Writing Tip no 39
Some people ask me, ‘Where do stories come from?’
(Actually they may be asking me, ‘Where do storks come from?’ my hearing not being particularly great these days. For the answer to this question please see my previous blog, ‘Where do babies come from’, storks and babies often being found hand in hand. Rather like the devil and George Bush.)
In respect to the first question let me lay my cards on the table and say that I don’t have any faith or belief, Christianity, for example. If I did, a typical story might be about a patriarchal society that endorsed a history of slavery, torture, war, invasion and destruction all the name of some poor sod who got nailed to a cross.
(Or a story about McCain’s current running mate might be about how her church prays for the successful conversion of gay men to the Christian way (more death warriors for the American crusade?))
Being free from such shackles, rather like a Big Bang theorist, I would say look to the beginning. If you’ve got a beginning the rest will follow.
For example - a farmer’s son spies some towny newcomers parading across his land. The young girl is quite attractive. (Ross Raisin - God’s Own Country.)
They become friends, then lovers, then run away, then...
For example - A former POW suffering from post-traumatic stress goes back to Germany to be an extra in a film about POWs. (Day - AL Kennedy)
Not a good situation for someone with PTSD. He goes a bit wobbly, highlights of the war flash through his head.
For example. Some do-gooder gets born in a stable and starts telling everyone how to live their lives. (The Bible)
See above - (the cross bit).
I’ve been ill for the past week or so and so sorry if I’m not my usual jaunty self. Some good news today has cheered me up. Elbow have won the Mercury music prize. Woo hoo! I’m going to see them again in October.
Marillion have released their new album on the net, for free. Listening to it now. Sounds good so far. I’m going to see them in November. Tickets on sale now.
Tickets are also on sale for Stanza@LaDanza where I am appearing with Clare Summerskill. I have read that she is a ‘hilarious stand up comedienne’. That’s brilliant! But she will be performing next to me. I’m not even a sit down comedian.
Come along if you can. It’s in London. Details on the this link.
Currently reading - Blindness by Jose Saramago
Currently listening to - Happiness is the Road, Marillion.
Also check out this serial on BBC 7 - The Scarifyers.