What We Can Learn From ‘Car Share’

car-sharing-2One of my favourite TV programmes last year was the Bafta-award winning Peter Kay series, Car Share.

Only 6 episodes but each one a gem and if you didn’t see it, the premise is pretty simple: 2 supermarket colleagues (driver John and passenger Kayleigh) are thrown together by their company’s car share scheme.

Almost all the action takes place in the car, driving to and from work. And that’s it, in a nutshell. I think it works because it’s funny (of course), there’s great chemistry between the two actors (and characters) and it’s something we can all relate to.

The great news is that it’s coming back for a second series next year.

By chance, today I stumbled across a blog post by Tim Reid, co-creator and co-writer of Car Share, in which he talks about the ‘5 big lessons’ he learned when he was writing the series. And guess what number 4 is? ‘Act it out’! (remember, I talked about this in my last post).

He and his co-writer acted out the first few scenes, “in an imaginary car, made up of two kitchen chairs in a city centre apartment.” Not only did that make them laugh (always good when you’re trying to write comedy) but it made them consider what the characters might be doing in the car (think radio, mirrors, glove box), little details that they might have missed, had they just confined themselves to sitting at their laptops.

It’s worth a read, even if you’re not writing a comedy or a sit-com!

And in other news… I’ve had a couple of acceptances recently from Woman’s Weekly (one today – that’s why I like Mondays!). Most welcome, after a bit of a ‘dry’ summer on the acceptance front. Both stories were based on things that have happened to me but I’ll tell you more when they make it into print.

And last week something arrived here which is proving to be a major distraction (but a very good cure for ‘writer’s bottom’). Can you guess what it is?

It’s one of these:

table tennis table

All in the name of research, of course. Now where is that draft ‘ping pong’ story.. ?

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14 Responses to What We Can Learn From ‘Car Share’

  1. Well done on the acceptances, Helen!

  2. Kate Hogan says:

    Good news on your acceptances, Helen! Have you figured out how to use the new WW system yet? Good wishes Kate Hogan

    • Thanks Kate! I think so…. at least, it worked OK for the first one but since the second acceptance nothing’s happened. Am I supposed to be getting an email from Desk-Net, which I then have to accept? Not sure if I’m supposed to be doing anything?!! Eeek.

  3. Julia says:

    We had a table tennis table when our boys were little. It’s great fun and will definitely give those bum cheeks a workout!

    • Yes, it’s surprisingly tiring, isn’t it? It’s certainly leaving me out of puff (mind you, chasing the dog round the garden when the ball drops too close for her to resist is hard work…!)

  4. Were you inspired by the table tennis in the Olympics? I couldn’t even see the ball most of the time! I’d have to play in slow motion … 🙂

    • We’d already decided to get a TT table before the Olympics (for my chap’s birthday in July) but as they were out of stock and arrival was delayed, it actually arrived during The Games, so it was very timely! Yes, it was amazing to watch during Rio wasn’t it? Needless to say.. ahem, we are not that good! (I have to have a 10 point lead anyway, otherwise I’d be beaten every game!) It’s good fun but we played tennis last night and the balls seemed very big and very heavy! It doesn’t bode well for a tournament we’re taking part in on Sunday (but we can always blame the table tennis when we lose!)

  5. Kate Hogan says:

    Hi Helen – Kate Hogan here, not sure what’s supposed to happen when you submit accepted work through Desknet – haven’t had any acceptances since the new system started but Patsy Collins kindly posted on the submission process and who to contact to check, here’s the link, if you haven’t already seen it: http://womagwriter.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/desknet.html

    Good luck

    • Thanks Kate, I’ve worked it out. It’s pretty straightforward actually – and it does seem to mean you get paid quicker! (and straight into your bank account, rather than getting a cheque, which is great).

  6. pennywrite says:

    Car Share was wonderful, wasn’t it? The scenes in the car were great, but even better those all-singing spins off into their imaginations…!

  7. Wendy Clarke says:

    Oh, I love table tennis! Will you put it in the garden? As for ‘Car Share’ I’ve never watched it but might try to catch the new series.

    • Yes, Wendy, the table tennis table is in the garden (it folds up and we’ve got a cover for nighttime/rain!). The plan is that we’ll keep it in the garage during the winter or when we’re not going to use it for a while. We’re addicted! However, when we changed sports (ooh, get us, Olympic athletes!) to TENNIS today, when we played in a tournament at our old club, it was hard work, swapping a teeny weeny little table tennis ball for a big fat heavy tennis ball. They felt like cannon balls when we hit them! Got used to them in the end though!

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