TO DO – discuss origins of my Twisted Little Sister story, SHOPPING, for the Create50 blog.
(NB Make it interesting) *** OR AT LEAST TRY!!! ***
SHOPPING INGREDIENTS (a) – from life
- I once saw CCTV footage of a guy who had murdered his teenage sister – he and his girlfriend were shopping in B&Q or similar for black bags, duct tape, a circular saw – equipment to dismember and dispose of the body.
- It was horrific yet mundane. A trolley load of evil. Really hit me.
- Did they sit down and work out exactly what they needed for the task? (NB Maybe even make a list?)
SHOPPING INGREDIENTS (b) – from me
- I’m fascinated by psychology – the good, the bad and the ugly.
- Imagine how super-organised psychopaths, pedophiles have to be. They really have to PLAN. They’re smart and scheming and to be successful they have to stay one step ahead. (NB Maybe even make a list?)
- ALSO You can tell such a lot about people by what they buy – I can’t be the only one gripped by other people’s baskets at the checkout. (?????)
…FLASH BACK TO…
LATE NOVEMBER 2015
(NB Context: I’m trying to enter Twisted 50!!)
- Write a really short story – as a challenge, but also (hopefully) fun. Proving tough to think of something original. (NB Maybe should have made a list?)
- Write a story that leaves a lot of gaps – white space for readers to [ … ] (Flex those fertile imaginations!)
- Scare myself! Write something sick and unpleasant. And keep on going, don’t pull back! (Silence a lingering irritating voice that keeps insisting “Be nice.”)
…DEADLINE LOOMS… (still nothing)
AND FINALLY!!! I go to sleep and wake up with the story (NB actually it’s a LIST!) that is Shopping. Deadline is seconds away when press “SUBMIT” or I might have found a more gripping title. (Maybe even made…a you-know-what)
That’s how my stories seem to create themselves, invisible entities that gather and grumble and mutate under the surface and suddenly burst out, fully formed. Like lancing a boil. A lot of thinking – a helluva lot, sometimes – but the writing, at least at first draft stage, is fast and a bit of a fugue state. It just happens. I put it down to having three kids and writing around them, to deadlines, for years.
But everybody’s process is different – what’s yours? I’d love to hear about it.