‘Why and How I Write’ was the writing prompt for the week. Members of our creative writing groups came up with a couple of stimulating responses, which so many writers can relate to:
Why and How I Write
Many years ago I was in a car with a friend who was driving very fast through a visually stunning area of the southern English countryside – rolling green fields and sheep and trees dotted against that green landscape. The light was magnificent on a fast-fading summer’s afternoon.
I looked occasionally at the sky to see the odd bird darting across the horizon. Then my spiritual instinct demanded I look again at the sky with fresh eyes. What I saw excited me. I noticed familiar colours – a little green here, a flash of yellow and red there. Yes, it was a rainbow! I said to my still-rainbow-unaware driver friend, ‘Do you see that rainbow?’ ‘What?’ he asked. Cunningly, I refused to clarify, as he might have wanted to stop to look at it. I urged him, ‘See if we can get to the end of the rainbow before it disappears,’ which without pause is exactly what we did. Needless to say, we never found the rainbow`s end. Writing is like that for me.
I can write about anything that interests me and most things interest me. What inspires me is nature, which gives so much to us. Our ability to share our soul`s inspiration through writing is one of those great unconditional gifts. For me not to write is a betrayal of that gift. It is an honour to share my insights with readers and fellow writers.
We can all write, so we should. Because in the process of writing I find which of my stories contributes to my rainbow. Which life experiences have brought joy and which heartache, in equal or unequal measure. I have learnt through writing to accept that I can, and even must, collaborate with other writers and that we can support each other. Writers must stand together, or else?
I’ll keep chasing that rainbow with renewed fearlessness and a smile on my face and I’ll let you know if I find its end. Wil Roach
Why and How I Write
I dream up stories in a variety of places, such as the shower, something I’ve observed on a walk or on the cricket field. There are plenty of half-formed plots but I don’t generally act on these. After all there are many ideas, but to create a sensible or even not so sensible book is something altogether different. Then a mood hits and I begin. Often, feeling down or angry allows the creative juices to flow.
If I’m happy, I like to go out, socialise or play sport. Once started though, the mood doesn’t matter. The important thing is to get started. Then the plot already in my mind develops. And all that’s key to moving on is to commence the next scene. And so a novel results, more guided by character than any over-riding story. Imagine a Seinfeld episode which uses its characters to create a scene. A word, a look can change the reaction of somebody else. Hence I’m not keen on descriptions of surroundings unless they pertain to where my characters are. Endless commentary on the setting sun, lustrous desert or the inside of a dwelling leaves me cold.
But I need to write to get all my demons loose. This doesn’t mean I have to write about horror or vampires – simply that I need to start with a point of view. The unfairness of living a life less glorious than I envisage would get me going. As I’m attracted to crime fiction, I can imbue characters with traits which are both despicable and exciting. And to make fun of humans who are flawed is such a treat. And as all of us are flawed it’s not difficult to arrive at perfect specimens of loathsome creatures. And of course, the hero can be made into an image of incredible perfection. Peter Stankovic.
What I Take from my Writing Class
I get a lot from my writing group. Firstly, the convener Christine gives invaluable help and advice with her comments about the pieces we have written. After writing in isolation at home, it’s a great help to hear others’ writing efforts as it encourages me to keep going with my memoir writing. It is a safe place to read quite painful stories from my past. It is also a weekly discipline for me to write a piece for the class. Jennifer Neil
More thoughts on the subject to come in later blogs …