Exercise based on John Jin by Rose Tremain
Have an older narrator look back to a special place in his childhood. Have something happen to that place as a foreboding for the real story. Though the real story is not revealed yet, there should be hints of it throughout the story.
Well, I’m back at the Writers Studio classes again, and I have to admit I’m feeling new inspiration to write now I’m back. It seems that no matter how stressed I am at work, the stress I feel when writing always manages to push that to the background. Which incidentally reminds me of this great strip of Calvin and Hobbes:
Last minute panic. Yup, that’s certainly what I feel whenever Monday is approaching fast, and last Monday was no exception. There is a significant difference to the previous exercises however, which is that this time I already knew right from the start what I wanted to write about. But at a certain point I just got completely stuck trying to bring my story forward, and I was just struggling just to come up with a coherent piece. Thanks to the helpful comments by the others during the class however I now have a better idea how to proceed. Some of it seems so obvious in retrospect that I feel like slapping my head. I’m almost certain this is the piece I will choose to revisit during the revision session.
On to the exercise itself: after I printed out my piece I had the feeling that the real story I was trying to tell is hidden too much, a suspicion which is confirmed by the others. I think I did that semi-consciously because the real story is so blindingly obvious to me, but I need to remind myself that the reader does not possess the same information and background story I have in my head. So for the revision I need to find a way to sprinkle in some elements which would give the reader some clues without immediately giving the entire story away. Other than that the piece seems to be quite ok, even though I was so sure it was a horrible piece. Goes to show I really need to trust myself a little bit more and to stop listening to that voice within me…