I’m a pocket novelist for My Weekly, and proud to say another one will be published soon. It’s set in the Caribbean, will let you know as soon as it’s here.
Great to see family members today, Ann and Sophie called, then our Son and his dog bounded in, and lovely to see them all.
Knitting is another pastime that I find helps with relaxing, not that I need an excuse to sit down and watch something funny on t.v. Rising Damp is on, and for me good comedy doesn’t date. Same as Larry Grayson who was on the night before. He was a local celebrity in our area, coming from local town of Nuneaton.
My day job is now making badges and key rings, also putting words on tee shirts. Can’t wait to put book covers on key rings, and more news on that coming soon. Have a great week, however you’re spending it.
The garden is looking good at the moment, have a look at these.
You wouldn’t be surprised that I have an idea for a book with the word sunflower in the title for later on in the year. Still working on the Caribbean story, and looking forward to the RNA conference next Saturday. Have a good week, and more news after the conference.
Thanks to the lovely people who’re buying Redington on kindle, hope you enjoy the stories, and don’t be shy to leave a review if it’s going to be a good one.
My mum in law phoned to wish us Happy New Year and she was full of excitement. She’d found a copy of the paperback book Redington in my brother in law’s house over Christmas.
I found a book with your name on! She told me, and now her sister who’s staying with her for a while is reading it as well. Glad to say they’re enjoying it, and said it’s really cheery and good. Not sure what they expected it to be:) as long as it’s making them smile, that’s a good thing.
They’re taking turns to read it and Alan’s aunt was hurrying along with it because she’s only staying for a week. I told her not to worry, and I’ll send her a copy of her own, seeing as it’s cheered her up no end. That was my intention, to make people feel better after paying a visit to my make believe village in mid-Norfolk. Not sure what they made of the Halloween story, but they were laughing on the phone to Alan.
It makes me happy to know that my story collection cheers people up. Now I’ll have to put them on the list for a copy of the next book which will be out soon.
I’m hoping to keep up to date a bit more with the blog. I’ve neglected it a bit and been faffing around on facebook, and seeing as this links to facebook anyway, I’d rather keep the blog going. Have a great week, whatever you may be doing… more news on the blog soon.
For me, laughing is important. It uses up more calories than if you don’t laugh, and makes you feel a lot better for having had a good laugh.
Some things will always be funny, no matter how long ago they happened, or if you’re a lot older and wiser than you were at the time the funny happened. When me and a school friend worked as office girls in a portacabin, typing invoices and filing, we thought we should be destined for better things. So when lunchtime came around, we decided to go round the industrial estate, knocking on doors to ask if the firm in question wanted any more staff. We really should have been eating lunch and having a cup of tea to get the morale up for the afternoon. Instead, we trudged around, not giving up incase the next place was THE ONE.
Getting a bit fed up, and tired and hungry, we came to the last place in the row. As we walked past windows, we could see a group of people sitting chatting. This made her nervous, and she was holding her thumb to her lip, saying, ‘Oh, dared I knock?’ Being the kind friend I was, I gave a hearty knock on the door, opened it and gave her a shove into the room. After that, I ran through what I thought was the door, but it was a broom cupboard. Collapsing among the mops and brushes I laughed so much it was difficult to get up. Not sure she would still laugh at that, but it always makes me chuckle when I think of it.
Another time, I was at an interview where two chaps sat behind a desk. They invited me to sit on a black chair opposite them. When I sat down, it gave out a loud hisssss. a farty chair and they didn’t even blink. All I could think of was, hope they didn’t think I’d let one go at the start. Didn’t get the job but don’t think I’d have wanted it after that. I should be writing, and now I’m off to do that.
Who’s your favourite funny man or woman? Mine has to be Ken Dodd, Les Dawson, Victoria Wood, Jenninfer Saunders, and all the cast of Fools and Horses will never fail to have me chuckling. Sad news that little Ronnie has left as well, but I like to think he’s met up with Big Ronnie and back doing those sketches we all loved so much.
Hello to all my lovely blog followers. I’ve been a bit skinny on here lately. Not skinny as in super slim. I’ve been to the gym most days though, and me and my gym buddy get each other to do more working out than we would if we went on our own. We do sit ups on one of those bouncy balls.Leaning back to look at the wall, then sitting up.
Lift ups on the monkey bars, then I go on this thing like an upside down spaceship. One of these… only turned upside down, then I balance on it. Most of the time.
Hello to all my new followers in America. Hope you’re enjoying the blog. I’m busy re-writing something special for someone special. Can’t say more than that at the moment incase I jinx it. I usually talk about writing more than getting on with the writing, so I’ll let you know soon.
Here’s something funny that happened yesterday. Being of a certain age, me and hubby take a vitamin tablet. You’ve heard of wellwoman and wellman. Those. I had two boxes in my hand, and for some reason, my eyes, saw him with the woman box and me with the man one. He had a tablet on his lips about to swallow it – I had as well. With the awful thought of him swallowing a woman one and me the man one, I did what came to mind and yelled out, ‘Stop!’ Turns out he was taking the right one, and I was as well. Good job he did stop to check, so if they had been the wrong ones, we’d have been alright.
Happy Easter to everyone, and thinking of our friends in Brussels.
How exciting, I’ve folded all the names into three, and given them a good shuffle in the fruit box, watched carefully by the adjudicator, and another shuffle and another one. Now, he’s selecting one name to be the winner of the free book.
She’s on a roll, it’s
So pleased for you, Linda. All in the same week of winning the Alfie dog short story competition as well. The book will be winging it’s way to you very soon.
If you click on the tab above to take you to my website. Then under Welcome to Sue’s writing site tab, you’ll see my C.V. page. On there is my email, to let me have your address. Hope you enjoy the stories, even though you’ve read some.
Thanks to everyone who had a go, and shame there can only be one winner. I’d love you all to have a copy, but that wouldn’t be sensible. Have a great weekend everyone.
The proof has arrived, and it’s looking good, apart from the odd comma needing to be a full stop. Soon sort those out and then I can press the button to say, print…
It’s really lovely to have a proper book after looking at the stories in print on the web. And the very first story in the collection was written with People’s Friend in mind. That was years ago, but it’s a story I liked so kept it in a bottom drawer.
When editor of Creative Frontiers, which has now closed down, Martin West, read the story, he told me that it read like a People’s Friend story to him. So glad I wasn’t a hundred miles out. Then after that first story, which was published in serial form, he asked for another. A month later I wrote another, and so on. He gave the stories the label of – The Archers meets Midsummer Murders.
The theme was the village, set in mid Norfolk, called Redington. The same characters appear in some stories and new ones are added as the pages turn. I’m so attached to the characters and place now that there will be more to follow.
As soon as the book is available, I’ll put a link on here. Also I’ll be doing a giveaway on my blog to one lucky follower.
I’ve got quite a few words written of the next romantic novel. I didn’t sign up to the official November challenge as you probably know, but I’ve got my chapter detail headings, and keep adding more and more information under each one. Now the story is beginning to form and hopefully it will turn into something that will make sense, and follow on from the first one. Always aiming for Mills & Boon, I’m trying to get more passion into this one and focus on the two main characters. When I sent Hats to them, they told me that the minor characters interfered too much. They’re right, but my main character is young and she learns to stick up for herself from the older ones.
I’m working on the latest Redington story. This one’s called, Betty’s big meringue, and builds up to the day she and Raymond say I do. It’s making me titter to myself, and I know that sounds a bit indulgent, but they say, (whoever they are) that you have to write what you want to read. This is my kind of reading. Betty is actually larger than that, and he’s a fireman, Raymond is a postman, but he looks like a postie to me, so it’s the picture I’m using from clip art.
Uncle Arnold is giving Betty away, and Ivy is Chief Bridesmaid. There are some new characters in this story, and I hope you’ll be able to tune in next week on Creative Frontiers to see what goes on.
Keith Lindsay was my writing tutor, when I attended Atherstone College in the mid-nineties. We were an informal group, and some took it more seriously than others. Now the thing that made Keith stand out from other tutors was his love of comedy, and the passion he gave to his way of teaching of the subject. A naturally funny man, but in a quiet modest way, I am bowled over to let you know that here’s here on my blog to tell us a bit more about his writing.
Q1/S. You told us in college, that you co-wrote ‘Birds of a Feather.’ Can you tell us how you got in to being half of the writing duo for this popular series? And are you still involved with the latest re-release of ‘Birds.’
A1K/ I actually co-wrote on Birds of a Feather, it was created and written by Marks and Gran who then proceeded to allow it to be team written; something quite unusual in this country at the time. How did we get onto the team? Well my writing partner Martin and I wrote a calling card script, we didn’t know it was a calling card script when we wrote it, we thought it was a dead cert to get made – ah the naivety.
However, the thing we did do right was to target certain people in the game who we thought might share our sense of humour – we sent out seven scripts and from that mail shot were invited down to LWT, as was, leading quickly to getting an agent and invited down to lunch with Lawrence and Maurice leading almost as quickly to Birds of a Feather. When I say invited, M and G’s letter actually started with ‘do they let you have sharp things in there’.
And no I am not involved in the newer series, nor are we since there technically isn’t a we anymore. It’s good to see it back since Birds was always an inclusive comedy; it wants to make as many people laugh as possible; it isn’t aiming for a certain niche.
Q2/S. How was it, writing with John Sullivan on Green green grass? What would you say was the one thing that stood out about him?
A2K/ Writing with John was one of the most amazing times of my life, I learned so much, I laughed so much and being in the studio listening to real people really laughing reminded me why I’d become hooked on the genre in the first place. And they were real people and they were really laughing, no one was whipping, bullying or cajoling them into it despite what some would say about audience comedy.
You’re asking me to pick out one thing that stood out about one of the greatest comedy writing talents in the sit com world!? How? I could go on for pages, but I’ll try: John was one of life’s observers: he watched, he studied and more importantly he remembered, or he made notes. He once showed me a crumpled slip of paper he carried around in his wallet for years, it said ‘don’t forget Batman and Robin’. Del Boy was based on people he’d grown up with. John was simply wonderful at storing up people, stories, events, ideas for years and then finding the exact moment to unleash them. And that was only part of John’s genius.
Q3S/ Do you write scripts for stand-up comedians, like Ken Dodd, for instance, or John Bishop? If so, do you get any credit for it, or are you like a ghost comedian?
A3K/ I have written stand up material for comedians; Rik Mayall, Frankie Howerd and a Japanese comic called Zen Jiro, and I pray at least he’s still alive. Credit for it? I think not good lady. If you get paid that’s enough, besides comedians like to look as if they’re just making it all up.
Q4S/ What are you working on at the moment? And how many re-writes would you do for a script?
A4K/ At present I have two original sit com scripts doing the hurry up and wait dance at certain broadcasters, a third I am re-writing should either of them turn into a case of ‘what else have you got’ and am about to begin work on a whole new sit com script – something of a lazy bugger you see.
When it comes to re-writes there are a couple of different types: there’s the re-writes you are asked to do by producers, development executives and the office tea boy after you think you’ve already got the perfect script and those can be legion; then there’s the re-writes you do for yourself.
Now I know the received wisdom is that all writing is re-writing but I don’t tend to do too many of the latter for a couple of very good reasons – firstly I make sure that I know my characters inside out when I start writing and I construct characters in such a way that when my story gives them a choice to make it’s really only Hobson’s choice, they can only ever come to one decision because of who they are. Secondly, technically I re-write every day, that is I start over again on page one of the script so that I ease myself back into the situation and character, the writing is then also consistent since I am quite often in a totally different mood from day to day; thus it means that in the end the majority of the script has had anything from two or three re-writes to fourteen or more re-writes on an average first pass.
Q5S/ Has comedy writing changed over the years and If so, how is it different now?
A5K/ I’m pretty sure you knew I would answer yes when you wrote this question – so yes! Comedy has changed because the world has changed – we have access to all human knowledge now, and to much disinformation too, a pity since in less informed times writers would be able to offer us a window on a world we didn’t know, Porridge for example – in 1973 we were totally unfamiliar with the inner workings of prisons, the fly on the wall documentary had not shown us the reality yet. These days it’s pretty hard to show us something new, so that instead of a window writers seem to be expected to hold up a mirror to reflect the audience back at themselves.
And yes I know writers have always done that but there was a time where there was an art to it, as Alexander Pope put it ‘true wit is nature to advantage dressed, what oft was thought but ne’er so well expressed’. It just seems that much of what is considered comedy now is merely framed by the lowest common denominator in terms of characters and lines fed back to the audience. Ok rant over.
Q6S/ What would be your ideal script for the bbc? (That’s not including the ones you have written )
A6K/ Hhhhmmmm, I’m pretty sure they don’t really know themselves if you’re talking about something new and if I knew myself I’d be writing it not answering your questions.
What I do know is what it takes to give yourself the best chance to construct the ideal script and it’s something I try to impart when I run sit com writing workshops: character is everything and a well rounded but fatally flawed comic character is key for a start, then there are the supporting characters who should not be mere ciphers but equally rounded and exist not only in contrast with the main character but compliment him/her too. But I’m giving too much away for free, my agent will pitch a fit.
Let’s just say that I really enjoy running sit com workshops and seeing those wonderful light bulb moments when my guests see the simplicity of the structure from which many great shows have been made.
Is this enough now because my typing finger is getting tired? http://www.thinkfunny.co.uk/2013/02/learn-sitcom-writing/ http://www.futermanrose.co.uk/lindsay.html http://twitter@Keithrlindsay
Like my ususal author interviews, Keith will be answering 6 questions, and if anyone has any further questions on comedy writing, make sure you tune in on or after Wednesday.
My writing course in the local college lasted for a year where I learned such a lot from Keith, and have kept the folder of work. Some of the ideas in there I’m still working on and will send out. During that year, Take a Break published my first full length article, and other articles and poetry followed. So from working with him on that course, my writing path began.
Details of where you can find him and what courses he’s running will be in the blog post next week.