Wednesday 6 October 2010

THE LIGHTHOUSE LITERARY COMPETITION and the story I'll never write

This month I have collected ideas, and stage one planning, for about six books -- MG and YA, usually.
However, the odd literary novel arrived. I remember thinking: what would I write for The Lightship Literary International Competition : if I was going to write literary, what would I write.

This took half an hour, at about two in the morning. 

When I read it back it didn't even sound like me.When I opened the document, I wondered if it was something I had read somewhere, and collected to consider in depth. 
Then I read it. 
Then I remembered. 
Gotta say I know the subject material: it's the book I'll never write

“We'll go tomorrow. If you are up early enough. On the train at ten o’clock.”

The boy who lay on the polished boards, moved the dinosaurs one at a time, from a circle into a straight line. This was not a quick task. He ran his finger from the claw, across the breast, up the neck. At the mouth he deviated from the line he marked, he raised his finger and placed it back on the plastic toy above the nose, then he continued. The trail was finished only when his hand ran down the empty floor board. Then he picked up the next model in his collection and moved it into its place in the line. The sensation pleased him, right and true. Unique, each time his finger skimmed the surface of the toys. Rough, worn smooth in places. Each stroke amazed, amused him. The unexpected. The shapes: smooth, rough, gnarled: the light and shade loomed large. His head, in line with the top edge of each dinosaur maximised the difference between the here and not; the shape's form in relief, the discordant jumble beyond. The here and the jagged-edged toys filled his being. They provided warmth and companionship; enabled him to maintain his stability: his place in the space that was not self. He: chest to hard board; stomach to chill-breeze blown line; knee to knot and digging nail: he was MARTIN. Mar and tin and floor. 

The subject material demands the perfect voice; the punctuation creates the vehicle for the story: the thought processes reflecting the lifelong loop.



  1. Ah... that makes two of us then.

  2. I don't like to admit defeat yet. I just tell myself I'll write them later. ;)

  3. Accept no impediment to the writing process.
    Can't or won't? * headache :s

  4. I really liked this excerpt.

    I'll never write a mystery. But i had one outlined and plotted, didn't want to write it, too much work. So i incorporated it into my new novel, as the work of a colleague in the MC's writing group.

  5. Karen, what a great piece of recycling! :)

  6. I have no idea... I never though I would touch paranormal, and here I am, knowing that I have an idea for it stowed away...

  7. Hi Misha
    I love the feeling of sitting on an idea -- thinking you're the only person on the planet who has it ;)

  8. Actually I like your snippet here.

    What am I not going to write? Sci-fi. Most definitely...touch wood.

  9. Hi Talei
    Thanks *grins
    When you wrote touch wood - I read it as Torchwood. A sci-fi loop in the loop. :)

  10. This is a lovely little segment! Never say never. I once thought I'd never write books for kids ;)

    Although, if I were forced to choose, I'd probably never write horror.

  11. Hi Carolina
    Horror is hard to write: its all that not-said-but-implied eerie, followed by dripping gore and words meaning the same as scream :D

  12. Vampire and fantasy. I will never write those, along with a part started romance with a title I hate. :)