Tag Archives: Narrative

Writing Prompt Wednesday


BOOKWORM – this is your starting point for a story…should be easy!

bookman

I have to confess I had an ulterior motive for volunteering to look after the book stall at the village fete. Not only would I have first pick of the books but it was nicely situated in a large tent so no matter what the weather conditions I would be protected.

As it happened we were lucky to have glorious sunshine on the day of the fete, it isn’t always so. Having the tent meant I had plenty of luscious shade. I’m not a sun worshiper at the best of times. After spending several hours organizing the books so that they were in categories, I sat back with a satisfying cup of tea.  I surveyed the mismatched tables filling the tent and felt proud of my efforts. With a couple of large cushions to pad out my deck chair I would endure the day. I knew it will be long and I like my comfort.

Settling into my chair to take a second look at my selections I quickly become engrossed in a tale of ancient Rome.  A shadow falls onto the page – my first customer of the day. Not wanting to seem too pushy, I continue to read, letting them browse unhindered. When I eventually look up I see a stick thin man dressed in a mac and hat with his nose literally inside a book. His spectacles have thick glass but obviously not thick enough. Upon closer inspection I notice he has mis-matched shoes, one black and one brown. Was he colour blind as well? 

“May I help you Sir?”

 “No thank you. I’m perfectly fine.”

 Remaining in my seat I observe this gentleman as he fills a wicker basket with books and precariously crams even more under his arm along with his umbrella. He is definitely not a local, I know most people in the village through my various committees. My curiosity must show as he nervously glances my way.

 “Have I done something wrong? Is there a limit to how many books I can purchase?”

 “Not at all – take as many as you like. I was just wondering where you lived as you are not familiar to me. Sorry if I was staring.”

 “Oh I see.”

 That was it, no explanation, no further conversation. He just continued rummaging through the hundreds of books without further comment. What a strange fellow.

The tent is filling up with other visitors anyway so I become distracted with purchases and questions for some time. A polite cough makes me turn and I am faced with the gentleman’s thin face peering over the top of his spectacles at me.

“May I pay for these books?”

“Yes of course. My, you have a real hoard there don’t you. Do you know how many?”

“Well I didn’t count them. Was I supposed to?”

“Not to worry. Shall we count together?”

“If you feel it’s necessary.”

Our count completed and the purchase made the man turns to leave laden down with thirty books.

“I hope you enjoy all your books.”

“Well of course I shall. I wouldn’t have bought them otherwise, now would I?”

I grit my teeth and smile, thinking some people are very odd but there’s no reason to be rude.  I turn to my next customer in line and exchange pleasantries with Miss Tooms. She is such a dear soul.

“Don’t take offense Muriel. Mr. Boekenworm has never been the social type even at school.”

“You know him Miss Tooms?”

 “Oh yes dear. We went to school together, here in the village actually, many moons ago of course. He was always teased about his name you see and it made him very insular.”

 “It’s a very novel name I must say.”

 “It means bookworm and he always has been. Lived up to his name you could say.”

 “That must have been very difficult as a child, I’m sure. Where does he live now?”

 “Not far, just over the hill in Clutton. He has his own second hand book store. I imagine it was fate.”

 “That would account for the amount of books he brought then. He really has lived up to his name. Good for him, I say.”

 “Yes I suppose you are right there. Well thank you Muriel. I shall enjoy these novels, helps pass the night hours, I don’t sleep like I used to, you know.”

I watch Miss. Tooms thread her way towards the tea tent. Another polite cough makes me turn. There he stands again with his umbrella and hat clutched to his chest.

“I want to apologize for being a bit brisk with you earlier. I tend to get very tense when buying books. Always worry someone else will find that exceptional book before me. Anyway sorry again for my rudeness.”

“Well thank you. Apology accepted. Miss Tooms was just telling me you have your own book store. May I visit one day?”

“Certainly it would be a pleasure.”

Such was my introduction to Samuel Boekenworm, my future employer.

Booksellers Library

Genres of Literature – Biography


Biography_Word

A biography, commonly known as a bio, is defined as a detailed description of a person’s life. Rather than dealing with the basic facts of the subject’s life like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person’s experience with life events, presenting a subject’s life story, with highlights of various aspects of his or her life, including intimate details of experience, and may even include an analysis of the subject’s personality.

Biography’s are usually non-fiction in nature but fiction can sometimes be used to portray the subject’s life. One form of biographical coverage is called legacy writing that deals with in-depth research. 

At first, biographical writings were merely a subsection of history focusing on a particular individual of historical importance. The independent genre of biography began emerging in the 18th century reaching its contemporary form at the turn of the 20th century. Biographical research as defined by Miller is a research method of collecting and analyzing a person’s whole life, or on occasion a portion of their life. This is accomplished through the in-depth and unstructured interviews, or even by semi-structured interview or personal documents. In short the research can come from “oral history, personal narrative, biography and autobiography” or “diaries, letters, memoranda and other materials.

There are two types of biography:

  1. Authorized biography which is written with the permission, cooperation, and at times, participation of a subject or a subject’s heirs.
  2. An autobiography which is written by the person himself or herself, sometimes with the assistance of a collaborator or ghostwriter.

The idea of writing our own biography is a daunting one for most of us and knowing where and how to start can be the main stumbling block for many. What to put in and what to leave out!

With other members of my writing group, I helped produce a memoir writing guide, which gives pointers on how to collect and compile artifacts, photos, letters etc. into a themed collection enabling you to format and theme your memoir/biography.

YourLifetimeOfStories

http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/fp/your-lifetime-stories

The practical suggestions included in the pages of this book will suggest to you ways you can identify, record, and organize your collection of memories so you can begin to write your stories. It is not a how to write but a how to begin workbook. 

Have you thought of writing your biography?

What would the title be?

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday


prompt

The prompt is – two men in a boat.

Here’s my short story.

Bob & Joe’s Fishing Trip     

A weekend of fishing ahead of them, Bob and Joe load their canoe with tackle, bait, tents and food coolers. They gently glide along the river with practiced strokes of their oars. After years of fishing trips together, their routine is down pat. They have several favorite spots for fishing and their campsite is a closely guarded secret between the two companions. The early morning mist breaks apart as the canoe bow slices through it. Their destination gradually appears in front of them, the island in the middle of the lake, covered by dense brush around its perimeter and to the untrained eye seemingly impenetrable. However, due to a chance discovery some fourteen years earlier it has become a perfect spot for the two friends to enjoy a weekend of fishing undisturbed.  Joe discovered the secret clearing when his fishing line suddenly snapped and he fell backwards into the river. While Bob tried to compose himself from laughing and row toward his friend, Joe had noticed a gap between two bushes. He crawled through to find a small clearing. It was the perfect sanctuary from their wives, who could never again surprise them with a visit.

With the camp set up, the coolers stored and a few cans of beer in the bottom of the canoe, the two men head out for the first fishing spot. As always, they ensured there were no tracks to the hideout before leaving. It isn’t long before Joe has a bite and he starts reeling in but a clonking sound on the hull signals his catch is obviously not a fish. Catching the line Bob hauls a slender glass bottle from the water. The light glistens on its blue green surface. Inside they see a roll of paper. With wordless mutual ascent Bob smashes the bottle on the gunwale and releases a brown paper roll. As he gradually unrolls the paper, a sudden gasp of wonder comes from both men. It is a treasure map, illustrating with a large X, their very own campsite.

Paddling swiftly back toward the island in excited anticipation they abandon the canoe on the bank behind a bush and race toward the marked spot. Grabbing the latrine shovel Joe digs furiously, throwing earth every which way. At the sound of a hollow thud, the friends look at each other. Falling onto their knees, they push the soil away before pulling a small wooden chest from the earth by its brass handles. A rusty lock is easily broken with the shovel and as the lid opens gold coins tumble out. Bob and Joe shout out in unison “We’re rich!”

The enormity of their find struck them later as they counted the coins. How could they spend gold coins without people getting suspicious? They talked throughout the night and hatched a plan. Bury the chest again and find a discrete dealer. Sea fishing trips in exotic locations were now in the future of the two happy fishermen.

fishermen

Why not share your story in the comments?

Genres of Literature – Superhero Fiction


superhero-text-effect

Superhero fiction originated in American comic books, although its popularity quickly expanded into other media through adaptations and original works.

It examines the adventures, personality and ethics of a costumed crime fighter, commonly known as a superhero, possessing superhuman powers, who has the desire or need to help the citizens of their chosen country or world by using their powers to defeat natural or super powered threats. They battle similarly powered criminals, referred to as super villains. The super heroes involve themselves (either intentionally or accidentally) with science fiction and fact, including advanced technologies, alien worlds, time travel, and inter-dimensional travel; but the standards of scientific plausibility are lower than with actual science fiction.

Superheroes sometimes combat other threats such as aliens, magical/fantasy entities, natural disasters, political ideologies such as Nazism or communism and godlike or demonic creatures. Super villains may not have actual physical, mystical, superhuman or super alien powers, but often possesses a genius intellect that allows them to draft complex schemes or create fantastic devices.

Both opposing characters have secret identities or alter egos, but for different reasons. The superhero hides their true identity from enemies and the public to protect those close to them from harm and to some extent problems that are not serious enough for them to become involved in. In contrast a super villain keeps their identity secret to conceal their crimes enabling them to act freely and illegally without risk of arrest.

Who is your favorite superhero?

Have you written a superhero story/novel? Care to share?

A good friend of mine wrote this superhero novel, which has a fantastic twist. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Powerless-J-McKnight/dp/1927510848

Powerless

 

 

 

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday


I wrote a response to this prompt a while ago and thought it was a good one to share. Why don’t you have a go?

 

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The scenery was exceptional, the breeze cooling our bodies as the summer sun beat down. An over growth path seemed the answer to finding a private place to picnic, away from the other hikers. Brushing aside the tall grasses and weeds, we found a larger track making our trek easier. A shape soon appeared ahead and as we approached it became apparent it was a vehicle. “A strange place to find a car!” “Let’s take a look, possibly dumped here.” The vehicle’s metal was sun bleached and rusted with saplings and weeds populating its interior as well as hugging its sides. The front of the vehicle smashed into a large boulder. “What is that?” “Oh my God, no that’s not a vehicle dump. Come back don’t touch anything. Those are skeletons in the front seats.”

Two hours later we are sitting on the cliff trail watching numerous police and emergency personnel talking, photographing and extracting the skeletons. A detective approaches us. “Sorry to keep you so long, we wanted to make sure we had all the details correct. From the impact injuries apparent on the rib cages and heads of the skeletons it was an accident. As to the identities we can only wait on the DNA results. We did find a message scratched on the console though. “May we ask what it said?” “I don’t think it will matter if you know. The message read – we have no hope, Bob can’t move and I am pinned in. Send love to Clara and Tom. Love Mum XX. “Oh how dreadful those poor souls.”