Friday, February 24, 2012

Lesson about writing from the heart

Did one of the fortnightly exercises posted in Critique Circle. The prompt was to write a story located in a forest. And to include a centaur, a whale, cheese and a chestnut. 

I was attracted by the difficulty of the exercise.

At first I had a vague idea about a centaur in an ancient forest. But WHO was the centaur and what was the story about? Started thinking this over, going around in a bored half-hearted way. But I still wanted to meet the challenge.

Then I wondered how a centaur would cope with the modern world. And I felt a shift, a feeling that something had clicked into place. 

Googled 'whale' and got pictures of killer whales. The images reminded me of a joke card I'd seen ages ago - a Killer whale mid air and biting off a man's arm. The caption read 'Sally the Killer Whale couldn't stand the humiliation any more'. Then I made a link from there to the theme of Man against Nature. And eventually I ground out 400 words. 

I actually finished a writing exercise. And I can do it again. Yes?

If I'm going to stay on the treadmill and put in 10,000 hours of practice, if I'm going to get to a point where I can FINISH storylines I'll need to tap more deeply into the joy, into the sub-conscious, into the weird and wonderful. I need to let go more.