Find your voice

At last, I’m getting close to a final draft of my play Martini Bond. Thought I was there a few weeks ago but it transpired I was nowhere near the final chapter. This has been a long haul. Five months, five drafts and counting. But a writer/colleague reminded me that that was nothing. It can take him years to write a book – the research, the rewrites, the rejections… The hardest thing for me has been the comedy: the laughs, the cries (of the jokes are so bad) and the puns (they’ve had to go).

But I couldn’t have done it without help. And the latest help I’ve had is from Iain Pattison, a former journalist and now an author. He went through my play line by line. “That joke is terrible.” “So’s that one.” “Oh, I heard that one in the Seventies.” “There’s a false ending…” But one thing he did say to me was: “You have a gut instinct for stand-up comedy. You know what makes people laugh. You have to find your voice.” And that was the best thing anyone could have said to me.

I’ve approached the latest rewrite from that perspective. It’s buoyed me up and given me the confidence to ditch the puns and write the kind of jokes I like to tell. Stupid. Observational. Sometimes Topical. Never puns. I found a new kind of freedom of expression. The gags kept coming. Now I’ve got the third readthrough this weekend – this time with all the cast (it’s now written for three, not two) and the director. I’ll make any final edits based on their reactions.

But now there’s one thing I’m sure about: I’ve found my voice.

May 9, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Comedy, Comedy writing, Humour, Publishing.


  1. Pauline Guerin replied:

    Wow! good for you Lyndsey, I know how much hard work writing can be with two novels still hovering over me, let alone writing comedy. That is something I would never tackle as I know I just don’t have the talent. I can’t wait to see your play, very good luck to you. ‘P’ xx

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      Thanks Pauline. Perhaps you should start blogging and publish some of your excerpts? Would love to read some!

      • Pauline Guerin replied:

        mmm I do have a blog, upon which I have plastered some excerpts, I thought I sent the link… I’ll try again and post the link up here. Have fun, keep up the jolly good work. 🙂

  2. ethelthedean replied:

    Congratulations! That is seriously fab. 🙂

  3. Judith replied:

    Lyndsey sounds great. Pleased you have found your funny bone! look forward to seeing the show

  4. kford2007 replied:

    Finding your voice is crucial. Glad you found yours and it rocks! Thanks for stopping by my blog and following, too. I’ll keep an eye on yours, too. 🙂

  5. Kathy replied:

    Congratulations on the find and on five drafts in five months! Isn’t it wonderful what a positive–and sincere–evaluation can do for a writer? Thanks for following my blog. I look forward to reading more about your work. (Love your blog’s title.)

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      Hi Kathy
      Thanks for visiting my blog too. And I’m glad you like the title. I was wondering if it worked!

  6. teschoenborn replied:

    Congratulations on seeing it through and discovering your voice. Isn’t that the key? Never, ever give up!

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