writing with loz

It’s Sunday afternoon and I just met up with my friend Lawrence in Finsbury Park to have a go at writing some new material.

We met up later than intended, largely because the clocks went forward last night (which, incidentally, always fills me with a great sense of injustice at being robbed of an hour of my weekend. I know I’ll get it back in October, but when that happens I’ll only sleep through it. I want it now)…

Anyway, Loz is one of the acts I’ll be doing the Edinburgh shows with. He also co-runs (with myself and another act) ‘Scurvy Wednesdays’, the comedy club night in Islington that we’ve been running since last autumn. We sat in the World’s End pub, I told him about how I’ve starting a blog, and he seemed appropriately nonplussed.

We mostly chatted about how he’ll be structuring his new set, which I think will be good. I won’t say too much about it here – not because I think anyone will ever read this, but because it would be generally rude. But I think it’s safe to say that he’d like his act to take a more narrative format with the story providing a structure for the funny bits to hang on. Loz is a particularly talented musician, and I think his strongest material will always be in his songs, so the challenge for him will be in coming up with a narrative that can include those songs. It also felt good to help him come up with some funny ideas. Part of the reason comedy writing is so much fun is that it’s just a process of having funny thoughts and laughing about them, and then seeing how funny they can get…

He suggested two things that my help my own act – one was that I slow down (I like this as advice; it’s very hard to know what my own pace is like, but if people aren’t laughing at stuff I thought was hilarious when I wrote it, then it would be nice to think that it’s because they just didn’t hear it properly); and also that I adopt a more narrative style myself.

I’m not sure what to make of this; if I tell a story then I’m not entirely sure where to fit the jokes in; also, it’s hard to tell what to start writing about, and there are no instant events which spring to mind. None that I’m quite ready to share yet, anyway.

I had to leave at four-thirty – My teaching is being observed tomorrow by a Deputy Head of the school I teach at, plus my Line Manager, so I ought to prepare something good. I’ve already had to turn down a possible gig at The Comedy Manifesto tonight, which I really enjoy doing and would have been a good way of getting back on the horse after the competition knockout. If I want to keep the day job, though, I need to put some time into that too. Which is especially galling, since I’ve had an hour stolen off me already.

I told Loz all this and he said, “Yes, but you won’t do that, will you? You’ll just go home and write a blog that nobody will ever read.”