Sept. 6, 2021

S1 Ep20: Save the f%@#!ng cat

In this week's bl**dy episode, Jon reviews the mega-f***ing-successful screen-writing guide "Save the cat" - and then we have a motherf***ing chat about swearing. Listener discretion is f***ing well advised. 


hello how the heck are you oh look at that some of you actually answered me how sweet anyway this is the failing writers podcast and i just wanted to mention that later in this episode there's a couple of swear words i mean there's quite a few swear words actually well it's mostly it's mostly swearing to be honest so i'm just pre-warning you i'll warn you again later when it's about to start so you've got time to lock the kids in the shed you know for their well-being and that

so here we go again here we go and this is good this is our revenge week uh dave where we actually get john to review a book for one yes rather than bullying us into having three exactly if anyone remembers we've some have uh books foisted upon them um and that was me and tom whereas john is the foister you feisty bastard i am quite feisty so today he gets he gets his justice yes so yeah so john should we should we ask the usual question first oh god before we go into that has anyone written anything this week i can answer that really quickly you want me to go first yep because that's a very quick answer for me uh no absolutely nothing i've been on holiday though so i've got a good excuse what about you buddy uh no um uh i've got covid so i've got quite a good excuse as well so right look guys i'm not i don't want to be i don't want to be that guy but if we're going to do this and we're at the point of the podcast is that we actually do spend some time writing rather than just not you can't just come back every week and just not have done anything well but i had but i just i haven't this time yeah what what have you done tom i haven't done anything but there we go but have you got an excuse have you got a decent experience i didn't i thought obviously with john being on holiday and i thought you might get covered and i didn't want to be just i didn't want to be upset in an apple cart do you know me i just wanted to yeah yeah yeah that's really decent thank you thank you so much i really did want to get writing as well but i thought no come on we're a team it's just a bit unfair yeah yeah yeah yeah that's great fail together yeah i have thought i thought about writing yeah um because we talked about the and i can never i don't know how you say it because it's a weird acronym isn't it of the nariwa role you know the narrable no what's the name what's up were you gonna write a novel in a month what's the name now are we robo oh yeah uh oh what is it oh yeah how do you say it then fans i can't i can't remember what the actual letters november it's just a jumble of letters that involve ends and w's november writing it's yeah it's it takes place in november yeah i can't remember what it is either you don't wanna if you don't wanna grow a mustache you've got to write a book i think that's how it works i've just tried to google it and i've got the wikipedia page of a small town in south south africa so i think i might spell that i got that wrong that's fair enough yes i was thinking about that because i was gonna you know the book i had to review that john forced me into reviewing the um yeah take your pants off yep of using that format to re-plan my novel idea and use that as to blitz through it in that month so we all do that oh yeah perhaps we should have a girl so that was my thing i've not actually put pen to paper but i have given some consideration to writing in the future yeah you've thought about it which is kind of procrastinating but in a constructive way nanowrimo is what it is that's what i said national novel writing month right that's why literally what i said okay well i think thinking about writing counts yeah as right thinking about writing in the future counts as writing doesn't it yes we're the best thinking about writing in november well done whilst it's august counts as right i think that counts as a writing all right well let's just make sure we come back next week with some words yes shall we yeah gentlemen yeah but for now john let's talk about some someone else's words yeah so i read uh save the cat subtitled the last book on screenwriting that you'll ever need doctors blake schneider oh yeah okay i know i gotta say i think i i found it really useful i'm gonna be really interested to see how you review this john because it is a massively popular book that has probably had millions of reviews you've got to bring something new to the party somehow yeah exactly i i have i think i did mention it before didn't i in another podcast without going into a lot of detail but it's it's basically the rules of how to write a really good movie and uh he starts the book by explaining the title because obviously the title is a bit weird yeah and it's from it's it's what he calls the scene in a film where we meet the hero and they do something like saving a cat that defines who they are and makes us the audience like them so it's it's whatever sort of creates a connection with the audience so the main character might um might be a total loser they might be like a hard-nosed drunk and you know really unpleasant but that moment when they they uh do something nice they stop the bullies picking on a kid or you know they give some money to somebody or they you know that's the that's the save the cat moment and not every film has one but he says that every film should have i was trying to think of an example in my head and i'm really struggling to to nail one down did he giving it exactly there's a few isn't there where like the main character goes into a shop and has a sort of jolly conversation with a shopkeeper on their way to work do you know what i mean you know that sort of i'll i'll owe you next time bill oh yeah no worries keith and uh it shows you yeah they're a nice person that's it exactly there there is a i did watch a film recently but it was exactly that he it was i think it was tom cruise and he has a little jolly conversation with the guy at the magazine there you go yeah and it's totally pointless was it that tom cruise film where he's um he's a plucky underdog that's very attractive to women it's slightly arrogant yeah yeah but um yeah and then at some point jeremy and you think oh he's a bit of an ass but in the end against all odds he comes good and that's it that's the one yeah that time yeah a few good men yeah it was a few good men well done tom well done i was talking about top gun yeah that's fine but yeah every he says every film should have one the example he uses is um

right now is that even a film i'm not even heard of it's a brilliant film sea of love al pacino is that the one where al pacino in like the second c need to save some cats come over here the kids are on the road hey cat come here is that

say hello to my little friend that's the one yeah yeah good film so there's like so there's like a so is it is it is this the cat moment is just like the the joining of the of the viewer to the main hero yeah it's basically because it's a book full of like these little tips these like little common sense tips um he uses save the cat as a kind of a one of the main examples of just things that you've got to put in your film things that just make a film better and there's loads of them uh especially at the end he like lists a whole load of different like little things that you've got to get in or you or you must avoid but yes i think it's really useful but the main thing that it does is teaches you how to beat out a film yeah as in you know put up your little uh post-its or whatever on the wall and work it out scene by scene and structure yours going to ask you that's kind of the main thrust of it with all these bits are they in order so do they happen in the same or these touch points that he has in there does it happen the same order in all every film or kind of is it yeah mostly i mean there's there are obviously exceptions and there's a there's a couple that you can sort of swap around a little bit and but mainly all the really good films that you can think of do absolutely fit like a hundred percent and it is quite weird and he does say you know one of the things you you have to do as a writer especially if you're obviously writing films is that you just just study films and just look at get really good at seeing the beats and noticing where they are and what leads up to them do you think there are there are also some really bad films that do these things as well i think because i reckon most films try to do it because i think now it's such a it's such a sort of known formula that uh yeah exactly the studio won't sign it off unless you have yeah yeah exactly these things but it doesn't necessarily mean you've got it right you know there's a there's a there's definitely a way to do it but it's still really easy to get everything wrong there are so many things you can get wrong i think that's that's uh one of the issues i wonder what what are the things that he said there were some things that he said you shouldn't well he talks about for example if your bad guys aren't working if there's something wrong with the story it's often one of a number of things one will be that your bad guy isn't very bad so make your bad guy badder is one of his things if your story seems a bit weak yeah kill the cat kill the cat make sure your hero isn't inactive which i think i've done in the past make sure they're really active make them initiate the action don't let them be dragged through the film otherwise no one will care about them stuff like uh remember that stories are about change and with the exception of the bad guys all your characters have to change during the course of your movie you know don't don't just have your main character change and also don't forget to increase the stakes as the movie goes on build up the intensity you can't have the same sort of pace throughout you've got to you've got to sort of build the speed of things happening increase the threat and the near-death experiences and everything and just sort of keep things winding up so it's it's kind of stuff like that and it goes into a bit of detail about it as well and it sort of gives you tips and ways to ways to get into it and is this very specifically screenplays john or is it like just sort of story elements it's films yeah it's primarily films but what i was interested in is the sort of the structuring the story because ultimately you know all stories are the same whether it's a film or a book or whatever and i think certainly for for certain kinds of books especially if they're you're planning on being quite commercial because he's very commercially minded well yes like he does talk about money quite a lot blake snyder is that is that the thing then is this is this like rules to write a really really good screenplay or rules to write a screenplay that will sell does it does he sort of go into that distinction i think he would argue both yeah i think he'd argue that the the one is the you know they're the same thing yeah you know and occasionally there are outliers aren't there where there are films that don't quite sort of follow all the rules entirely but they just hit the mark or that they just get something right and sometimes you sometimes you get a bad film that um you know does quite well at the box office but basically they're usually the same thing aren't they it'll be popular because it's good yeah so that's what it's kind of about it's about if you want to make the most perfect satisfying story the audiences will flock to and make millions of dollars at the box office so that you can finally afford your big beachfront mansion in malibu yeah why wouldn't you want that yeah well exactly it's interesting what you're saying there about films being popular because they're good because they fit this it's interesting because blake snyder um he has a proper go at a couple of films i really like uh and talks about why they're crap and he also like bigs up films that i think are maybe a bit crap so it's interesting what films do you think are good that he didn't the films i really enjoy i really enjoyed um what's his name m knight chameleon or whatever his name is his uh signs it's quite a weird film it's a sort of cross-genre film it's a basically a family drama meets sci-fi sort of thing yeah i remember that one i think that was the last one of his that i actually enjoyed is that the one where they it's all about uh these things are afraid of water or something that's it yeah yeah exactly yeah yeah i think it's actually really nice it's really well written it's really interesting and it's it is much more of a family drama it's almost like it's a family drama but there just happened to be aliens yeah you know it's about it's well it's a family drama where the mum gets horrifically crushed between a car and a tree it's not really exactly come on kids let's sit down and watch this together yeah although we did we did gather the kids together and watch it with them or force them to watch it um but but i really liked it it was a bit sort of mystical and a bit strange but i thought that was really good and also uh he totally panned memento as well i really like that earlier yeah is that because everything happens in a bizarre order and that is a great idea doesn't like the fact that things happen now that would ruin his system wouldn't it yeah totally yeah yeah it just it doesn't fit into any of this that's a great film yeah yeah he makes the point have a look at the box office for both those films well i just had a quick look signs made nearly half a billion pounds all right it's done quite well what about memento because he really slams out he says that that did absolutely crap i suppose he's comparing it to very very popular things but um yeah but wasn't that nolan's like first film i think it was well it was his breakthrough breakthrough to make yeah yeah the thing is though are we are we just to judge films by how much they make well that's that's part of the problem it was like his first movie and starring someone who was just out of neighbors pretty much wouldn't it and then you know you can't compare that to yeah yeah you know blockbuster and it wasn't easy watching like it wasn't popcorn watching was it wasn't like you'd go to the cinema on a saturday night and have a couple of beers and you know no you really had to pay attention you had to work your way through after a couple of beers that would be uh yeah i think i got it i got it from the video shop yeah i think i might have done dates it a little bit yeah memento made 40 million dollars off a nine million budget all right well that's more than another profit that's more than i've made that's pretty good but yeah he's he is definitely he's about the money because the the examples he uses um are legally blonde he's uh he's bigging that one up and also miss congeniality as well they're they're the examples are they good films also i haven't seen i haven't seen either of them um but i believe they're quite popular they are i think they did quite well to be fair yeah so it's interesting it's interesting because i think i think you can put a little question mark on it but overall i think it's a it's a good thing to bear in mind and i like the i like doing the the beat board thing do you want to know roughly how to create a beat board just so you got it in your head yes please so basically what you do is you buy a load of index cards and a pack of pens and you start sticking them up on your board on your wall and uh each card is basically a scene of your film and your film should divide into four roughly equal parts so by the end you'll have about 10 scene cards along the top for act 1 and that takes you to exactly 25 pages of your script ideally and then you have 10 scenes running under that which is the first half of the second act taking you to 55 pages and then 10 more which is the second half of the second act running to 85 pages and then the last 10 cards which will comprise the third act and represents the full 110 pages of the script so you can see how fixed it is it's like this is probably like writing by numbers is this the book where he's very prescriptive about what has to happen on each page that's it yeah yeah exactly okay so so it's very fixed except the scope for freedom within that really confined space i think that's the sort of magic of you know writing a movie in a way yeah that's the space within you uh having a bit of fun yeah it's kind of a good safety net wasn't it so you know everything's in the right place it is that's exactly if you've done it properly yeah that's exactly what it is there's no there's no other so therefore you can tell what's wrong with it yeah it's not working so it doesn't work when you've yeah if you know what's missing and it still doesn't work it's because you you're crap yeah because he's a big one on log lines as well it's like get your log line right otherwise you're not going anywhere you don't have a film yet if you don't have a log level i think we're all converts on that now aren't we yeah really episode 10 by the way if you want to know what we're talking about yeah for log lines and john's weird tree story that he never got around to doing even though he promised i'm working on it i am working on it i'm good he's finished it's good oh no i finished it i finished the thing i was going to record it i'm working on it right it's taking me longer than that is it tricky getting the voice talent getting the treat it's really hard to persuade a [ __ ] tree to talk wow well this time of year as well it's coming to the end of this season i might start again in spring yeah yeah but yeah so you get them all up on your wall and then you can see the structure of your story yeah and i i started doing it for the uh the book that i've started writing but i i'm finding it really quite lovely putting up the scenes and seeing how it works i've never done that before yeah and i can see it being quite helpful i haven't finished that bit of it yet but yeah absolutely i'll keep going so what um what marks out of 10 would you give the cat book then well to keep it simple for you dave i've used a much more basic five-star scoring system right okay yeah i just thought 10 was i thought 10 confused you a bit so i thought let's just keep it simple so what's uh you know what five high one low correct yeah yeah just establishing the basically oh you've come on you've come on so much absolutely i've been reading i've been reading up really well done yeah well done i've done five categories i've scored them out of five and then i've divided the result by five to find the total kept it's very simple on a minute that's gone the other way simple readability insight freshness uh use of examples usefulness they're my categories five four four four five minutes it's a straight four point four point four out of five i don't know how anyone else feels but i think he may have gone through those scores quite quickly to the point yeah i don't know what they were almost meaningless yeah i felt that was like the credits at the end of an american sitcom just sort of flashing quickly over this over the screen yeah um you liked it though i did like it a lot i feel like give it four point four out of five dave you don't get it do you still he did like it he went through it too quickly point four stars did it too quick that is a very good score dave that is a really good score this isn't yeah it's quite good that's uh 8.8 out of 10. that isn't it i think it's one of those things with that book isn't it you kind of hate it for how prescriptive that's it you almost don't want to read it but at the same time you've got it it's like that's such a comfort that's sort of yeah have you have you tried john watching a film since reading the book and sort of trying to mark out yeah totally okay so that that happens on this this like 25 minutes in that should correspond to the 25th page yeah and after reading the book it's really obvious where they are as well isn't it weird is it oh okay yeah we want to see free guy the other day you know the ryan reynolds oh yeah yeah it's the kind of film because it's it's all quite silly and quite fun that you're not you're not so emotionally involved in it that it totally you know drags you away and it's in films like that it's really obvious where everything is but i think with things that are a bit more like uh you know a bit more dark and emotional did you take the book to the cinema and just sit there yeah and i keep shouting out as well catalyst yeah it's good for the other people yeah isn't it it is it's good for them to learn that's really helpful yeah really kind of a little system where whenever something comes off you take it off the list you can eat one of your pick and mix or something like that yeah no i didn't do that i didn't shout midpoint i like the fact that you think that we think you're as much of a wanker that you would do that you feel the need to say that you absolutely didn't do that well i might i might sometimes whisper it do you sort of just nudge katie midpoint midpoint so um i was gonna i was gonna do like uh the first um act i was gonna break it down for you it's very short you want me to do that first of what hey and then give you and then give you a quick quiz uh the first act of all films i suppose oh just oh right okay okay let's see cool yeah yeah blake snyder's got 15 beats and here here are the first right what is it four five five uh so opening image that's number one that sets the tone gives you like the first impression of the film gives you an immediate insight into the world that's the you know that it's literally this is literally the first thing that you see the absolute first thing you see and that should be that's obviously really important isn't it because it sets everything up and it's opposite number is the final image at the end it should be totally opposite so it's like it's like the world has shifted okay that's you that's your first one second beat i'm trying to think of all these i'm trying to think of a so i'm thinking of die hard here oh i'll see how i can use that as my opening it's all christmassy isn't it i don't i think so yeah is it the outside of the building the outside of the building that's completely intact and hasn't been destroyed yeah so the final shot is the smoke pouring out of it and all that sort of so the initial shot is quite isolated isn't it it's like in the middle of nowhere sort of thing and there's no one out yeah it's christmas and it's dead quiet whereas at the end the building's on fire fall into bits and the entire front is full of police and ambulance and well yeah that works it does yeah they should mirror each other if you think about star wars as well they start and finish with the same shot almost but obviously a lot has happened in between uh all right so page five state the theme theme stated so somewhere in the first five pages we should have a one of the characters usually state the theme of the movie but in a subtle way ideally this is the theme the fame of the meowth

i hope no terrorists turn up to our christmas party this year that kind of thing but what the what's the film actually about you know the actual theme of the film needs to in some way come to light uh up to page 10 is the setup obviously it's like it's it's where you plant all the a story characters so you gotta you gotta basically introduce everyone who's important to the a story tell us what all the heroes issues are as well what needs fixing about the hero what's up with them page 12 uh precisely is the catalyst that's the moment that begins to turn the character's world upside down so it's like the letter from the long lost aunt or the you know a telephone call that announces the death of some family member or whatever someone announcing they want a divorce uh that's the that's the thing that sparks the adventure and then page 12 to 25 is somewhere in there is the debate this is when the main character wonders if they should answer the call of adventure should they do it seems a little bit risky seems a little bit dangerous do i go and get help or do i save everyone single-handedly doesn't really work my die-hard theory i don't know though because he's you know does he not just he's just up for it full stop there'll be a point though where he's live he debates how to do it does he initially try and call the police so he has no option yeah he does because he calls the cop yeah his donuts doesn't he yeah but um but yeah so anyway page 25 and it's got to be page 25 don't mess with it uh that's the answer to the debate and that's obviously yes i believe the answer is yipikaya something big happens technically i think it is and uh and that's when we leave the old world order behind and we enter a new and exciting world that's the total like opposite the flip to the one that the character was comfortable in but that was the world that was like keeping them flawed and uh page 25 is when we suddenly flip into this new place so there you go so i've got a quick quick quiz name a famous film we've all seen not die hard

toy story toy story okay so in toy story uh in that film where's the break into act 2 i.e when the big flip happens we leave the old world order behind and we enterprise woody gets uh pushed out of the window to follow buzz isn't it that's it's when isn't it that's it's when he but he decides to go doesn't he yeah he has a debate with himself about whether he's going to be usurped by that's right buzz but he does he ends up jumping on the card yeah no no he gets thrown out doesn't he by mr potato head you know that bit where he said pick a film we all know yeah buzz accidentally gets knocked out and then anyway he gets thrown so what would you say where's where's the uh where's the break into act two then when when does the world flood the moving house aren't they yeah it's when they leave the house and they go on the road it's when woody decides to actively actively get involved in getting buzz back i think yeah maybe for the wrong reasons to start with yeah because he doesn't want to lose his friends but then eventually obviously yeah there you go oh was that the quiz that was the quiz it's over well done right so go i thought there was more to come than john i'm glad there's not i'm glad

yeah do we uh did we win do we get is there a prize yeah i'll i'm going to send you both uh failing writer's podcast t-shirt well to be fair you were supposed to have done that several weeks ago john weeks ago i was only thinking packaged them up today they're all ready to go i'm going to take them to the post office brilliant so our prize for getting the quiz right is something that we should have had already great hey well done well thanks i recommend it anyway i recommend it so that's save the cat by blake snyder four point four out of five john rand recommends john rand recommendation that john was a [ __ ] brilliant review is there any need for that language well that's a very good question tom as we as we segway seamlessly into other subjects i thought that was quite clever so we were gonna talk about uh swearing weren't we yeah 25 24 you're listening to the failing writers podcast and that sound you can hear is the countdown to some pretty horrific swearing so if you are reversed to a cuss word or offended by explicit language be it blasphemy sexual references offensive words for the strange dangly parts or the dark forbidding orifices of the human body then please stop listening now before the countdown ends because this section of the show is literally packed with the most disgusting language that has ever been broadcast so prepare yourself right here it comes are you ready tits bum [ __ ] and piss bloody bugger [ __ ] one gas hole [ __ ] nugget donkey bollocks big baggages twerty little [ __ ] [ __ ] wombo bastard wanker [ __ ] of the north penis breath eat my schlong if you're offended by these words please don't listen to this song oh uh i should probably have i should have said that at the beginning shouldn't i oh sugar lumps tommy found an article about how the use of certain swear words is changing is that right it was like the i thought it was like the um ftse index of swear words over time wasn't it kind of like the values of him going up and down yeah the foxy index very good yeah and uh yeah it was saying how um and this upset me a little bit actually how bloody is is slipping down the rock because that's what that's a favorite of yours it's just a nice it's such a nice rounded lovely warm swear word it is and it doesn't get you into it yeah yeah well maybe that's why it's slipping down maybe it's losing its team yeah maybe because originally bloody started i think started didn't it it's a blasphemous yeah like blood of god is it something like that yeah oh is it now a lot of them are there yeah a lot of ones that you think are okay they're not okay yeah a lot of them have different meanings i remember having when we were doing radio ads years ago there used to be a list from the clearance people that's right yeah things you couldn't say and you had some ones on you like yeah like what why can't you say bird really oh i remember that one yeah you can't see a bird yeah do you know why john no i don't it's rhyming slang isn't cockney rhyming slime yeah for work the berkshire hunt is it really yeah is that true yeah wow oh god but then most of them are they come from i mean they're either substituted or from a journey so it's like you just uh can i say pillock i don't know if it was that much i feel like someone's someone's post rationalized the the berkshire hunt no that's like that doesn't really work i don't know but i remember no i remember reading that many many years ago yeah i wonder if there's if there's a sort of thing coming where we sort of get told we're not allowed to say certain words because of sort of you know the sort of hidden etymology of it uh who knows yeah i think there's all kinds of yeah floating around probably saying all kinds of dodgy stuff things like even the words like idiots and stuff that come from a slightly dark place yeah but then things always change over time johnny you'll know this with you with your pawn shot for a bit of mr shakespeare like when in shakespeare there's a bit where he calls someone naughty yeah and in elizabethan england that is pretty much the worst thing that you could say to someone was it now because it meant of of basically calling them godless

nothing you're not like literally nothing yeah completely meaningless and devoid of kind of changing this meaning over time i might take massive offense at that the next time somebody says it in my vicinity someone says naughty anywhere near me i'm just gonna lose it just spray it down into it maybe throw in a bit of shakespearean english yeah a dramatic effect as well

don't say that to me apparently my granddad had a great turn of swearing um unfortunately died when i was very young so i never heard him get to say it live my mum's dad used to just have basically one swear word that he'd use all the time but that swear word was issy pissy shitty rc this is just fantastic because it's made all those words sound quite sweet at the same time yeah it's got a good uh good rhythm hasn't it like a little gatling gunner's swearing just out of here it's funny how if you put the lid why on anything it makes it sound quite sweet yeah it couldn't take it also sounds like a sort of thing that someone might say to try to like as a sort of substitute for swearing but actually contains actual swells it's literally just full of swearing but then we asked on twitter didn't we we did about what people think about using swearing in their writing and also how they like or don't like to consume it in their reading because it is a bit of a weird one though i i remember obviously you know i'm a big reader get through a lot of books yeah but um on the other case you never actually read a fiction book sometimes it sticks out you know what you know when you meet someone who's not a sweary type and they swear and they've got that little head wobble as they do it as if they've kind of really pushed the boat out yeah [ __ ] and it just it just sounds like completely alien to them there's some books you read where that doesn't sound right it's almost like you feel like the author doesn't swear and they're just kind of like feels a bit awkward they haven't quite used it right peter turned the corner and said [ __ ] and you whoa and he's like like where's there's other ones that it's just like it's just part of the fabric and it feels completely saying this i've just had a weird flashback to being a kid and a couple of sort of three must've been about seven eight nine and we we decided to make a den in our garden shed and like formed a little club and i remember saying to this one kid if we never used to swear like i reckon this this could be our sort of secret area here you can just say what you want you're allowed to swear completely and he went yeah yeah bloody [ __ ] bloody [ __ ]

how about that yeah let it all out mate the happiest day of his life yeah oh you oh you bloody dawg i think it is amazing how some people get offended though like i don't know you'd sort of assume that most people hear some swearing in their lives yeah and i was reading an article from a writer called amy peppel about how she she started to doubt herself she got really um a proper like angry letter from one of her readers for using the word [ __ ] too much in a novel because it should be [ __ ] is that one yeah yeah i agree with that that's fair enough i think i was thinking you know as a it's weird though because as a writer you're not normally actively setting out to offend people so i imagine that's quite upsetting to get a letter from someone just really laying into you for using that word yeah it's just a bit confusing because it's always it's always going to be used in context of a character isn't it exactly it's context of character and situation though isn't it always either in direct speech or very close distraction but people obviously people come from different places and different communities and stuff and this woman actually wrote uh one of the comments in her letter to the writer was uh no teenager would ever use the f word wow okay okay i was thinking where does this woman live i want to go and live there it sounds like some sort of little paradise you know it's like bluebirds landing on a head and feeding deer but then if you've i guess if that comes you know if you're talking about america or whatever and that's from one of these mormon communities do you mean like a diff cultural community where it is just not acceptable then that could be true in their reality couldn't it yeah but if that's the case and you'll be you've got you don't ever swear and you don't like swearing and you read a book that's got a swear word in it just put it down i mean why would you write a letter yeah yeah no one's forcing you to read it i read if you were that writer would you be tempted to write a letter back i think i would say yeah how the hell how the hell do you know that there are 14 [ __ ] in this book if you were so offended by the first one yeah yeah she clearly loved it just titillated by had to go through and counsel but it's true though like it's the sort of thing that does stick out if it's used wrong i think like you said tommy sometimes it just it jars and because we we we also asked didn't we about sort of favorite swear words and there's a lot of sort of um joined together sort of created swear words that can be quite funny in some situations but in other situations seem totally forced and don't work if you know what i mean um yeah so we asked uh so here we go a few things that we had back on twitter when we asked about the favorite creative swears um so there's a guy called jack levers uh who said ask clown no he said ask clown he said of course yeah it's all about the actual see that's the thing ask clowns it doesn't work does it

uh lee grant said [ __ ] that is a good one attributed to emma kennedy what kind of man does that what kind of man says rude thundercon but then cause oh i didn't say it though really it was someone else exactly it wasn't me i didn't swear i heard a big girl say it but you know what i mean like there if you like which is a nice sort of funny turn of phrase but if you're reading that in a book from the wrong character it can seem utterly contrived and forced yeah you know i mean if someone's in a really heated moment and they suddenly say something like you're a [ __ ] juggling thunder [ __ ] it's just it's not the sort of thing that would just nobody's skipping out with the character if you have cast hugh grant in your film yeah you can you can do it can't you that's half the point about the right place the right time yeah i remember once being in the creative office actually at galaxy and uh me and gareth were trying to come up with new swear words but like totally new words just yeah do you know what's like using the kind of the brand new what did you come up with i think the nearest we came was cockfister that's quite nasty that's quite nice too the best we could do at the time better you were quite fond of an occasional [ __ ] womble weren't you at one stage it seemed to be ah i used to say [ __ ] knocker [ __ ] knocker that's it yeah yeah it was something yeah yeah quite like one of them used to come out occasionally yeah do you think you can just put any half swear word with another word and it just sounds like comes up with a haha mildly humorous it does because you just say wank turtle and everyone goes yeah that works yeah there's another one from the twitter feed was a b finlesson's uh waffle bollocks which is nice isn't it that's a nice oh yes combination do you know what i like about that is i think you can kind of you know exactly what it is yeah that is nice you can't describe it in itself but you know what it is but also like how could anyone be offended if you say waffle bollocks i don't think you know what i mean i think it takes it takes the edge off doesn't it it does take the edge off you're right my son my youngest son speaking of uh we were talking about teenagers before but um he has a funny thing that he started saying he doesn't really want to swear a lot because he's you know he's a good kid yeah but he sort of comes up with his own fake swears but unfortunately sometimes he gets it a bit wrong like one of his favorites is fudging [ __ ] a nickel but as i pointed out not really successfully dodged the swear there joel yeah in fact if anything you probably just highlighted it yeah exactly so i just imagine it's a sort of word that if you tried to beep it you'd you'd be beat the fudge off the beginning and just just hit the hit the [ __ ] just hit the [ __ ] nickel it's nice that i've started using well i see i'm a big fan of i read a lot of comic books um and there's a lot of sort of made-up swear words that are in those where they've got you know the character would absolutely be the sort of character they would swear but there's a lot of kids are going to read this so you can't actually say the real swear word so i read a lot of uh i used to read a lot of 2018 and judge dredd and his sort of big catchphrase was drock he would say drock drock you you drocking drocker wouldn't say that but you know but that was the sort of the sort of [ __ ] replacement in uh judge dredd's world was drock and there's quite there's a few like snack was another good one quite like snack that feels like it should be a sweat yeah it sounds like it's got some angle or saxon roots in that doesn't it yeah yeah katie says gee whiz she doesn't go the full jesus my mum used to say sugar lumps quite a lot sugar lumps i always think it's a bit weird isn't it with the with the fake ones i get it but it is just a bit weird because it is that's you're still saying the same thing yeah if you with sugar lumps then there's not we know what you're doing well i think that's the thing isn't it what's the kids around it's a way of getting around it isn't it there's done studies where swearing because it's in a different part of your brain if you're in pain swearing relieves the pain no really i read that yes yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah they did it they actually did an experiment on tv with brian blessings and they can put his hand in some cold water or something like that yeah he's freezing cold water and the first time they didn't let him swear and the second time he did let him swear and let me tell you that man can sweat yeah but it does feel right doesn't it it does uh there's sometimes sometimes you've just got to yeah it does have its uses so the question is whether if if your hand was in frozen water whether just saying waffle bollocks no it doesn't feel like it would do any good does it you know what rather than like giving it a feel i think i also remember reading it pc shitty rc remember reading as well that it was a way of catching spies because it's really difficult if you're in like extreme pain people do swear but it's really difficult not to swear in your own language

that yeah that kind of yeah that old that old chestnut yeah just had to catch someone else is it okay to swear in different languages if you're a spy in front of the kids yeah that'd be a good way around it wouldn't that i think i mean i don't know you haven't done that before look it up then that's good that's educational that's all right john what was your favorite off the twitter feed from uh what people well it has to be chicken mcbastard

i can't remember actually i'm i yeah i haven't got it here who who said chicken mcbastard that was brilliant uh garrison the barbarian kelly yeah i love that it's just everything you need that's a good under the breath one that isn't it yeah you can say that slowly as well can't you chicken bastard really lean on the start of the syllables that's the sign of a good swear word imagine i can imagine

and it's always good the swear words where you can slip a little another word in the middle isn't it oh yeah yeah yeah splitting a word in half and shoving it [ __ ] in the middle absolutely yeah so we come to the conclusion that swearing is flipping brilliant and people who don't like it should fudge off yeah and uh speak that do you remember there was a brilliant advert for um the advertising standards authority god it must have been in the 90s or something like that where they had this like scene it was like a scene out of the bill like police cars on a bridge apprehending a criminal but all the dialogue was done without swearing but it needed it really needed swearing yeah and he's like put his hands behind his back oh you're flipping hurting me kind of thing yes because i love the sort of tv edits of 18 movies there's a brilliant tv edit of robocop which i i i still love to this day where he says things like uh forget you uh obviously [ __ ] you and uh yeah they but they sort of bleeped out and it's the sort of film where people's uh like heads are getting blown off and fingers are melting and all that sort of stuff but they replace [ __ ] with air it's just you imagine cutting an edit suite for the thing right peter you're gonna need to take that back it's just after there where the woman gets stabbed and gutted there you know when a gut's falling out there and he gets his eyeballs skewed out he says [ __ ] so we need to get rid of that it's a bit weird i wonder he used to get the job because i remember films where it was you'd get someone saying oh go blow it out your and it would just be really really badly done it must have been a great job dubbing the fake swear words on movies but i think the i think the answer is i think we've nailed it haven't we really uh it's fine as long as it's fitting to character and context yeah quite a boring answer

we asked the question on twitter i was hoping that people would come back with some really surprising answers but actually everyone was really sensible and just said stuff like uh yeah i think it's fine as long as it fits the story and the character yeah i think because it is the sort of thing that people are sort of quite polarizing thing some people are just absolutely you know you can't do that at all i'd like to if you if you feel that way please get in touch if you feel that way [ __ ] off and don't listen

oh yeah you can't worry about offending the odd person can you all the best all the best art offends some of the time yeah not not necessarily intentionally but no exactly you can't hide people people are allowed to be a friend i think that's there's a little bit missing at the minute isn't there in the world that where you think they've got a right not to be offended yeah and you can read you can read chaucer you know he was he was banding around the word arse back in the thirteen hours so i mean nearly got through without bringing up some obstacles yeah exactly literally it's always gonna hang on about him you got shakespeare yeah i did yeah you got me there that was naughty on me wasn't it but there's there is a long and illustrious history of rude words in the english language and i don't think we should just start you know start pandering to these these people who can't take it in fact there's a there's a brilliant uh there's a brilliant thing brilliant clip um i can't remember where it's from but it's about how brilliant the word [ __ ] is and we should probably finish the show with that i think

perhaps one of the most interesting words in the english language today is the word out of all of the english words that begin with the letter f [ __ ] is the only word that is referred to as the f word it's the one magical word just by its sound can describe pain pleasure hate and love [ __ ] as most words in the english language is derived from german the word fricken which means to strike in english [ __ ] falls into many grammatical categories as a transitive verb for instance john [ __ ] shirley as an intransitive verb surely [ __ ] its meaning is not always sexual it can be used as an adjective such as john's doing all the [ __ ] work as part of an adverb shirley talks too [ __ ] much as an adverb enhancing an adjective shirley is [ __ ] beautiful as a noun i don't give a [ __ ] as part of a word absolute [ __ ] lootly or in [ __ ] credible and as almost every word in a sentence [ __ ] the [ __ ] [ __ ] as you must realize there aren't too many words with the versatility of [ __ ] as in these examples describing situations such as fraud i got [ __ ] at the used car lot dismay oh [ __ ] it trouble i guess i'm really [ __ ] now aggression don't [ __ ] with me buddy difficulty i don't understand this [ __ ] question inquiry who the [ __ ] was that dissatisfaction i don't like what the [ __ ] is going on here in confidence he's a [ __ ] off dismissal why don't you go outside and play hide and go [ __ ] yourself i'm sure you can think of many more examples with all of these multi-purpose applications how can anyone be offended when you use the word we say use this unique flexible word more often in your daily speech it will identify the quality of your character immediately say it loudly and proudly [ __ ] you so next week actually we've got another yeah something a bit more savoury next week i think isn't it sunday times bestseller richard and judy book club aficionado i don't know what they're doing yeah what's the word richard and judy sticker on the front yeah yeah yeah it's jillian mcallister yes author of that night yep a latest book which is keeping us on the edges of our seats have you tried putting on the bookcase dave rather than leaving it in the seat behind you yeah well aren't you finished maybe that's better john's finished it so he's sat back in the chat i'm still on the edge of you somewhere else or sit on a different chair yeah that's yeah just sit on the floor perhaps might be easier um but yeah she comes she's coming to have a chat with us next week that'll be that'll be great do you reckon she's sweating she swears

let's uh let's find out but until then we're very much open to more swear words if anyone wants to drop us any more uh unique swear words send those through to us on twitter or at failingwriters podcast at we always like to open emails yeah we don't get money no it's it's a wonderful thing so please get in touch um but otherwise yeah tune in for the jillian mcallister interview next week

so next week though we've got something a bit more savoury and we um we've got another interview coming up we have yeah sorry

sorry so next week though we've got something a bit more just