I got the feedback on Unit X today. Philip Shelley was concerned that I might be upset by his blunt comments about it. I am going to repeat my e-mail reply to him here, I think it's that important.
I have read your notes. I smile wryly: that’s pretty much what the original notes about Monsters said.
Lacking in focus.
Clearly I have learned nothing.
Except that if you had asked me, when I first sent out Monsters, what I thought was wrong with it, I would have had no idea. (This was before you saw it.)
But if you’d have asked me what I thought was the main problem with Unit X, I would have said “lack of a clear protagonist”. (So why did I send it to you? Because I needed someone else to tell me and point at bits going “what on earth is that?”
So I have learned something. Which is good. Comments like “baffling” also applied to Monsters.
Besides what are my normal high standards? You’ve only seen two scripts by me - you didn’t see Une Nuit a Paris which was absolutely slammed by Dave Bull (“sub-Carry On”). He wanted me to tell him that I had written it before Monsters, but I hadn’t - however I had sent him a first draft. Won’t do that again!
I needed a bit of humility. You have handed me some humble pie on a plate. I eat with relish.
I’m not past writing rubbish and, as far as Unit X goes (and Une Nuit a Paris) I just haven’t found the story yet.
As I said, I’m not a tender flower, and when you told me I had some talent you lit a fire under my writing which can’t be put out.
Loving that humble pie - smothered in raspberry sauce.
What's on the turntable? "All is Full of Love" by Bjork from "Homogenic". Bjork is just so ... Bjork.