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First Night

Curtain up!  Light the light!  Ayr Writers’ Club regrouped for first night and what an enjoyable night it was.  It was the first night in our new venue at Prestwick Indoor Bowling Club and the first of our speakers, BBC Producer & Director of Comedy, Margaret Ann Docherty opened this year’s programme.

The topic for the first three weeks’ of the new session is ‘Comedy Sketch Writing’ and the evening focussed on writing a comedy monologue. Margaret provided some guidelines for compiling a successful piece of writing.  These included developing your idea by writing a two line synopsis before developing it further; and visualising an actor (regardless of how famous or well known) delivering it.  How would it sound?  How would it fit the particular piece?   Personally I tried to visualise Brad Pitt delivering my monologue but ended up thinking of the Rev I.M. Jolly!

Incidentally, when approaching Producers with your work, they will also require a two line synopsis so it is important that this reflects the main thrust of your piece. If your synopsis catches the interest of a Producer, he/she may ask you to send the completed work for publication.

Margaret also talked through some of the techniques for drafting comedy sketches and monologues, including mind mapping and keeping an ‘Ideas Book’.  She spoke about the importance of keeping characters believable by ‘soul searching the character’ – understanding the character’s motivation and ‘inner dialogue’ in order to make sense of the piece.

She also spoke about establishing a ‘gag rate’ especially when writing a comedy monologue and how mapping emotions across each paragraph can help maintain a balance of ‘comedy and conflict’ within the monologue.

Our task for the week ahead is to produce a comedy monologue for next Wednesday’s meeting when we will receive Margaret’s feedback.  I am assuming that members are feverishly (or is that just me?) writing monologues and reading them aloud to long-suffering family members!  

I can’t wait to hear the gems that club members are bound to come up with so until next Wednesday, Happy Writing!

Wilma Scott

Next meeting:  Wednesday 14th @ Prestwick Indoor Bowling Club

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