Thursday, 17 June 2010
A (probably very unwise) challenge
OK, here’s a thought. I feel guilty for having copped out so frequently and I know that millions of people world-wide are probably having a crisis of faith at having been deserted so selfishly by their guru. (But let me just remind those whose faith is teetering that even gurus have to earn a living.) Anyway, back to the guilt. Back also to a talk/workshop I gave last night to a talented, energetic group of writers whose input into the main exercise was enthusiastic and highly entertaining. From names, settings, jobs and objects randomly chosen they created a series of characters and incidents all of which could have been developed into absorbing, readable stories if there’d been time. I hope they had as much fun as I did with it all. I drove home (40-odd miles) feeling exhilarated by their creativity and I woke this morning buzzing with ideas about how we could have taken the workshop further and got into such things as the details of opening paragraphs and twists in the tails of their tales.
I wondered if that would work for a blog. Now this is me setting myself up for a huge fall but I’d be interested to see whether it’s possible to use a similar technique to produce not a crime story but a blog. I’m still busy with the two books but it’s important to take an hour or so off from them from time to time just to make sure my approach to them stays fresh. My suggestion, then, is that I should write a posting that combines random elements. I don’t mean I should write a story but that I should – let’s say ‘simulate’ – a blog. But the question then is, where do I get the random elements? I can’t generate them myself because, even if I was honest, there might be some subconscious aspect influencing my choice. So what’s the answer?
Well, you are. I’m suggesting that, as a comment, you simply challenge me with a word, a name, a theme, a setting or whatever and I’ll try writing a blog around a selection of them. If you like, we could even make sure the selection itself is randomised somehow. The problem is that there are untold hordes of you and most of you are writers so if you all contributed something, the length of the posting would make the whole internet crash and ensure that the two books never got written. Realistically, though, despite my claims of gurudom and world domination, I know that my readers are few and mainly visit out of sympathy, so I don’t anticipate excess.
So it’s up to you. I can now sit back and wait for the inevitable sagebrush silence.