Sunday, 11 September 2011

This book with change the way you think and feel about your life

So in preparation for NaNoWriMo I have been doing some exercises from the book 'A Novel in a Year' by Louise Doughty. Now, allowing someone to read something I have written is going to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to writing a book, so in the spirit of not thinking everything I write is utter tosh I will post some of it here. This is exercise number 8 and the remit is to write a paragraph from the point of view of an inanimate object. She uses the example of 'Skepticism Inc.' by Bo Fowler, which is an entire book written from the point of view of a shopping trolley (which I am now going to have to add to the TBR list as it sounds excellent). Anyhow, this is what I wrote:

I am going to change your life. At least that's what it says on my cover. It's a bloody grand claim if you ask me. I mean, I'm only wood pulp and a bit of glue when it comes down to it, oh, yes, and the ink I suppose, that's the slightly more important bit. Right now I could do with something that could change my life. I am in a bit of a sorry state. My spine is very dried out and my cover is peeling at the edges, I was only a cheap mass produced thing (don't forget the grand claim, they were anticipating a high demand for copies and wanted to maximise their profits). My pages are worryingly loose in some places and going decidedly yellow. A while ago I did spend some time on the bedside table but since then it's been many years on the shelf, gathering dust. I suppose I should be grateful, the things you hear about, the terrible places some of us end up. Even a box in the attic seems bearable compared to the recycle bin, or worse still … the incinerator. We would try not to scare the new ones, especially those that say things like 'Jeffery Archer' on the front, so it is only mentioned in a whisper, but we all know the rumours, the fate awaiting those who fail to live up to their promise. Even having 'international bestseller' is no guarantee these days, though you are slightly more secure if you win something. I have sometimes wished to be a Mills and Boon, they just go round and round the charity shops, lots of owners, lots of new sights and plenty of interaction with the readers. The covers are a bit naff, all those swooning women in flimsy blouses, I rather like mine (it has a lotus flower morphing into a wrench), so it's a trade off really; quality content and cover make up for the lack of attention. When it comes down to it I would rather be read just once and have a real impact than have a hundred readers but be instantly forgotten. I am the kind of book that people have heard of, my reputation precedes me. At the time of my publication I was the biggest thing around, my back-cover-reviews say things like, 'original', 'explosive' and 'unforgettable', those where heady days. It's been quiet in recent years though so you can imagine my delight when I found myself picked out and put in a small pile by the bed. I am in good company here, Sylvia Plath for goodness sake, I mean I'd never even heard of the one I was next to on the shelf. I'm trying not to get too excited, I don't know if my message still has the appeal, times change, but you never know. Life is definitely looking up.

6 comments:

  1. A teacher read this book to us in instalments during assembly in high school (it was a Quaker school...). I'm sorry to say I can't remember a thing about it!
    x

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  2. Well done Martine, you've succeeded immediately in creating a convincing 'voice', I enjoyed reading this character's opinions about the world and would like more! so well done for doing the writing and then being brave enough to show it.
    By November you're going to be well limbered up!!! x

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  3. Thoroughly well depicted and convincing point of view of a book, which reminds me we're supposed to have a copy of it somewhere ... Hope you keep us posted with NaNoWriMo 2011 progress - I shall be attempting too.

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  4. Enjoyable. And you have written lots of stuff that others have written! This is just fiction. :-) (That was really helpful, wasn't it?)

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  5. I meant you have written lots of stuff that others have READ!

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  6. I mean creative writing, rather than just reviewing other people's writing.
    Thanks for the encouragement everyone.
    much love
    martine

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