Sunday, 13 July 2014

A good week

It’s been a good week. Topping it, a friend and I completed a writing exercise that resulted in a complete short story for her, and the skeleton of a short story for me. Coming a close second I was asked to read from my gothic manuscript, Sargasso, at a book launch. Third, I did some work on Charon House, which is the working title of my current work-in-progress, and lastly, I received a rejection slip for a short story. You will be wondering how this last one qualifies…I look at it this way: okay, I was rejected, but I am now free to submit the story elsewhere…which is exciting, and where it might just fare better.

The writing exercise was great. Julie started it by emailing me two sentences. I added four sentences, one of which was very short, and sent it back to her. By lunch time she’d emailed me a whole new paragraph, and shortly after lunch I emailed her a new paragraph, and so it went on. We stopped the story at about 700 words and each went away to finish it. Well, she went away to finish it. I got bogged down with chores and it’s still waiting to be finished but I’m looking forward to getting back to it. Julie’s story is complete—it’s just under 2,000 words—and I can tell you now it’s a ripper. To my delight she’s called it something I came up with in the story. I had a lot of fun and I’d be happy to play again anytime. If you want to play with your writing buddy here are some guidelines: Don’t play games of one-upmanship. Be faithful to the growing story and the characters created on the spur of the moment. Take note of the other person’s quirks of storytelling. (This was helpful. Our story was in the first person, which meant that we each had to take special care and work at getting an authentic voice.)  Let someone else’s manner of creating a story guide you and influence your own story-telling style. The two stories that result from this exercise ought to be quite different from one another.Have fun!

The other highlight of the week that's worth mentioning: Lost and Found by Brooke Davis is going to be launched at Avid Reader this Thursday, 17th July, 2014—see here for details—and, together with my writing friend Laura Elvery, I’ll be reading from Sargasso. I am of course terribly excited and terribly nervous. (And honoured to be included.) Wish me luck.

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