The CMG met this evening and we discussed the courses/writing events that we had attended this week. I fed back details of the So you want to write a novel? workshop I attended yesterday and handed out photocopies of the various notes, character questionnaires etc. and related the useful information learned during the first of the two sessions. D & N related the events of the Philip Pullman event they attended at Manchester on Thursday plus the salient points of most use to the novelist.
We then discussed the writing challenge and gave feedback on each of the three 'man in a local pub but he's been dead for 2 weeks, why?' stories. This was very helpful in terms of what worked and constructive on what did not. Unfortunately we could not discuss the chapters sent by D as he did not attend the meeting.
D then set the writing challenge for the next meeting. It is a dialogue exercise taken from the 'What If' book, where two people who know each other take the opposite side of an issue or problem, with a word limit of around 550 words.
As promised, here is the 'What is your characters earliest memory? exercise I undertook yesterday as part of the So you want to write a novel? workshop:
When I play it takes me there. Back to the time when I was happy, before things changed and I split in two. Separation is like the keys of my piano. Black can sit next to white, but it cannot leech into it, it cannot stay together. Like oil and water they can only coexist as two separate entities and in a way that is me, the person I am and the person I should have been. I am here in the black, but long to stay in the white. I can intermingle my two lives, as the keys take turns to make the music of life, so it dictates mine. But I am the composer, always the composer. I know when to still the fingers of my story, when to hold back and when to build to a crescendo. The time is not now, but it will come. I feel certain that it will come.
She was there, now she is just a shadow, the black to my white, but then we could sit side by side and make melodies together. When I look down at my hand, sometimes I see hers and I know although I am two halves, one of them is hers and it always will be. I cannot change that, nor would I want to. I need the dark to sit with the light, without it there would be no music.
Sometimes when I play it takes me back there, but plays are never real, only the words that make up the story of what someone else wants you to believe.