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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Work for Week Two

Draw up a preliminary plan for a book.  If you have no particular ideas already think in terms of a journey of kind.  It could be a real journey or a metaphorical or spiritual journey.
You might think about

         a short pamphlet for a single story or poem  or memoir

         a single children’s story or picture story

         a collections of poems, or stories or         memoirs

          a  novel or novella (long short story) 

          a  memoir or an autobiography or a  biography

          the script of a play

          a graphic novel or story

          imaginary letters  (to someone now dead,   
                   an imaginary friend, a celebrity)  

You’ll need to think about the sequence of the work (not necessarily the same as the order in which thing happened in ‘real life’.   If it’s personal writing it might be a matter of dates and events.  If it’s fiction you need to think about the central problem the main character faces, and then what steps they take to solve the problem, and how the problem is resolved  (not necessarily the same as ‘solved’)

Trying doing a brief mock up of the cover of your book/pamphlet.  Title with picture or design.


You go somewhere.  At the outset there must be something you’re concerned about in same way, dreading some sort of confrontation,  fearing he’ll no longer love you.  It could simply be whether you make it or not.   Then the journey needs to be broken up into stages (chapters) such as getting the taxi, catching the train,  getting stuck in the toilet,  having sandwiches,  being sick. . . Then – and this is crucial – you reach the arrival section.  Here something must happen that is (1)  unexpected and (2)  throws light on the whole story/poem/play, what the real meaning the journey has to you or the main character.
The journey could be allegorical – apparently about getting on a train etc, really the ‘journey of life’.     It could be magical – a dream in which Death comes and calls you to follow him.    A children’s story.    It could simply be a ‘growing up’ story about a young person. 
It need not be fiction.  You you are doing some ‘life writing’ perhaps about yourself for your grandchildren, what you are doing is presenting  your ‘journey through life’, and you need to shape it like a story rather than just mention this happened, then that, then that, and here I am old.    It needs to be also a journey of self discovered.  The story of my life, some people would say, is the meaning of my life.

Draft cover of my new book in draft
  John Haynes

I Hate your Bloody   School

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