Thursday, 19 January 2012

SIR SAYS 2 - BE CHALLENGINGLY CREATIVE

WRITING CREATIVELY WITH THE V&A
Will it be realistic or surreal and dreamlike? 
Will it be set in the real world? 
Or will it be a piece of 'speculative fiction': fantasy, sci-fi, 
ghost story or supernatural horror? 
Whose point of view are you writing it from:
  • one of the characters
  • several characters in turn
  • an impersonal narrator who knows everything?
The first piece of homework, for the Creative Writing course was to produce a complete short story, with well rounded characters. A conversation between two characters, which may or may not be set in a café.


 I handed it in but forgot to email a copy too. 


This is the start of the first piece of homework I've written for a long while ;)



THE OLD CAFÉ


Rain soaked visitors combined with the carefully controlled temperature until the shopping arcade reached humid sub-tropical. As the smell of hot socks and damp coats rose, the shoppers wilted. After a day of window-shopping and with bags full of guilt, the younger women raced their buggies back to their cars: it was time for the school run and they were determined to be first out of the car park. Kevin destroyed the evidence of his little customers as he wiped the window clean of their sticky fingerprints. Circling his arm, he waved the lot of them good bye.

The security alarm bleeped as soon as Kevin had planted his bum on the seat of the ceramic chair in the smallest office, outback. He hurried from the rear of the shop. Hiking up his trousers, he patted his pockets looking for his sanitising spray. One look at the Velcro shoes and swollen ankles, Kevin figured this visitor wouldn’t be staying long. “Can I help?”
“Yes, please,” the elderly lady said. She glanced around, a little distracted. “Could you tell me where I should sit?”
Wrong again. Kevin hurried forward. He’d been so sure this one would take one look around and head back out. “Right. Seat. Wherever.” Expensive coat, diamond earrings, she’d definitely be offended if he sanitised his hand. But the microbes and the imaginary dirt felt sticky. Sweaty. Kevin put his hands in his pockets and turned the small bottle over and over, out of sight. 
The small figure coughed.
With patience and boredom balanced evenly, Kevin started when he nearly stepped on her. She hadn't moved, and that cough hadn't been to clear her throat. He didn't have much experience of dealing with Grannies but even he could spot the moment when waves of bristling unhappiness began to emanate from her. Heat warmed his cheeks. “What?”



THIS WEEK I LEARNED:


SIR SAYS:
To consider the MC's critical flaw and how it influences the story
Remember to give weight to both internal and external conflicts
To use longer length short stories to experiment with non-linear construction
To write in 1st person


There are very few books
published in 2nd person.
I used this novel to help me
experiment with writing in 2nd person.
Homework for weeks 2 and 3 write a short story including three characters and to balance internal and external conflict. 


I'm going to write 1st person but I've spent a lot of time wondering how a 2nd person story might work.




The weather forecast that announced black ice was likely in the early hours of the morning wasn't the worst thing you'd ever heard. A sudden drop in temperature after a long spell of rain isn't the worst kind of weather. Dangerous road conditions? You don't have a car, so it doesn't apply to you. Besides, you weren't planning to go out. 


SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT? WHAT DO YOU THINK, IS 2ND PERSON GOING TO BE THE NEW PRESENT TENSE?

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