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Saturday, 8 August 2009

From The Heart

Don't sit there forcing ideas to come. All the possibilities are there within you. They will come if you let them. Let your mind relax and write the first thing that comes to mind. It may seem shapeless and even nonsensical at first, but it will take on its own life as you continue, and therefore a pattern that, blurry initially, becomes sharper and well-defined. As long as you don't give up!

Once I won a competition with a story that grew as I wrote it. I lived it. I was there. That's what made the difference. I was in that picture within my mind. Hence I cared about my two main characters. Since it came from the heart, the warmth shone through and brightened the picture that, certainly at the start, was confusing for me. I didn't know what would happen. But, because I continued with confidence, still in harmony with the setting and characters, still 'there', it fell into a neat shape. The pacing was good because I didn't pause to chew my pen or stare out of the window. I stayed in the minute world I had allowed my mind to create.

It all began with a girl in a high rise flat with a runny nose. Not very exciting as it stands. But the key to unlocking the potential of a mundane scene is to let it develop naturally, wholeheartedly. Stay with it and refuse to let it go. This child went on a 'journey' in that flat. The reader saw her thoughts, which I 'showed' rather than 'told'. It was, as with many short stories, a little scrap of time, an infinitesimal fraction of her life, but poignant. She progressed. She moved from one point in her life to another. And she did it because I let my mind propel the action.

Let it grow and be proud of its unique quality. My child in the flat has stayed with me ever since.

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