Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hard Work

Between the magistrating and the beginning of a new contract, the novelising has suffered. Tonight I had a spare hour to run a creative writing exercise I've used before where you put your characters together in a room and let them just talk.

Here's what I ended up with - it doesn't look like much but it gives me a more dynamic view of the characters and the beginnings of a voice for them. Incidentally, I've made them both female to force me not to take the lazy route by peopling my book with people just like me.

Our heroine, Hailey, enters Stage Left in oversized Mickey Mouse T-shirt and slippers. Gladys the Ghost sits wearing a pink crystal crown and ball gown Stage Centre at the kitchen table. She is eating toast and reading a newspaper.

Gladys has been busy again; overnight she seems to have redecorated the castle in Barbie style – all pink, all plastic. The kitchen chairs are padded furry pink thrones. It looks totally realistic to Hailey, but it's just that Gladys has the power of making people see whatever she wants them to see.

Together they are trying to come up with a way to turn a run-down, depressing castle into one that people would actually visit. Gladys stages a different redesign every morning. Her favourite was the “Bouncy Castle” redesign on their first morning together. Mostly this was because of the look on Hailey's face when she found out that the soft inflatable kitchen table she had leapt full-length onto was actually a normal wooden kitchen table. Nowadays Hailey is much more wary (and much less fun Gladys thinks).

“Pink. Nice.”

“Glad you like it, dear. It would definitely attract the little girlie-girls who want to play fairy princess.”

“Sure – but you'd never get the boys within a mile”

Gladys shrugs. “Please yourself.” She turns the page of the newspaper noisily.

“Anything interesting in the 'paper ?”

“Oh yes. And do you know why ?”


“Because this is a magic newspaper.” pause for effect “This is tomorrow's newspaper.”

Big eyes. “Really ?!”

Cheesy grin. “You are SO gullible, girl.”

Silence as Hailey grinds her teeth and Gladys eats toast.


... and then something else happens followed eventually by many more things and finally things stop happening altogether and I stop writing ...

Yes, that really took me a full hour. The book will definitely not be finished by Christmas.

1 comment:

Fiona said...

Dear Stan,
I just wanted to say
"don't give up the day job yet!"