Friday, 21 December 2012

The Story of You

Years ago (decades actually), I attended a writing class run by a local poet, Pat Borthwick. I was the youngest attendant by far. Pat's classes centred around using our life experience and memories as a subject and basis for our writing. Homework would often require us to tap into our life - one Sunday morning, a poem using symbols to describe a loved one, a holiday memory. The others in the class, including Pat herself, had a wealth of experiences to call on and I quickly came to realise how describing what some might consider to be a mundane act could often lead to a fascinating read. By comparison, my own life experience seemed, if not boring, then limited and pale. I felt I had few memories to offer up that would make for an entertaining tale.

Move on around ten years and I started to write murder mystery plays for the am dram group I was part of. Based around a known cast and a familiar stage, what started as a way to fund a hobby quickly turned into a business I loved (and still do). The more plays I wrote, the more I pieced in characters I had met, situations I had come across or lived through, and the humour of my home town.

When my parents died in 2002 and 2007, I began to tell my children about them, and the stories they had told to me. With each rich memory, I wove a tapestry of warm colour and cosy texture to wrap us all in.

Writing my novel, I pull in my own experiences of motherhood and loss, and the colourful characters I have met throughout my life who held a magic of their own.

No experience is ever wasted and no life is grey. We all have a story to tell and whether we use the details, the memories, or the characters in our writing, our lives are a rich resource.

3 comments:

  1. Our lives are rich resources for stories, no matter how we tell them. Great post, Fi!

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  2. That is very true, Fi. I'm always amazed at what surfaces as I write.

    Yule and winter solstice greetings to you. Happy Holidays.

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  3. The best solstice to you too, Karen.

    Thank you both for the lovely comments.

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