Monday, 16 April 2007

Where does it come from?

Tom C.writing:

I was at work today and it was awful. I share an office with six others and it's far too small, so it's impossible to work properly - you're constantly bombarded by other people's noise. Worse than that, the office opposite us inhabited by people whose habitual tone is the BELLOW!!!!!!! We hear every word of their discussions, louder than our own. It's crazy - in terms of productivity it's simply ineffective.

But at lunchtime, using some of the Boot Camp prompts, I started writing a story. And I fell into some sort of dream state, that's the only way I can describe it. All the noise disappeared and I was alone. I wrote 1500 words during my lunch hour - okay, it might have stretched to an hour and a quarter - and those words just fell out of me. I had an opening line which I thought was strong, and everything followed from that. I found a leading character. A situation emerged. I discovered a back story. And none of it, I swear, none of it I had thought about consciously: it just appeared on the screen in front of me.

Is it good? It's one of those stories where I don't know. It could score 117 easily but I also wouldn't be surprised if it was a 98. Sometimes you're too close to a story to be able to say.

All I can say is that I have never, ever written anything like this before. I'm a bit of a tart, to be honest - I use lots of different styles and voices - but this story has appeared from somewhere completely different, fully formed, quite distinct from anything I've ever done. It's a bit creepy, really, the way this story has just emerged, almost without my intervention.

But I tell you what, this story has come from somewhere. It means something. I don't know what, yet, but I only hope I can do it justice. That character came to life for me this afternoon. I don't know where he came from, but he's alive now, as far as I'm concerned, and I feel I owe it to him to create a decent story for him.

I find it a bit scary when stories come alive like this. It's on the page now, I wrote it, but nonetheless I look at it and think 'did I really write that?'

1 comment:

The Boot Camp Diaries said...

I posted an article about two minutes ago, all about this sort of thing.

I LOVE it, when that happens.