, as it happens, we’ve worked hard to build a team that mostly sits in the same small office in Jericho, Oxford because we reckon that physical proximity forms bonds and culture like nothing else. That said, we can all work remotely and that’s exactly what we’re now doing. Everyone is safe and well. Long may it remain that way.

I’m OK too. All the same, these are uncertain times. I have four kids under the age of 7 and my wife is immune-compromised and physically disabled. She is certainly in the vulnerable category and we have to hope that the waves of coronavirus don’t break too roughly on our little island here. I don’t think they will.

My wife and I both have elderly relatives, all of whom are being as safe and sensible as can be, and all of whom, aside from their age, are in pretty decent health.

I hope you and yours are spared any serious ill health in these next weeks and months. That, by far, is the most important thing. I’ll light a candle for you all.

And after that … a long way after that … we’re still all writers. And Shakespeare took advantage of the quarantine restrictions brought about by the bubonic plague to write King Lear. And Macbeth. And (damn the man) Anthony and Cleopatra.

If we’re safe, and our loved ones are safe, and we’ve watched enough funny Youtube videos about families surviving quarantine, our thoughts will start to turn to writing.

We’re here to help.

Same as before. Same as always.

If we can help, we will. If you have a dumb question, we can probably answer it. If you need help with your manuscript, we can certainly help with that. Our online courses will run just as before. We’ll still be available by phone and email.

What’s more, we’re giving serious thought as to how we can do still more to help people in an age when simply getting to the shops may be difficult.

Over the coming weeks, you’ll get a stream of announcements from us about things we’re doing to help out. First and foremost, we want you to be secure. After that, if you need our support, we’re aiming to do more than we’ve done before, not less.

In that context, I know a lot of you have wanted to try out JW membership. Perhaps you’re nervous of making a full-on commitment to an annual or rolling monthly subscription. Or perhaps you just want to nose into a few specific videos. (Want to get the detail on how to build a mailing list? Or need a refresher on how to produce great descriptive writing? Or get an insight into how big publishers work? Or use AgentMatch to build a list of agents. Or – well, anything really.)

Anyway. Whatever. We’ve created a free, no-strings, 14-day membership for you. You can access it whenever you want. (For example, if the next week or two looks frantic for you, the offer will still be there in 2 or 3 weeks’ time. We’ll give you plenty of notice before we withdraw it.)

And “no strings” means exactly that. The membership is free. We won’t ask you for a bank card. The membership won’t suddenly flip into a paying subscription. If at the end of the 14-day period, you choose to take out a full annual membership or our cancel-any-time monthly package, we’ll be delighted. If not, if the freebie was useful but sufficient for your needs, we’re also delighted. We’re here to help.

Access My Free 14-day Membership Here

That’s it from me. We’ve got some other ideas that I hope you’ll all love.

In particular, we haven’t forgotten our existing members. We want to do something lovely for you guys. Stay tuned. I don’t have anything to announce yet, but will do soon.

Stay safe, youse. Then go and write King Lear, you slackers.

You can add your draft ACT I below for scathing comment from the ghost of King James I. Or just chat about whatever the heck. We're all here.

0 0 0 0 0 0
  • 216
Comments (6)
  • Damn Shakespeare indeed, although perhaps not to the point of George Bernard Shaw who wanted to dig him up and throw stones at him. (By the way, how come he always gets the Bernard? I suppose George Shaw is not nearly so impressive so perhaps I should convert to Jaye Amaryllis Sarasin).  Notable that he wrote his best tragedies during the plague.

    Delighted that all in the Bingham camp are well and promise to use coronavirus time wisely - ha!  Jaye 

    0 0 0 0 0 0
    • i wonder, did Shakespeare have two teens with a shed-load of school work to complete (partly by him) as well?

      I know this should all be feeding my creativity, but right now it's fairly much draining it. I wrote 3 haikus yesterday evening though - I won't share them, they'll depress you even more ;-)

      0 0 0 0 0 0
      • Yes!! I've got four kids and the school is bombarding me with phonics stuff &c &c. And I was all ready to write Act I of my magnificent King Boris today, but I'm going to have to shelve it I think ...

        0 0 0 0 0 0
      • 0 0 0 0 0 0
        • Good to know I’m in the same boat as Shakespeare. I feel better for that and now I’m off to finish my damn book once and for all. Not out, just to another room because NZ is now officially in lockdown. Stay well, Harry and all the best to you and yours. This is a fine thing you’ve created. All these writers talking and keeping each other buoyed up in difficult times. Thank you. 

          0 0 0 0 0 0
          • No group is more supportive than a writers group! Good on us!

            0 0 0 0 0 0
          Not logged in users can't 'Comments Post'.