A short story I wrote in early 2015 has just been published online, in issue 8 of Number Eleven magazine. Number Eleven is an Irish literary magazine that publishes work from international authors, and I’m excited about my story finding a home in its digital pages.
My story is called The Dance and is a dialogue between two teenagers who are trying to decide whether they can sustain a romance after sharing a long friendship. I enjoyed writing Jamie, because she wouldn’t shut up and kept shooting off quips in a rapid-fire. Cole was an interesting character for me to engage with too, because he is so conflicted.
The lighthearted style of the story masks the characters’ deeper emotions, and the tension ebbs and builds as the conversation rallies back and forth between Jamie and Cole, as they argue about whether to break up. If you’d like to give it a read, head to http://numberelevenmagazine.com/the-dance/. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Thanks everyone. Over and out.
I felt just like Alice, plunging down the rabbit-hole.
The trapdoor beneath my feet flew open, and I fell. Water sprayed into my face and tickled my legs, and the tunnel arced and twisted, carrying me. The rounded walls stretched on, glowing with an earthy, red light. Where would this journey end?
Then the light grew brighter, whiter, and the tunnel spat me out into a body of blue water. Scrambling to my feet, I felt waves of adrenaline pound my heart. I waded out of the shallows, sunlight splashing onto my skin.
Well, this piece is my attempt at capturing an experience I recently had at a water-park. My friends and I conquered this place by trying every slide that was open…even the scary, we’ll-drop-you-through-a-trapdoor-into-a-mysterious-twisty-tube one! The brief free-fall was truly exhilarating. I really did feel like Alice.
You know how people talk about the ideal place to write? As though inspiration will surely hit if you sit atop a tranquil mountain, away from the pull of home and work, listening only to your characters’ voices and the gentle breeze?
Well, it doesn’t work like that. Not for me, anyway.
This morning I got up early(ish) and climbed a mountain with my sister and some friends. Well, I say ‘climbed’…there was some steep walking in places. Our conquest for the day was technically a mountain, but it’s more like a big hill. Anyway, standing at the summit(?) offered me a pretty view, but not a drop of inspiration. In Stephen King’s book On Writing, he describes routine as paramount to making progress with a story, and I’ve found this to be true with my own work. Inspiration is more likely to wash over me when I’m sitting in my usual spot at my computer than when I’m in a new setting, however beautiful it is. In fact, sometimes I find it’s best to get some writing done in a familiarly dull location. If I’m bored by my environment then I will want to be transported, and my mind will search for ways to breathe colour and magic into a story.
So, if you’re wondering about where to write, maybe look for a place that isn’t too stimulating. But don’t become a hermit, either. Experiences of all sorts can factor into your stories, and give you details to make them vivid. I guess I’m really talking about timing. While I’m on a mountain: zero inspiration. But who knows? Now I’m trapped in my room – and waiting for inspiration to come – maybe my ideas will be influenced by some echo from this morning’s adventure. The cursor in my Word document blinks at me. Time to spill out some words. Wish me luck!