Aug. 2, 2021

S1 Ep15: The Little Pod of Horrors!

Ouhhhhhhh... it's a spooooooky horror episode! This week we present back our short horror stories. Then we try and teach Dave how to give something marks out of ten. (We have no idea if we did a good job of that. I mean, he gave us an 7/10... but who knows).


oh hello sorry i'm just caught in the middle of some what's it i've got all that cheesy dust between my teeth now i'm gonna have a slip of water

there you go welcome to the failing writers podcast

well hello everybody it's us the failing writers podcast we're back how are you chaps good all right good good good good good good good happy to be here yes nice it's nice to be back isn't it it's nice to be back just for those of you that don't know dave's been away on holiday yeah so we've had a little break and uh and now we're good skin peeling off ready to go where did you get sunburned dave cornwall uh on right just on my uh flank oh don't am i right using the wrong words dave you're making me hungry he's making it sound like you cook just a bit of just this sort of sirloin area and um my my bizarrely my right flank and my left foot right i must have just missed out did you fall asleep in the sun no with a hanky on your head in the union jack swimming trunks i didn't in a deck chair what i want what i really want to do is to be able to peel my foot but like keep a whole one like when a snake sheds its skin just be like sorry debbie you started your horror story already is this part of the horror story because no but my it was my horror story was inspired by the holiday so we'll uh we'll get to that it's just it's just a little story of being away with the family locked in a small room with a family for a week my god that sounds terrific dave wow but before we get into that let's rein it back in a bit we have to ask the never-ending question what have we been writing this week john what you've been up to uh do you know what uh it's mostly been task so it has been the horror story that we've been tasked to do and also uh suddenly tom pointing out that the deadline for the poetry competition is this saturday so that kind of kicked me into gear for the poetry as well so i've done my poem and i've done me horror and that is that hold on a minute you said when i said about the poem deadline you went all right yeah they said let's not do that then why did i don't bother doing anything now this is like that kid at school and it says oh

okay the test starts in five minutes john do you know what i just i just thought i'd have a go and and honestly it just flowed out i mean about five minutes i'm not saying it's any good but uh yeah it just it's probably not but it's not it just popped out and i thought well i've done it you know it was very heartfelt you know kate was telling us it's got to be something that is you know front and center in your life and it was definitely that's true so uh yeah just how it came well we look forward to seeing that when you win the competition then john judging from your reaction neither of you have done anything i've done a tiny bit of uh tweaking and um i've been taking out some of the controversial bits out of my silly little sales book but um it would be pushing it to call that actual writing i guess it is something isn't it it's not nothing um it is something yeah well done and uh yeah the horror story thing which um i was not looking forward to in the slightest and i'm not entirely sure that i've written a horror story as such um it's kind of just a bit of a story well it's a weird genre isn't it because it's a it's sort of a vast genre if you think about it yeah i suppose anything that scares you is horrible isn't it but um kind of it's not coherent is it because it's it's so you can split it into like hundreds of different subgenres as well you know there's like dark urban fantasy and suspense and and paranormal and i don't know but there's there's a lot of them anyway yeah gothic all that sort of stuff etc how did you find it john how did you find writing i i quite like horror i i'm a bit of a scaredy cat so i can get into it quite quickly whereas you were saying the other day you're not really at all you find it i find it very difficult to find it believable or tune into it and not just be able to go well yeah absolutely i think what i like that as if the phone call would come from in the house come on why is she falling over when she's running she shouldn't have fallen over there a lot of horror doesn't pass the um what i call the my mum test so with a lot of things i i often hear my mum's voice going well that wouldn't happen or something like that and that's how i judge if anything's any good and hot is that your mum's cat yeah yeah well that wouldn't happen genetic then is it is that the difference though between like good horror and bad horror like the bad horror you look at anything well that's a bit silly whereas the good stuff it might be sort of it might still be like paranormal and a bit silly in the sense that there's no way it would happen but there's something about it that keys into the sort of prime some kind of primal bit of your brain yeah yeah i was doing a bit of reading around it and that's definitely was something that was mentioned was you know sort of things like spiders and and natural uncontrollable natural disasters and things like that well just things you can't explain right think you know things you can't understand yeah even the ghost sort of side thing as long as it i think the good stuff is where it all fits in with the the rules of that world isn't it doesn't have to be something that could actually happen in real life but as long as it's convincing yes it's been set up i always think that's really weird you know when you're watching a film or something where it is it's where the rules of the world have been set out so i don't know like x-men or something like that where you know anything can happen in a way and then something happens you think well that wouldn't happen and it just seems a ridiculous thing to say because literally anything but that it doesn't fit in that's not fair that character would never have said that yeah or yeah you can't building questions yeah i'll accept that that's fine yeah yeah but how does spiderman go to the toilet

that age-old question but uh before we before we get into the horror thing um i actually i actually have written something other than that i finished finished i've actually finished a draft of the spooky war book um which is now now called remembrance day oh yeah i've actually written the words the end at the end i know there's a huge amount that i've got to do on it now but i've actually finished a draft uh something i don't know what to say to that idea but i wasn't necessarily expecting that no i wasn't expecting that to happen and uh yeah that's a rather beautiful thing i think cue firework effect wow dave that's amazing thanks for doing that in a genuine sounding way john um no it was yeah i was quite surprised that i got there hey i've got a question for you dave go on how are you feeling about it feeling quite emotional uh i was at the time because like i said i didn't think i would ever actually get to the end and it was a constant battle of i've just got to keep going just keep plugging away this is wrong just it was like you know going through some just throwing bits out and just just get stuff down there you were talking about the end being like the sort of the the kind of main bit that you were trying to get to that was where all the story was in a way were you happy with writing the end i was because i took so throughout the whole thing i've i've kind of had pages of the original in front of me to sort of work off and then i've sort of had to make little changes along the way which meant that by the end it's sort of there's a it's massively different um so i just kind of went right i'm just going to forget everything that was written before not have anything in front of me i know where it's going to get sorry dad yeah sorry dad and i'm just going to i just sort of wrote it sort of like free hand if you like just right i'm just going to plow on not refer to anything else and just write yeah and it was a it was a totally different experience because everything else all the way through has been you know right uh okay i know i've got to get to this paragraph that i want to keep in there so write something and then it leads up to that take a chunk of that and copy and paste that here um but this was just like totally bosh and even when there were bits that i was quite clear that writing this means i've got to change something in chapter two i was like just forget it just go just keep going yeah yeah and it was really it just sort of poured out in the end um so yeah it was it was it was great and writing the words the end i just felt really satisfying and dev at what point is your dad gonna get to read it are you gonna edit first i'm gonna edit it first yeah i don't it would be silly to give it to him well no i don't like it uh that would be quite difficult wouldn't it but um no i'm gonna um yeah it's got a lot of work going to edit it a little bit and then i'm going to send it to you to to have a look um well that's very exciting look forward to it mate yeah well done debbie and then in the same in the same week i got a rejection letter oh yeah remember the tv show that i mentioned that i applied for surprisingly i haven't been chosen in the long shot i haven't been chosen to enter the writers room for the the the panel show about black history so that wasn't that wasn't much of a shock but good on you for having a go exactly you got to try these things haven't you you have totally and then i finished i finished reading a book as well been very busy uh on holiday i finished the book that you set me to read oh excellent steve kaplan's the hidden tools of comedy oh can we have a review of that next week then dave yeah yeah i'll give you a review of it because it's finished and it and it was good so that's no we've got content for next week now as well so yeah it's been a busy old time fantastic right well we should probably have um someone should probably write a funny little ditty about um horror like a scary thing yeah someone should then we'll play that now and then when it's finished we'll uh seamlessly go into the heart yeah all right okay well yeah should we should we do the link when it comes back in should we do a link saying oh that was what a good song that was yeah okay all right let's do that i like the bit with the gospel choir in the middle john why did you think about doing that because that must have been really tricky to do yeah don't have to do that just the change in time is very tricky that must have taken ages john i thought paul mccartney's little cameo all right stop now stop yeah good luck we're making that so uh enjoy enjoy this folks i was taking out the bins when i heard a funny sound it was coming from within the bin and sounded fell in loud so i opened up the lid and suddenly i frowned because deep inside was hid a tiny creepy clown then he ran up my arm and sank his teeth in my face and i cried like a baby cause it hurt really really bad it was a harder because it was horrible not very nice my bowel's uncontrollable

well john i'd say that probably wasn't one of your best oh that was a good little ditty wasn't it never heard anything how about that in my life how about that loved it um so as the song said here's here's some horror stories who wants to go first um well shall i go first you go first tom soon as you didn't want to do it in the first place well just because mine's a bit longer than i meant i don't know i don't know if mine's actually going to be the longest what we're talking um it's 70 000 words so i'll probably do i'll do like half this episode and then yeah um no it's it's about 1 200 words i was trying to get it down to a thousand oh i don't i don't like horror i don't really want to do this one wow you went for it man so it's called the parting gift oh yeah that's uh that's three words turn the lights out wait wait wait the parting gift i still had a key for the front door so i let myself in it was funny to think that just a couple of weeks ago they were both still alive and now they were gone forever i was okay with it though i mean i still felt as if mum would come in from the garden a well-used trowel in a gloved hand and a hair bunched up in a lopsided afterthought of a ponytail or that dad would pop up from his secret lair in the basement demanding to know who had arrived without warning it didn't matter who came in or what they had to say that would appear from the basement swear a bit and say something like can't any booger call ahead these days or even better just not bloody visit then he'd be back down the stairs like a rabbit down a well a rabbit hole the year before last my last year of school before i went off to uni i remember coming in bursting to tell mum and dad some pretty exciting news that our stupid little town had finally become famous it was on the map the home of the canterbury lane killer so called because that's where the first two girls went missing not more than half a mile from my school it was kind of thrilling in a bit of a sick way but dad being dad just appeared from the basement stairs told me not to worry about it shrugged his shoulders at the news and vanished underground to play with his model train set or whatever it was he had down there until his tea was ready i actually knew one of the five girls that went missing i was at school with her katie waterson they think she was the canterbury killer's last victim i don't think the police knew why he stopped killing but they never found a body i know you're not meant to say this but i was kind of glad she was a right [ __ ] to me all through school she was one of the beautiful people and i was an easy target i guess i never fitted into all that [ __ ] stupid kids thinking that being the top dog at school meant anything at all in life i suppose they figured it out for themselves when they left and got in the big wide world i guess katie did mum always just put up with dad just said he was an eccentric and a product of his upbringing always used to confuse me that when i was little he never let me ask questions about grandma and grandad it simply wasn't a topic for discussion until one day out on a father-daughter hunting trip we go at least six or seven times in the summer every year without fail and i can remember the air heavy with the intoxicating irony smell of fresh death as he taught me to skin a deer the luscious rip of sharp blade through sinew and still warm skin i'd asked him an obscure question about his side of the family tree earlier which i thought he'd just ignored but he hadn't hours later halfway through skinning the deer he just stopped and told me the whole story exactly what had happened to his parents and why he did it i don't know whether he just needed to tell someone or whether it had to be me but it kind of all made sense to me somehow i should have been shocked or i don't know scared or something but i just instinctively understood and promised not to tell another soul as long as i lived anyway here i was stood in my dead parents house and had no idea what was meant to do with all the stuff the solicitor guide told me that a lot of people take a few sentimental items and just do a house clearance auction on the rest i mean i like the idea of the house clearance bit that sounded straightforward i was less sure about the idea of being sentimental it's not really me i guess i could finally take the chance to have a look in dad's basement maybe there would be something for me in there i knew where he kept the key i'd seen him place it on top of the fridge a hundred times when i'd lived there i don't even know if he knew that i knew he kept it there or if he cared i sometimes think it was more to hide it from mum i think he trusted me not to go down there and i never did but now it was different someone had to clear it out and i was the only one left i slipped the key into the lock and opened the door i reached for the pull cord and the fluorescent lights buzzed on in the basement i held the rail as a step down the narrow wooded stairs into what looked like well i don't know really just a room there was an old sofa a few non-descript pictures on the wall and a small workbench in one corner with a few bits of hunting stuff and other tools on there not an aladdin's cave of sentimental trophies after all just more crap for the house clearance people to sort should keep something though i thought i guess a hunting knife would do as i reached for the knife i heard the scuffling of maybe mice from behind the sofa actually no probably rats it was definitely bigger than mice i pulled out the dusty beige sofa knife ready expecting to see a rat or two dart out into the light but there were no rats just a wooden entrance to what looked like a tunnel it reminded me of the ones you used to see in the world war ii escape films but this one was in the wall leading to a little hidden room i knelt down and ignoring the putrid damp stale stench i scuffled through the tunnel through to the smaller room which had a cage at one end a cage with a body strung up in it strapped to the wall gagged but with a thin pipe going into her mouth she was painfully thin bruised and still alive but barely conscious she looked different but i recognized her straight away i opened the cage door and knew what i had to do i pulled out a drinking pipe which was connected to a large water bottle like the ones you get on top of office water coolers and i ripped off the tape covering her mouth katie waterson oh god look at you you look terrible do you remember me i said oh help me help came the weak reply each word seeming to take the effort of running a marathon i mean do you even remember me katie no help please help me and as i silently thank dad for everything he taught me on that hunting trip i made one single deep backhanded cut slicing through a pretty little throat and through her carotid arteries and with her final gurgling bloody last breath dad's secret became my secret too

just googled some numbers for counsellors tom i'm fine

wow that was that was good tom that was really quite s atmospheric wasn't it yeah you know i always struggle with on stuff like that where you're trying to put a little twist like a little well it's hard anyway you got to give clues you got to put it all in there yeah because there's no point gets the end and people going well that's bloody ridiculous i wouldn't even know that we don't want people to get out yeah do the mum dave's mum test but then the elaine on too thick and it's like uh and then look look what's going to happen yeah so yeah no that was uh quite quite chilling that tom good fulfilled another side of tom turner genuinely horrible that tom in the right kind of way that's good that's good i think it's quite nice isn't it that's a good thing about this podcast when we're kind of forced into doing a little bit of homework um how you realize you can write something quite short relatively short um but there's all this there's all this backst you know the beauty of writing with all this backstory that's there that everyone can see but everyone will have a slightly different building blocks of it yeah you're in and so some people decide that he accidentally killed his parents because they thought they were burglars or something or maybe you just killed them because they were annoying or yeah that's what started it all off but everyone's got their own different little and i guess that's probably part of horror isn't it letting people fill in the gaps with their own worst idea absolutely i think so i think very especially with that genre isn't it yeah if you spell it out too much leaving stuff to you to the imagination whereas if it's you know if you're leaving the the monster if you like to be unrevealed for as long as yeah their worst nightmare yeah i think that's often the case with a lot because uh a lot of stephen king movies uh are really let down by the end you know when you actually see the monster or the whatever it is there's never is i like clowns though no it's right that's where the tension well when you see it yeah it's never as scary as you imagined it to be uh in your head like it i i've read it and i remember watching the sort of the uh the original tv series which i think had something to do with larry cohen tom did it our old mate larry yeah but uh and i really enjoyed it right up until the end when you actually see the the spider monster and it looks crap and it sort of ruins everything that's gone before and it's it's like it's so much better when you leave space in someone's imagination for them to create what scares them the most if you like which is why i think i liked uh blair witch project so much uh you were talking about that the other week because literally nothing happens in it at all you don't see a single thing it is entirely in your imagination isn't it and a lot of it is even the screen is blank or it's just like you know trees being lit up in the dark and sort of shaking around and uh that's sort of the beauty of it in a way because you never get to see i think that's the thing in it because there's nothing no there's nothing as scary in real life there's nothing as scary as when you're sort of uh alone in the house at night uh when you're a bit younger and you hear little noises and you don't know what they are you know what i mean it's like it's the things that sort of occur in your imagination are the scariest things that ever happen without a doubt unless you've been on holiday with my uncle peter exactly yeah but yeah very good tom thank you thank you i like that i quite enjoyed it in the end it was good as well because her her character came across even before she you know gave away the big clues you know like the the lack of sentimentality and stuff she just sounded a little bit cold yeah i'm glad you picked up on that i kind of just had to work that through just sort of found you know i wouldn't say that she was unlikable necessarily because i think whenever something's written from someone's point of view and i read something uh on the run up to this podcast that uh most good horror is written from a first person rather than third person omniscient because you know you're right there with somebody then you know you're seeing and feeling everything that's happening around you and i think it does work particularly i think i actually did start i did start to write it in the third person actually all right and then quickly and quickly uh realized it wasn't working because you side with the person who's speaking yeah or whose point of view it is quite quickly even if even if they're not massively likable you kind of you're on their side immediately it's quite a useful little tool yeah i would hope i guess the hope at the end of this little story is that someone goes well yeah she did join without without having any of the knowledge of anything in there yeah i hope she gets away with it yeah chapter two is the awkward house clearing yeah i mean there is a body down there probably a few more in the garden actually thinking about it brilliant grim very grim dave your turn to scare the pants off well um i didn't even come up with a title i suppose i should have done shouldn't i that's a sleeve untitled untitled horror oh that's scary um totally mysterious top of the paint the ghosts have stolen titan okay it's interesting like hearing you talking about the sort of first person i'm even now thinking oh would this have been better in the first person but let's it's too late now let's just go let's go with it okay let's see he has no idea how long they've been traveling maybe hours maybe days not allowed to sleep not given the chance to think all concept of time and space lost on the journey from wherever he was to wherever he is stop here the voices are cold despite the burning heat jarring like fingernails on slate yet somehow vaguely familiar he shields his eyes from the sun trying to get his bearings searching for some way out the sound of the spade clattering to the ground snaps him back to reality there is no escape dig the word fills him with terror icy fingers over his sweaty back he stares at the ground his mind racing why should he why give them the satisfaction just end it now but it's not that simple even when the end is inevitable you'll do everything you can to hold it off just a little longer to squeeze every last drop of time you have left

so he digs the surface baked cracked and crumbling gives way easily enough but after a few inches the going gets harder the blunt edge of the spade jolts against solid ground sending shock waves reverberating up his arms chattering his teeth he looks up imploringly but the uncaring eyes gazing back offer no respite slowly the hole grows before him a gaping moor opening wide to consume his very soul an errant rock snaps the tip of the spade leaving a serrated edge that glistens in the sunlight reflecting his thoughts if he was quick maybe a hand grabs the spade from his and casts it aside that's deep enough no not yet just a little more he sinks to his knees and begins clawing at the sodden foul smelling ground with his bare hands unthinkable sludge gathering beneath his fingernails a hand falls on his neck enough time's up he hangs his head resigned to his fate he lays down water seeping into his shorts chilling the small of his back the first squelching clumps fall onto his legs one at a time each followed by a sharp intake of panicked breath then the rest of the hold is filled in a kicking frenzy grains of dust swirling in his eyes heavy buckets landing square on his chest pushing the air from his lungs until only his head remains unburied and all the while a horrible shrill shrieking noise that sounds like laughter they're enjoying this got you daddy yes very funny kids now hurry up take a picture and get me out of here before the tide comes in he begins to fidget beneath the sand hating the feeling of being trapped honestly i don't know why i let you do this to me don't worry daddy the youngest replies this will be the last time we promise the camera snaps the laughter stops and a bucket full of sand is tipped over his head before he can scream more sand fills his mouth his ears his eyes shrouded in darkness and sealed within his tomb his final thought peace at last

is it the worst do you think uh i haven't experienced them all john's it was difficult it was um a popular victorian horror thing wasn't it being buried alive to the point where they used to bury people with a bell on the on the gravestone with a with a cord going down into the so when you were buried alive you could uh ding ding desperately bring it i just want some i just want some snacks i guess that probably speaks of victorian medical uh you know general yeah yeah yeah i mean there's a chance you might not actually be dead but we'll crack on it's fine it's fine there's a bell there's a bell if you need anything but just just close my eyes for a minute yeah i'm just i was only having a nap

nope get him in bury him bury him uh but yeah there we go inspired by my time yeah what isn't it uh last week yeah we should we should feel lucky that you returned back i only just made it out but yeah there you go it's good yeah it was a good uh it's good like yeah chicaning twist at the end there what do you think oh i was just trying to hold on yeah we're still going double the double twist you see he hands inside the ride we are still moving along yeah i did i did think it was all a dream and he was back on the beach but it was not to be just my wishful thinking yeah he's dead he's properly he's a goner so john hmm hello what are your scares uh so here we go this was um it was it was kind of an idea that i had ages ago and i thought i could do something with that so i did and it goes like this what big teeth you have grandma i look up from the old book into the gloomy corner of the bedroom where i can just make out among a nest of pillows and soft toys two tiny glints of light blink blink blinking with expectation in the dark the child must have no light but the reading lamp mr gerdley had said before he left his eyes never quite connecting with mine extreme photosensitivity his skin will burn you understand jesus i blurted then sorry that's awful so what he like can't go outside or anything not in the day no and his bones are very brittle he must not be touched i was already regretting taking the gig when he said in that tight little voice i'm most grateful elizabeth i'm so glad i found you online i'm sorry at such late notice i will happily pay you double well okay then mr nerdy girdly got yourself a deal he very much enjoys charles perro's fairy tales he said then with what i guess was a smile the boy interrupts my thoughts with his tinny voice keep going all the better to eat you with i growl suddenly and the wicked wolf fell upon red riding hood and ate her all up hmm that is not the ending i remember i flick to the next page but there's just a moral to the story which i almost read but then can't be asked and close the book i look straight into the boy's glistening eyes trying to make him out so tempted to turn the light on him right well good night renee please don't go elizabeth i pause i'd like to stay but your dad said you need sleep i lie i hate it when the brats start bargaining no he didn't the boy's tone annoys me so i say all stern i'm afraid he gave me strict instructions to leave as soon as i'd finished the story no i'm afraid so i say coldly leaving the room unsure why i shudder so violently as i close the door the kid's bedroom is on the ground floor opposite a big picture window where black shadows of trees surround the house everything in this place smells funny old and mouldy i head straight to the kitchen to look for snacks but as i pass the stairs i stop i wouldn't say i'm nosy but i do like to have a quick sniff around people's houses when i babysit you know it's kind of one of the perks you know so i head up the stairs and have a little snoop nothing much apart from bedrooms that look like they haven't been touched in decades like he inherited the house and never got around to changing even the bed linen at the end of the landing a noise makes me freeze i swear i can hear talking at the end of the hallway around a corner is one last door i open it slowly another staircase leading upwards the muttering sound is louder like someone left a tv on slowly quietly i start to creep up towards the sound then at the top in a wave of recognition and sick making terror i suddenly realize whose voice i can hear what big teeth you have grandma it's me it's my voice i press my ear to the door where the sound is coming from as my heart tries to make a sudden emergency exit through my chest all the better to eat you with but i've realized too late the door isn't quite clicked shut so the pressure of my ear has made its swing slowly open and now my widening eyes are taking in a large attic on one wall like a security control room at banks of monitors each screen showing a wide-angle view of a room in the house on one i'm reading from a fairy tale book in horror i watch myself finish reading then look up straight into the camera and say right well good night renee i sense movement behind me but before i can turn i feel a hand clamp over my mouth and an arm around my neck why did you stop there you can't stop there what are you doing what happens now oh bloody hell john oh that yeah that was atmospheric i was expecting the names of the people involved in the production to start popping up on screen and for it to continue yeah more next week episode one bloody hell and then the trees came in ah hello i'm a kid

do you want to know what the moral is in charles perrault's uh fairy tale of red riding hood that she doesn't read uh yes obviously we do i mean we can't say no now you've asked that question can we that would be awkward no please tell us john it is moral children especially attractive well-bred young ladies should never talk to strangers for if they should do so they may well provide dinner for a wolf i say wolf but there are various kinds of wolves there are also those who are charming quiet polite unassuming complacent and sweet who pursue young women at home and in the streets and unfortunately it is these gentle wolves who were the most dangerous ones of all she should have read it you see that's the thing in these in horror things they uh they always make a little mistake don't they that's the thing that's the the moment when you're like screaming at the screen of their own downfall aren't they what's that they always make a little mistake yeah their little character floor leads them into danger well look at that we've all written some horror so out of 10 how much did you enjoy it um

a little bit wow out of ten four six or a seven i didn't really feel like i sort of connected with it um when we did the sort of thriller thing it felt like i was writing the first chapter of something that could carry on whereas that always felt like i was writing like like yours you know it's going somewhere that very much felt like uh like a little tiny story all of itself um which is a nice exercise but i didn't really you know didn't get my juices going about you tommy yeah i quite enjoyed it i quite like um the short short story thing it's it's nice you're kind of doing the writing and the editing and the shifting around all in one place and it's all very manageable yeah like in mind the paragraphs moved around an awful lot towards the end when i was editing yeah and it's fine because it doesn't trip anything else yep but uh yeah i quite enjoyed it really considering i didn't yeah i haven't got a eye for horror it's not a thing it's not a genre i uh particularly watch or read or anything well you did it with a plum consistently i definitely thought there was a plum in there really good great big fat blonde great big enjoyed um yeah you're saying that tom uh i did i did a bit more of that as well than normal sort of jiggering things around and uh i spent a bit more bit more time than normal sort of tweaking the language as well to sort of fit the sort of horror genre so uh yeah yeah and there was that well then it was a good exercise wasn't it in the true in the truth what's a good exercise yes

uh john what was oh hang on you didn't give you didn't give a number score oh yeah tom yeah seven give it a solid seven well hang on a minute wait a minute we need to talk about numbers because you've said you and just sort of enjoyed it and gave it seven i said i didn't really enjoy it and said i'd give it a six or a seven so how does this scale work it's yeah i know seven's pretty good in it you've got to leave you don't want to you need room for improvement always join i'll go down to a five you're talking about five there mate it's not my numbers there sounds well that's literally what you just said before you said the number yeah i was guessing at a four i think oh god three maybe i don't know how far between number systems work well you like writing right so it's never going to be that long i prefer writing to answering this question so this answering this question is probably a two then isn't it yeah maybe a one oh i don't know no what no is it dave it's not the worst question in the world give me a give me a week i'll come back god you're rubbish at numb arbitrary number scales i've always maybe it depends where the scale starts doesn't it i just imagine dave going to a e you know when they say it how much does it hurt on a scale of one to ten exactly i've always been fearful of that question i hope i'm never in a situation where a doctor says how's the pain on a scale of one to ten i guess i've i'd be there for hours i don't know i imagine you just look in the dock in the eye going two and he's going what you like you've lost most of your hand i don't know why what's a ten five four five if you say eight you get some drugs eight yeah so yeah what about you john what's your made up i i'd go pretty high see i'm thinking the scale starts at one but we have to assume that we all like writing right so this is within the scale of enjoyment generally but the one is like one of these next week's task without using copy and paste is to write 10 000 words and every word is the yeah that that would be uh that would be right down the bottom of the scale presumably yeah i mean david you've got a four or five probably but yeah it's a one i wouldn't know good thing but yeah i i think i'd give that a nine i think i've maybe i found my genre i love it i mean i'm not saying it's good but i still uh i did enjoy it it came out very quickly i suppose is a good it was a good thing yeah um no it was very good well there you go there we go smashed that one didn't we kids it's done we've completed horror that's it we're brilliant we are brilliant actually hate failing writers why ironic title isn't it yeah yeah join us next week on the previously known as the failing writers podcast uh where dave is gonna give a fantastic fantastic review of of the book he's read uh what was the book again dave oh i'm gonna put it down somewhere now um oh it's called the hidden tools of comedy by steve kaplan and yep so dave will give a review of that and um oh my god are you gonna have to give it a rating out of ten because oh no no no how's that gonna go i thought it was probably one of the best books i've ever read three out of ten yeah maybe i need to devise you're one of these people you're one of these people that leaves their reviews on amazon that are like yeah the best this is the best product i've ever had it really does the job well fantastic price two out of five stars i can't give reviews no i think we've covered in previous episodes dave and reviews probably not something that anyone wants to revisit my thing should i should leave that alone yeah should definitely leave it alone but if you're good at reviews listeners why not review this show that was a good segue wasn't it yeah that'd be nice wouldn't it say some few nice words about how delightful how charming and funny i am and mentioned david john as well and uh yeah it all helps it does mainly it just warms our cupboards it does doesn't matter i've got pretty cold cockles so uh any any warmth would be good um but yeah this probably is a good moment to talk about upcoming things isn't it because this week we're doing our live show this thursday uh it the ilkley manor house that's it elk house courtyard courtyard 6 30 p.m um get yourself down there it's free uh you can book it's always good to book just in case it gets rammed you might get turned away but you can just turn up find all the details on our website at dot com slash blog and be there to to be part of writing the greatest story written ever in the history of the world it's gonna be fun anyway isn't it yeah it's gonna be fun and you might even get a free bookmark what big time hello um but we did it was fun we just did we did an interview didn't we it's just on the radio yeah we did yeah we could play out with that because i recorded people wanna

my next guests i feel are really doing themselves down because they are funny they are talented they are all excellent voice-over artists as well yet they present something called the failing writers podcast and not only that they're bringing a live version of the podcast to the ilkley literature festival fringe next thursday and before we speak to them this is just a tiny little flavor which i hope they won't mind me playing recently one of them inadvertently came up with a questionable um interesting catchphrase and in a later episode it was highlighted through a jolly little ditty which i particularly enjoyed i hope you will too so dave's catchphrase how did you like it well how do i put this we all love a catchphrase a good old-fashioned catchphrase a funny little calling card that everyone holds dear a few little words we all want to hear who couldn't love bart simpsons eat my shots man or the chuckle brothers to me to you we are a fan and if you're old enough you'll know steptoe was indeed a dirty old man mr humphreys from how you being served was always free and you'd always get it nice to see you to see you nice from old bruce but when they heard dave's catchphrase i'm afraid the feedback was not all that victor meldrew doesn't believe it baldrick has no cunning fan and arnie most certainly won't be back such wonderful phrases you'd say i'm never tired of hearing that so what a shame they've chose how do you like it because well it's just a little bit rubbish um i had to change the end it had a small swear on it welcome to the show dave beard john rand and tom turner hello hello hello how do you like it i'm very very much enjoy i very much enjoyed the catchphrase and thank you so much for coming on you're all in different places i should point out you're not allowed together at the moment so i might have to direct my questions um accordingly but but first of all um i don't you're not failing writers how are you failing writers dave how are you a failing writer well because all of the things that i write no one ever reads them so i guess that's kind of the definition of a failing writer isn't it i mean

we keep on having a go but that's that's kind of what it's all about is trying to inspire each other to keep going despite the fact that well no one ever reads it no one ever sees the words oh so i mean john is the point of the podcast then to help each other um help listeners who are interested in in writing as well are you are you trying to get better at writing that is exactly it yeah yeah we've we've started it was actually tommy's idea was to start a podcast that would sort of almost like a little self-help group to encourage and shame each other into doing a bit more writing and you know sharing our ideas and and being sat at home during uh you know the height of all the coronavirus stuff and having professional voice over studios it seemed a bit daft not to do something so that's kind of yeah exactly how it started well you think it's like you say you might be failing you could start to help sorry god i was just gonna say you might be failing writers but you're all actually you're all voice overs aren't you we are yeah yeah we are that is what we do day to day and you know that in theory that should give you the time to do plenty of writing but somehow things just always get in the way you know what i mean there's always there's always the washing to put on that there are snacks to be eaten um you know the the kettle's always crying out to be put on i don't know there's always a reason not to write i think god bless yeah but yeah that's the idea it's a lovely podcast um tom are you working on something at the moment then do you all set each other little little writing challenges and and if so and how's yours going this week well yeah this week we've um we're just about to record our episode that includes our horror short horror story um we interviewed a horror writer the other week so we thought we'd give ourselves that task and uh well i've actually finished i don't think the boys have finished theirs yet we're going to record it in about 20 minutes so i hope they have just finishing mine now actually tommy

and what response are you getting you know from from listeners how are they are they enjoying it dev uh i think i think a couple of people are enjoying it yeah um i mean you you seem to like it gail and john's mum's a fan but um yeah we you know we have we have some listeners we have uh you know probably saying a few hundred would be over egging it slightly but um the feedback we get is is generally positive from those who do hear it oh well well it must be doing all right because you're actually and you're doing a kind of live version of the podcast at the oakley literature festival fringe john do you want to tell us how is that actually going to going to pan out how is it going to appear to us well that is an excellent question yeah john entirely sure but we are we're going to attempt to write the greatest story in the history of the world ever that's how we're building it because i figure that if uh you know if two heads are better than one then you know between us we've got three heads last time accounted so you know we've got three heads plus all the heads in the audience that we'll be you know will be asking for suggestions from so you know i can't actually see how we could fail end up with something you know incredible um yeah i mean you'd think you'd think that we might have practiced this wouldn't you that maybe we've done some dry runs you know just to check uh as possible and you know maybe some more just to hone the craft of uh improvising a story oh my god in a very short amount of time but no no we haven't so i'm worried for you only because only only because the thing about writing is that you know inevitably you have you have great days where it just flows it just comes out of you and it's wonderful and it's exhilarating but then you have those days where you have the block and and what happens if you if you sit there with a blank piece of paper in front of you and the audience look at you and go well we don't have any ideas what are you going to do then ah well gail we have we have a box of stimuli uh which we will be reaching for if all three of us get writer's block simultaneously that that's what we'll be doing we'll be reaching for the the magical uh stimuli box oh wow is it as well tom is this is it weather dependent in any way or the fact that you're doing it in a tent is that is that well you can you can do it in all weathers no i mean obviously we're praying for floods and thunder lightning and some of the worst weather has ever seen so it has to get cancelled but um yes we will carry on regardless and um do a bang average job i would imagine oh you're really selling this guys

i have to say and i think that is the that's that's the whole ethos though of the failing writers podcast isn't it it's not it's not arrogant in any way it's not smoking anyway it's not we're doing this better than anybody else and um you did uh a lovely interview with um i think the most recent one i heard was with dr dr kate fox who and she's uh she's a poet by all accounts so you do you do it it's literally it's writing in in all its forms is that right dave yeah absolutely so we we've had a poet on we've had a horror writer on a thriller writer a sort of comedy sort of man uh so yeah anyone who's interested in a comedian they're called comedians well i'm famed for my words which is uh which is what this whole thing's based on but uh yeah the comedy man he was funny uh no we have all sorts of guests and it's it really is just for anyone uh who's ever thought about writing anything but never quite got around to it um so yeah and and the whole thing is it is difficult to to get into writing in many ways um and they do say that having a sort of a hard deadline and a bit of stress and pressure uh is the best way to to get your best work out so that's what we've done we've gone for the ultimate in deadlines and pressure uh we've got to write the whole thing in 40 minutes you see so uh yeah well wrong well exactly where exactly is it um if people want to get their tickets sorted and and come along where can they find you next thursday well the event is at uh ilkley manor house courtyard which is in oakley obviously um it's it is a free event but it's good if you could sort of book in advance it helps them get an idea of numbers um and all the details are on our website which is the failing right sorry forward slash blog all the details are there wonderful wonderful so and eventually if you all get i don't know book deals tv deals film deals i mean would the would the podcast have to have to stop or well you know what what's what's the future plan john you know when when it when it all works what's what's the plan well hopefully yeah this will end fairly quickly uh we're just that is the point we're trying to get to to just to end this thing

do you know what it has been genuinely joyful uh to do this and especially you know in these particular times uh it's it's just been a lovely thing to do and it has i think to begin with as well i think it actually worked it actually helped us do a bit more writing yeah the irony in a way is that over time the podcast has taken up more time and energy and has probably eaten into our writing time but you know can't have everything so uh but yeah genuinely been enjoying the process and learning a lot too and hopefully the people who've listened have learned a lot too about writing about creativity and we've learned a lot about interviewing people as well um which you know isn't necessarily a natural skill is it but it's something you have to get good at over time but yeah it's been it's been fabulous it is fabulous it's really good and i think you know fundamentally uh the thing about writing is yeah it's great if you can sell things and it's great if you can make that your living and make money out of it but for most people it genuinely is just a just a joy and a pleasure and over the last year um also on this show we we've been encouraging people to send in their short stories i mean i say short stories it's technically flash fiction uh because they were under 750 words but the the range of stories we have had the um the styles the the genres it has been absolutely unbelievable the standard has been incredible as well so i think i think if anybody has an urge to write then they should definitely check out your podcast how and indeed where can they do that tom we are on all your favorite podcast platforms so just search for the failing writers and we will pop up subscribe like it send us review if you like if you don't like it don't review it um and have a listen yeah get involved exactly if you've got nothing nice to say don't say anything at all that's what i was always told um exactly it's so lovely to catch up with you lots and lots of luck with the ill clear literature festival fringe next thursday i hope that people will come and see you i hope you create something wonderful although creating a potential um copyright sort of nightmare for you if suddenly like 40 people are involved in a story imagine having to not you having to split up the royalties there or whatever it is but um lots of luck with the failing writers podcast as well i've been talking to dave beard john rand and tom turner thank you so much chaps lovely to talk thank you i panicked and i just put some pate on some crisp bread that's your panic response oh my god i don't know what to do i just put some pate on these oh are we doing something he's dying get the pate

all right okay for now bye everyone cool

lovely lovely hanging out again

let's do that again it was too long and too weird it ended about five minutes ago just

where's everybody gone