Today was the second meeting of Kessingland Library Creative Writing Group. Six people came along to the meeting, including myself. Everyone had done their homework, describing a place using the 5 senses, and it was lovely to hear how people described these places with such interesting vocabulary.
My Room 1999
The red glow from the lava lamp breaks through the darkness; a sliver of a glimmer of light in my empty life. The stench of the molten wax scents the scene. Michael Stipe’s gravel flecked voice floats around the room, singing to someone, somewhere, asking to be saved from himself again. I push the lyrics through my lips as my heart tries to hold back the tears. It’s so broken that liquid flows through the cracks and soaks my cheeks. I taste the desperation and despair through every salty drop.
I make myself as comfortable as possible on my orange, inflatable chair. Unfortunately, comfort is virtually unachievable when you’re nearly 6ft tall sitting on a seat designed for children. I don’t care. It’s less horrific than my existence on the other side of the closed door. The plastic sticks to my exposed skin as if it never wants to let go. Like a plaster being pulled from a healed cut, my skin stretches and rips itself free from the plastic grip. It stings like a slap, but is less painful than the day I left behind at half past three.
During the session I gave everyone 6 pieces of paper and asked them to write down a different word on each piece of paper, fold up the paper, and put the pieces on the table. We all took out six pieces and wrote a story to include those words.
The words I put in were - special, stupid, purple, celery, churchyard, water
The words I took out were - buzz, tower, moon, crackers, carvery, special
Tom sat on the roof of his tower staring up at the night sky. It was clear and the stars blinked at him, as though a light was being switched off for every wish made. That night Tom didn't have any wishes. They never came true anyway, no matter how many birthday candles he blew out. The moon smiled down on him. Sometimes it felt like it was his only friend, holding onto his secrets and his dreams, keeping them safe so that no-one else could find them. This was a special relationship, one that could not be broken. Tom rested his head against the old stone and closed his eyes. He drifted off into a world he remembered so clearly, but one that was far away. Friday night drinking binges, Saturday afternoon football games, Sunday lunchtime carvery. But what now? No drinking since alcohol was outlawed, no sports since the smog bombs destroyed the fields, and Sunday lunches were now rationed to a box of crackers and a smidgen of cheese. This isn't the life. This isn't the way things should be. The buzz of his old life had been replaced by a drone, a monotonous silence which drowned out any sense of emotion he once knew. Did he want to live like this anymore? Did he want to hang around to see if it could get any worse? Standing up, he peered over the edge of the tower at the concrete below.
Homework is to think about conversation and dialogue, and how we need to think about the person speaking, if they have an accent, if they use certain vernacular.
The first part of the homework is to fill in the blank speech bubbles in the following comic strips (made here).
And the second part is to write a scene only using dialogue. Any description can only come through what the characters say. There can be no 3rd person narrator.
Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 26th March, 10:30am - 11:30am, at Kessingland Library.