Wednesday, 25 February 2009


Welcome to Creative Writing Matters. This blog is primarily a continuation of the wittering on I do in my Creative Writing classes. So often, I arrive home with a head full of more pertinent thoughts than I expressed at the time. Maybe, this blog will act as a vehicle for them. 
Or I might just bung on the telly, like last night when I watched the final episode of The Wire Season 3 and I can only say the air was entirely removed from my lungs. Wonderful.

Talking of The Wire reminds me of the Oscar winning Man on Wire about the remarkable Phillipe Petit who walked between the Twin Towers on a tightrope. I saw this film with three friends and afterwards opinion was divided exactly down the middle. Man walks across wire, end of story, film could have been all over in ten minutes - that was one view. The other, including mine, was that it was completely gripping from start to finish, the feat was amazing but the man...the man was just extraordinary! Obsessional, egotistical, insane perhaps, but overwhelmingly interesting because was not as other human beings. To see him lying down on the wire. Eeeek! Above the void he is devoid of fear (Look upon the pun as a curiosity!). My point, about this film and its relevance to writing, is that there is a lot of too-ing and fro-ing theses days about whether your story should be plot led or character led. Perhaps the answer is that it is better not try to jump through hoops to suit others if hoops (or highwires) aren't your thing. Good plots with flat characters bore me to tears but they sell millions at stations and airports. Ultimately the reader decides by choosing which they like best. Occasionally, the combination of good plot and good characterisation come together. That's called alchemy. 

Pertinent thought from last night? Visual jokes don't work on paper. Jokes that involve words that sound the same but are spelt differently, don't work on the radio. I shall be delighted to be proved wrong on both counts. 

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