Script 3 of 4 is now done (at least the second draft) and I’ve reached the enjoyable writing stage where ideas and gags pop into my brain, seemingly out of nowhere, when I am not directly thinking about the scripts (or don’t think I am). Yesterday a bit about “let them eat cake” popped into my head (admittedly when I saw something on TV with someone quoting that line, but realised it fitted perfectly into a bit in the wedding episode) and tonight, walking the dog, out of nowhere came an idea that would really help resolve one of the running stories of the series.
Where do these things come from? Some writers believe aliens transmit them into our brains when they see us struggling, but to be honest, I think that is nonsense. It is clearly our future selves, sending the thoughts back in time to assist us. The beauty of this is that they have the finished scripts so are able to simply tell us what is in them and then we write it and they have it in the future to send back. Why not send the whole script on day one? Good question. But joke time travel is not, as yet, evolved far enough to transmit anything more than scraps of ideas and tangential associations that will spark the required thought.
It’s been a tough few years of befuggled brain so it’s nice when the synapses are firing and stuff is presenting itself for free (obviously, in reality, you are dogged by a script for weeks and months and your unconscious brain is working away at it - I have a lovely life, but my work is inescapable). When I was younger I had so many ideas that sometimes I couldn’t glean them all and there was that regular delight of an inability to sleep because the pieces of a jigsaw were fitting together in your head. When I wrote Punk’s Not Dead I had a night where the whole play seemed to come together as I tried to sleep, more quickly than I could hope to get it down and that really felt like the script was being dictated to me by rapidly speaking play-elves.
Now that’s much more rare, mainly because I am too knackered to do anything in bed than fall asleep after half-heartedly tugging on my dead penis. So it’s a delight when this magic returns even briefly, though I’d prefer it if Jesus would turn up and work his Lazarene magic on me. I don’t want him to touch it or anything - that would be disrespectful - just to scatter some of his magic dust on it so that it works again. But some miracles are beyond even He.
I am joking. My penis probably still works. I am too exhausted to find out though.
Now onwards to episode 4. How long will it take to write? Depends on how much future me can slip back through the time portal in the next week.