I immersed myself (more like stumbled ) into a two hour writing course, hoping to gain some knowledge and expand on a story I may be brave enough to submit somewhere sometime somehow. Thanks to the encouragement of my friends I think I will.
The class I attended was hosted by the very likeable and well respected
Feeling very much out of my comfort zone, a little bit of a fraud, I didn’t know what to expect, I trolled my way up the stairs inside the beautiful Fremantle Arts Centre, I believe in another life operated as an asylum centre, so clearly I am in the right place.
I can’t believe I didn’t take any photos, now I’ll have to go back before I post, but afraid I ran out of time, so that will explain the one and only photo I have posted. I have a funny story attached to that photo for another time.
Entering the room, I spy a few people I recognise and know are real writers, oh now I really am in trouble, never mind, fake it till you make it, big breath, chin up, head high.
I squished myself between two competent woman (that’s how I knew I was out of my depth) they shall remain nameless, my young friend was opposite and over a bit on my right there was no room near her unless I sat next to Laurie and that would really look like I was trying too hard. I spent the first hour reading others body language, identifying who had power or thought they had power, quite a dynamic group, trying desperately not to step on each other’s toes.
I caught myself listening to their tone, reading their body language, failing at focusing on what Laurie was saying. Well I tried, some of the content I got, but when I failed to understand the lingo I drifted. It is obvious to me that I cannot focus in large groups whether I am intimidated or need that silence I don’t know, probably the latter.
Leading the reader to the unexpected
Laurie did some readings, we were exploring that thing they call a third option of where you can take that story to, leading the reader to the unexpected, surprising you. You know the stories where you don’t predict the outcome.
I’m in over my head, now that I have figured out what the third option is I’ll have some work to do on that story but that’s okay as I need to find a thousand or more words anyway. Besides some of the language they are using in the class, I am regretting not bringing my dictionary am struggling to make sense of what they are saying. I must read more!
We were given a passage to read and then were to write a third option, I nearly burst out laughing, catching myself from blurting out some nonsense as he asked for any ideas.
Focusing’s not my strength
I couldn’t focus with all of these people in the room so I just wrote dot points and then listened as others read, oops I clearly still didn’t get it.
Here’s the brief in a nutshell
- A story about a Brother, sister and his nephew
- Sister has secondary cancer
- Brother has come home to visit her and to collect charity money raised for an orphanage in Africa where he now lives
- Young nephew is intelligent doing well at school
- Sister asks brother to tell his nephew that she has secondary cancer and has to go to hospital……
My third option went like this
- Uncle goes to room
- Nephew and Uncle’s eyes meet
- Nephew gathers what’s happening
- Asks to go with uncle to Africa
- Wants to know what to pack and will there be Christmas
- Uncle struggles with concept of caring for nephew so much that he has a heart attack and drops dead then and there……
I kept my mouth shut as after hearing the others versions I got it wrong, so I did what any girl would do and went to the bathroom for some breathing space.
The next prompt was a few words written on a piece of paper
Mine was ‘Ambulance going to accident’ setting the scene with a punch (third option) something different
Here’s mine in a nutshell
- Two ambos hear the call out over the radio
- They respond
- Spot the accident
- Recognise one of the cars
- It’s the ambo drivers son
- He’s focused on getting close not taking his eyes of his sons crumpled car
- SMASH, the ambulance is hit from the side the van rolls he’s flung out of the window
- The driver that hit them was also focused on the scene of the accident
- She recognised her sons car
- Neither the ambo driver (dad) or her, the driver of the car ( mother) live
- The son does though
Every parents nightmare or horror movie isn’t it.
I am hoping to go to more of Laurie’s classes as I know I can learn from him and others like him. My happy place for now just imagining that one day I can keep up and it will make sense and I can learn the lingo.
That was my day for you, hope your day’s are brilliant to.
Till next week