Writer, director, actor and comedian Alan Ronald explores BBC Maestro’s Alan Moore e-learning course on Storytelling.
If the idea of sitting down for six hours with the legendary Alan Moore and talking writing appeals to you, then Storytelling from BBC Maestro is certainly a course worth considering.
He waxes lyrical, in typical Moore fashion, about the origins of storytelling: “stone-age magic and the bardic tradition to you, now, typing away”. Why we do it, why you should probably do it and, occasionally, why you probably shouldn’t do it.
At various times throughout the course, I either felt huge enthusiasm and optimism for getting on with my own writing, or utter terror and helplessness at the thought. If the latter is not a hard truth you are willing to face, then perhaps think again about taking this course.
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Amongst all the magical pondering and insights into the joy of writing and the craft, there is also an undiluted, and somewhat unexpected dose of reality from Moore, allowing you to question if it is truly the path you wish to take. However, should you make it through the cave of booby traps and deadly pits presented by Moore, you are rewarded with glorious treasures in the form of pure inspiration and encouragement to keep going.
He discusses the power of writing, makes sure that you are entirely aware of the responsibility you wield as a writer of stories; he acts as the wise mentor at the beginning of the story who warns you of the dangers and the darkness ahead, but similarly instils belief in the hero and the journey they are about to undertake. “Just don’t write Mein Kampf…” He warns at the end of one particular lesson.
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For me, this course was watched over a long period of time, since each lesson had a wealth of thought-provoking ideas that I felt I often needed time to properly digest. I have also consistently come back to it at various times throughout the months as a source of inspiration, and I imagine I will continue to do so. In fact, the thought of not having the opportunity to sit down with Alan Moore for some hard truths and magical inspiration whenever I want, now feels like something of a loss.
So, if you are a writer, with the kind of desire and an imagination to want to look at things from a new, sometimes challenging and, frankly, sometimes hilarious angle, maybe it is time to find your coins, sword, cup and wand. Because, as Moore says, everybody can (and probably should) write.
Alan Moore: Storytelling is available via BBC Maestro.