In the autumn of 2005 I was sitting at my desk in my flat in Bristol, slumped in my chair with my head in my hands. I’d been working on a play for Radio 4 for over six months and I’d hit a familiar, impenetrable writer’s wall. My producer kept coming back to me with the same problem. Her feedback was simple: the structure wasn’t working.

Racking my brains for a solution, I remembered a story I’d heard about George Lucas struggling with a script he was writing about a mythological Western set in space. He had the story fully formed in his mind but couldn’t figure out how to put it together into ...


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