is two guys collaborating to write on writing and collaboration.

Fastball! for August 2009

Tuesday
Aug 18, 2009

Habits, heavy lifting, and the possibility of suck — Martin Ball

John August on Writer’s Block:

You know who gets writer’s block? Non-writers. They think it’s cool and romantic to struggle to make Art. They make sure everyone knows how torturous the process is, so when they finally squeeze something out, it won’t be judged on its merits but rather the emotional anguish involved in its creation.

Writers write. Hacks whine about how hard it is.

Here’s the whole interview, but the quoted section above is from his notes which are worth reading.

Wednesday
Aug 12, 2009

Vast Hell — Martin Ball

In those days, there were two barbers in Puente Viejo. Now I realize that if he’d gone to Old Melchor’s he might never have met the French Woman, and no one would have gossiped about them. But Melchor’s place was at the other end of town, and I had no reason to anticipate what happened.

The fact is that I sent him to Cerviño’s place, and it seems that while Cerviño was giving him a haircut the French Woman appeared. And the French Woman looked at the boy the way she looked at all men. And that was when the bloody business started, because the boy stayed on in town and we all thought the same thing: that he’d stayed on because of her.

Guillermo Martínez’s short, from the April 27th New Yorker. The hope, when I read a story this good, is that I learn something and become a better writer because of it.

Fastball! Archives

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What is Spitball!?

Spitball! is two guys collaborating to write about writing and collaboration. We're writing partners who have worked together since 2000, and placed in the top 100 in the last Project Greenlight for our script YELLOW.

Currently, we are both working on multiple screenplay, short story, and novel ideas independently and together, and collaborate on this blog.

What Spitball! used to be

Spitball! started as an attempt to collaborate on a screenplay online in real time. From January 2006 to July 2007 we worked on an interactive process to decide the story we were going to make. A full postmortem is coming, but you can find the find all the posts by looking in the category Original Version.

During this period, we affected the personalities of two of the most famous spitball pitchers from the early 20th Century. Look at our brief bios for more info about this, and so as not to be confused as to who is talking when.

We rebooted the franchise in early 2009 in its current form.


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Our Twitter account, where we note when longer articles are posted. While we're at it, here's Kent and Martin's Twitter accounts.

Kent M. Beeson

Urban Shockah pic

Kent M. Beeson (aka Urban Shockah) is a stay-at-home dad and stay-at-home writer, living in Seattle, WA with his wife, 2 year old daughter and an insane cat. In 2007, he was a contributor to the film blog ScreenGrab, where he presciently suggested Jackie Earle Haley to play Rorschach in the Watchmen movie, and in 2008, he wrote a film column for the comic-book site ComiXology called The Watchman. (He's a big fan of the book, if you couldn't tell.) In 2009, he gave up the thrill of freelance writing to focus on screenplays and novels, although he sometimes posts to his blog This Can't End Well, which a continuation of his first blog, he loved him some movies. He's a Pisces, and his favorite movie of all time is Jaws. Coincidence? I think not.

Martin McClellan

Burleigh Grimes pic

Martin (aka Burley Grymz) is a designer and writer. He occasionally blogs at his beloved Hellbox, and keeps a longer ostensibly more interesting bio over here at his eponymous website. You can also find him on Twitter.