A Curious Girl

The musings of a girl who is curious in both senses of the word. Life, God, and York. Oh, did I say York? I meant Bradford!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Just round the writer's block

I'm baaaack! Aren't you delighted?

I was going to post to say that I found the Job centre website surprisingly useful, only I have changed my mind because that website is hideously unreliable. It does have jobs that look good, but that is if the damn thing will load. There is an agency who want me to come for an interview only they expect me to pay for my own Criminal Records check and then they can't even guarantee work. From my experience with the other agencies I've been registered with, they aren't fantastic. Although working for Grapes Direct was an experience. I stuck labels on boxes of grapes. I realised that Invicta FM is not very good (though possibly not as bad as Minster FM).

It is beautifully sunny in York. I wish this didn't remind me that global warming is happening. And to be honest I miss the April showers.

I have been looking back on my old writings. This can be quite a fun exercise. Some of them are good, making me wonder why I didn't carry on the story, or whether I should write a sequel. Some are just depressing. I looked back at one story, which is full of "pathetic fallacy" * It's set in March, and the trouble is that March weather may not be like that any more. Damned anachronisms. There was also a line that I liked "this dialogue had been repeated so many times it was as strained and stretched as an old tape". A tape? How retro! Once the daughter of someone I cared for (in a professional sense) attempted to teach me how to use a cassette player because she was convinced I was too young to know. Come on, I remember vinyl!

Also there is the just plain rubbish. I added commentary on one of my earliest stories (actually to be fair, it was the fourth rewrite of an early story). It features a young engineer (why engineer I am not certain) who volunteers to be a guinea pig for a time machine, ends up in the Second World War. Only she's in Somerset. Nothing happens. No bombs. No threats. No one cares that the Battle of Britain is on. No one mentions Churchill. No one notices she wears strange clothing, wonders why she has no ID... There is no culture clash in which her modern feminist views disturb or enlighten those around her. Nothing at all happens except she gets back together with her time-travelling ex-boyfriend (who subjected her to "the cruellest break-up in history", which apparently translates to "Could we just be friends?") and they discover that the evacuee is not an evacuee but a child sent back in time by aliens. Yes, aliens. No one discovers or even cares about the motivation of said aliens, although there was a sequel planned in which said engineer's daughter is sent back to the Victorian era by the same aliens, and there is the suggestion that people might try to board UFOs. The story had more holes than an Ed Wood film and wasn't as good.

Sigh. I love writing and I wish I was better at it. It is very frustrating at times. I wish my imagination was a lot better. I wish I could make amazingly vivid characters that come alive... I wish I had the patience to follow through on an idea and not get discouraged. I've got a story in mind and in one bit, the main character is sitting at a piano, and she's playing a number of love songs (she's 16 and dippy about someone) and at the end of her selection she sings one that she composed herself. The plot would really depend on this being a good song, because someone walks in as she's playing. The trouble is, writing a really good love song is hard. They all sound clich├ęd. They all sound nice at first and then get annoyingly cheesy. They're all "I love you, I will love you whatever, I love you more than life/ice cream (see Ice Cream by Sarah McLachlan), I will always love you, you make me feel good/young/happy/horny, I'll do anything for you, I love you and you don't know it, etc." So I've hit on a solution... if her song is rubbish, the person who walks in will say, "That was a great song... the lyrics need a little work, though."

* Pathetic in the sense of being related to emotion, rather than rubbish. Device used in fiction to compliment the events taking place. Nice sunny day = everyone is happy. Dark and stormy night = something evil is taking place.

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