We create people who don’t exist, but in that process we create life. That is what writers do.
We are all a composite of every person we have ever met and every experience we have ever had, and so are the people we create; the people who were not here last night, but are today. They came from nothing. Or did they?
I am working on an idea for a new short story, and suddenly this morning I stand with a sixteen-year-old boy as he watches his sister, hiding in a bedroom doorway as she studies her newly developed breasts and wishes she could cut them off for charity.
I was shocked by her words until she whispered, “If Mum’d done that years ago she’d not have died.” She tries to hide her breasts under her pink T-shirt and wonders if starving herself will stop them growing… and maybe one day killing her too.
I don’t know where these images come from. That wasn’t there this morning. That is what writers do.
We tap into the magic, some light, some dark, some an odd mixture of both, as is life, right? It’s truly wonderful to be able to create something from seemingly nothing… but is it? Are we not just taking all the things we know and all the things that happen to us and showing them to the world in a different way? And — just maybe will change their thinking — if only for a moment. That is what writers do.
I am doing the Muddy Run Race for Life this year, with a team of girls from the gym, each of us for someone we lost. Me for Lee (of course) and also for Kara in whose name I received an award, although sadly I never met her. One of us in our team of muddy buddies might one day get cancer, the odds are we will — and so we must do this for all those who will or have battled cancer, some who have won that battle and some who have not.
So maybe the role of the fiction writer is to find life, or as Stephen Kings says of fiction: the truth inside the lie.
If you can afford to sponsor me when I race for cancer (and get very muddy!) then please do. No pressure, it’s up to you, as there are many good causes out there — but I would really appreciate it if you can. So I guess I kind of know where the roots of this story come from.
I like to think of stories like babies, waiting to be born, when the time is right and when they need to be heard. Maybe we didn’t create these people because they are around us every day. Somewhere there is a sixteen-year-old boy watching his sister do just that.
That is all. Have a wonderful week everyone!
Here’s the link, and my gratitude if you can support me: thank you.