The daily 2000 word challenge continues. I found myself at a local cafe by 8am typing the next chapter of my very strange little novel about a boy who appears to be having auditory hallucinations and whole conversations with inanimate objects. I do not know exactly what his affliction is or whether it is an affliction at all. He might be schizophrenic, or he might just being having conversations with otherwise inanimate objects. I do know that his character has emerged very rapidly, and today as I wrote a story of his life as a 20 year old, working in a local supermarket in his hometown, he feels real enough.

My 2000 words were submitted on time. I liked the story I wrote far more today. I’m feeling the groove better. The feedback was all very positive.

The commitment needed to write a whole novel is staggering for me. The average novel is 50-60,000 words. So far I’ve polished off 4,000 of that in rough format and I feel as I might have written it in my own blood for all the brutal intensity of it. It’s absolutely terrifyingly complex and labour-intensive!

It rained crazy today, like seriously unseasonable monsoonal madness. Deluge. Great writing weather we all decided.

The 4pm session with Jane was interesting. The free fall writing exercise to start us off was (predictably) to begin with “I remember the touch…” So tomorrow, I remember the smell? Then an unusual exercise; Jane read two sentences from an especially dense novel The God of Small Things by Arundhti Roy (which I have read and enjoyed immensely may years ago now).

Slanting silver ropes slammed into loose earth, plowing it like gunfire. The old house on the hill wore its steep, gabled roof pulled over its ears like a hat.

Now take each word of these two sentences and use the word to begin sentences of a story.

Why on earth would you do this? It seems like a fairly meaningless word game. It’s seemed pretty nonsensical until you actually try it. What it does is it forces the writer to think in ways they are not used to doing. It insists upon different rhythms. We all have a style, but when we must write a story using particular words out of context or in phrasing that is is turned on its head, the results are surprisingly zesty.

Incidentally, the slanting silver ropes quote from Gods of Small Things is a reference to monsoonal weather. Particularly apt for our weather today.

This project was made possible by the Australian Governments Regional Arts Fund, provided through Regional Arts Australia, administered in Queensland by Flying Arts Alliance.

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