Writing Thought of the Day: It’s OK to start writing, even if you don’t have a clear vision of what you are going to write.
The last few weeks, I have spent my time nurturing and growing a little band of students into The Creative Writing Club. Currently, our membership numbers are minimal, but I honestly couldn’t imagine spending my Tuesday afternoons with a better group of students. Their creativity, flair for adventure and sparky ideas make me smile. They are the best bunch of weirdos I have ever met.
Today was our penultimate session of the academic year; every week I give them a thought of the day and a writing prompt, and they roll with it. Some love fantasy, some love horror, some write realistically, some write dystopian fiction, some just write whatever pops into their heads.
There was frost on the carpet.
I always try to choose prompts which allow them to tailor it to their own personal style. Everyone has a specific manner of speaking; the tone, the pitch, the little inflections on the words as they dance through the air. Likewise, everyone has a specific manner of writing; the way the words ebb and flow, favourite vocabulary, the choice between connective, full stop and semi-colon. The more you write, the easier it is to find that voice, that distinct mark on paper that could only belong to you. I never let them down by not joining in.
There was frost on the carpet and ice in her heart. The door swung dejectedly on its hinge, mirroring the palpitations of her heart, as she staggered to her feet. A wicked breeze whipped through the crack in the door, billowing her skirt around her, cackling as it flew by. She caught a glimpse of her reflection in the glass – staring back, two soulless eyes atop a sunken meringue. She’d hated the dress anyway, which should have been a sign. Yet he had seemed so charming at first, every pore oozing with sophistication.
The breeze strutted brazenly through the door once more; she shuddered, feeling the vibrations down to her her bones. Waking from her liquor induced daydream, she reached forward and pushed the door to, her fingers tasting every bump, every rut, every imperfection in the paintwork. It tasted bitter. Her stomach churned, as she fell, retching, bringing up little more than air.
A few weeks earlier, she had awoken, perspiration drenching her nightclothes, her skin. She had predicted this; a premonition of a single figure, shrouded by light, a solitary silhouette at the end of the aisle. The only colour that could be seen were the stained glass windows; the eyes of Jesus presiding over everything, watching. Judging.
Abandonment was inevitable. Alone. Heartbroken. He seemed charming at first; then the cracks began to show the molten lava core. He swindled people, cheated, charmed his way through life. She knew he was unreliable. But she couldn’t have predicted how unreliable.
Abandonment was inevitable. Alone. Heartbroken. She was glad she had left him at the altar; she was glad she had disappeared.
Child A gave me the shivers today. He had come up with this amazing idea for a story, which I made him bullet point in his book, so as not to lose that moment of inspiration. It was beautiful to watch the excitement spread across his face and the pure enjoyment he got from realising that he had achieved something original, something exhilarating.
Next year, I hope to expand this club and develop it into something more amazing than it already is; to help them achieve their potential without having to jump through the hoops of standardised assessment; to help them find their flair, their style.
You’ll find us on a Tuesday, pen and paper in hand.
Sincerely yours, The Creative Writing Club.