I don’t normally share these but this one I liked and totally understand. Is it just me of do your character seem real? Most of the time as I write I don’t even know how they are going to react until I’ve put them in the situation. And more often than not they take me by surprise. 🙂
I was reading the latest Myslexia and in there is an article suggesting that you have to be brave in order to write about your family. Now I thought that this would mean only autobiography and biography books, but no – they look at all books.
We are taught that we must write what we know. Not that I take much notice. I tend to write what I feel driven to write. But I do hinge some of the happenings on simple everyday aspects that I remember.
I suddenly got thinking – are any of those family related? Have I used an aspect of a family member or friend in the character? The answer is usually no. But then the article went on to say that sometimes family members believe themselves to be an influence even if they are not. This caused me to pause. I am writing about two sisters, one a serial killer and the other the latest victim. What if this were to cause a problem. I mean, I have not written either one to appear like any family member. In fact to tell the story right I have twisted the characters to appear the extreme, almost stereotypical of their type. If I didn’t do that then the story just doesn’t work.
But, will they see themselves, even if it is unintentional? I suppose it is possible and, I think that once it is finished, I will let them all read it. That way if there are any problems I can iron them out before it goes to publication. But I can’t think about this as I write. I would end up with a stilted manuscript. So I will write and hopefully no one will recognize themselves – as they are not really in the book.
Saying that though I was writing a scene with a minor character and realized that I was getting the inspiration from a teacher I’d had at twelve, a past boyfriend and the feeling I get when I see grates in the pavement (it’s something about the pattern – just nasty). I then put all of these together and shook liberally and voila – one minor character that explains just a little more about why my killer kills.
I don’t think it matters where inspiration comes from as long as you write honestly and openly without worry. If it does worry someone then at least you can look at them and say – I hadn’t realized. For me I think I will leave that question until the second or third draft. Until then I will write as the characters come to me. 🙂
The book in question is The Busker anthology compiled by What the Dickens. I have a short story in there and am over the moon. The last few days have been a little trying and this has just made me smile.
My story is “A fur coat, a guitar and a song” and is about busking and just a little romance. Please have a look and buy it – http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Busker-Magazine-Collection-ebook/dp/B00DIDKOPW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372002896&sr=1-1&keywords=the+busker+anthology
It is available as an ebook but you can download the app so that it can be read on any device; phone, tablet or computer. If you do download it and read the wonderful stories – please leave a review. Thank you. 🙂
I have a stake in the royalties for this so if you could all spread the word that would be great.
I took my first class. It was nerve racking. I mean I hadn’t slept the night before and I turned up early only to find that the door was locked. Now I know that Trinity St David is the smallest university, but this had been part of the old building. It is beautiful but I normally hang round the cafe, so it was all new. Luckily there were signs – which I followed and at the top of an oak staircase, with a red patterned carpet, sat the door; ‘The Founders Library’.
I have an image of libraries with books to the ceiling and wooden desks set into the walls with leather sofas where you can relax and read the works of literature. And I walked into the perfect example. It had enough history to be awe inspiring and yet small enough to feel cosy. I had in my hand the keys, with which I had been entrusted. I was glad I was early.
Anyhow the students arrived and their teachers and I got them working. I think they had fun and they were able to all write a story. Some even read them out. And the result was what the workshop was designed to do. In the room of fourteen I had fourteen different stories that had all started with the same idea.
But there is a big problem. I didn’t find it likable nor was I happy to do it. For the first time in about a year the dyslexia kicked in enough to make me feel as if I have it. I opened my mouth to say something and the wires shorted, different words came out and the meaning had to be explained. I had to say some numbers – it just wasn’t happening. In the end I slowed my speech so that I could keep everything in its place and it sounded (to my ears) as if I was trying to contend with a stutter.
Will I teach again? Yes, I think it is a part of writing to give workshops, but I don’t think it is the career choice for me. I will add it on as a separate extra, and I am sure with time my problems will diminish but I love to write, not teach it.
If you are wondering if the students enjoyed the experience, all I can go on is their reaction. They all said thank you and I was given a pen, chocolate and a book of short stories that had been published with the students work from their college. And they all took their stories away.
I think if I do teach it will be more as an informal workshop rather than traditional teaching. I just have to do it again, and again. Practice will help but I think I prefer to read in public and that is saying something. 🙂
This is late… I’m pretending that yesterday is today for just a moment. 🙂 This story is actually written. It was one of the first I ever wrote, but has never been seen outside of my family. The reason? It’s controversial and it instigated an argument. Oddly, I have since written may other more controversial stories but this one still lies in the bottom of the drawer. I will re-write it one day and create the story that I first had in my head. But still, this is the synopsis and, if it ever were made into a film, the logline.
Nathan had once had a wife and child, but now he is on his own. He has a disease and he is blindingly happy. After ten years he finally sought help and had been given it. Nathan had to count. All the time and to five. Five buttons, five light switch flicks, steps in multiples of five. The disease had crept up on him and taken over his life. Years ago it had started and he had begun to be late for work, it took too long to count. So he would get up earlier and earlier. In the end he had barely been getting a couple of hours a night. His wife left taking their toddler with her. He had stood on the step and waved, five times. Finally though, now that he had lost his family and his job and was about to lose his house, he had sought help and today he would get help.
Nathan walks out the door and sets out toward the clinic. He turns a corner and there in front of him is a man with a knife. One, he steps forward. He tires to fight the compulsion but he can’t. He steps closer and closer, the mugger getting more angry. Nathan is stabbed and lies on the pavement, counting his last seconds.
Nathan has lost everything and had been diagnosed with a mental illness, yet he is happy, as that morning he is going to start therapy, but fate has other ideas and as he steps out of the door he has no idea that his compulsion will kill him.
I did briefly think of a person boarding in a house but then I thought PIRATES! Argh!
Geoffrey is a retired banker and happily married man. He has retired at an early age of fifty three and with his forty year old wife, he sets out to sail to Australia. But as they round the ivory coast they are kidnapped by pirates, but not the old fashioned pirates you see in the movies. These men are in it for the money. They travel around the African coast, moving Geoffrey and his wife around, sometimes separately and milking them for all the money they can get. Finally they are able to escape but what follows is a flight across a desert landscape with the pirates close on their tail.
An adventure is what Geoffrey had promised her but when his wife finds herself in a modern day pirate adventure all she can hope is that she will come out of it alive.
Stakeout is the title of a favorite movie in our house. But that doesn’t help for a logline… If I change it around… I’m thinking as I type here so how about this:
It started with a rose on Valentines day. Lucy came home to find it sitting on her porch. She assumed that a friend had left it and that she had forgotten to lock the porch door. The next day there were two roses and it continued until she was being left a dozen at a time. Flattered at first the feeling turned to horror when she came home to find a white rose on her bed. The next day another white rose, except this one had been dipped in blood.
The police, already aware of her problem, said there was nothing that could be done unless the person threatened her. They couldn’t even trace her stalker. So Lucy took matters into her own hands and staked out her own house. She is shocked when the man who stops at her house is the same she says hello to and buys her paper from. She then follows him, turning the tables on her stalker as she goes from prey to predator in order to get her safety back.
Lucy walks to work everyday and buys a paper at the local street seller. When roses start to appear at her house she has no idea that she is about to take a journey that will lead her into danger as well as empowering her.