is two guys collaborating to write on writing and collaboration.

Fastball! for January 2010

Saturday
Jan 09, 2010

Holden Caulfield is unactable — Martin Ball

J.D. Salinger, in 1957, responding to a producer’s enquiry:

Holden Caulfield himself, in my undoubtedly super-biassed opinion, is essentially unactable. A Sensitive, Intelligent, Talented Young Actor in a Reversible Coat wouldn’t nearly be enough. It would take someone with X to bring it off, and no very young man even if he has X quite knows what to do with it. And, I might add, I don’t think any director can tell him.

Thursday
Jan 07, 2010

Ways of reading — Martin Ball

Oh Mandy Brown, how succinctly you elucidate my book-loving heart. This is short and beautiful, but these two thoughts struck me especially:

Reading and writing are not discrete activities; they occur on a continuum, with reading at one end, writing at the other. The best readers spend their time somewhere in between.


The best library contains both books you have read, and books you have not. The latter should grow in proportion as the library expands. A working library is as much a place for the possible as it is a record of the past.

Wednesday
Jan 06, 2010

Vice Magazine Interview with Berkeley Breathed — Martin Ball

I love his answer to the first question.

Vice: I’m curious as to how the writing process for Bloom County worked. Did you always know where you were heading, or was there an element of discovery as you wrote? Did you think in terms of seasons, sort of like television writing?


Berkeley Breathed: Your question presumes a reality so distant from the experience that any questions about process are meaningless—but perfectly reasonable. The problem is that you’re asking a guy who didn’t think of any individual strip or story line longer than it takes to read this sentence.

But I also love the answer to this one:

Did you ever hear about any reaction from Jim Davis regarding your statement that Bill the Cat started as a parody of Garfield?


Trust me, Davis could care less about being mocked. It wasn’t respect that he worked hard for.

Friday
Jan 01, 2010

Ten Editing Tips, for Your Fiction Mss. — Martin Ball

Margaret Atwood’s invaluable advice, in convenient list format.

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.