100 Days of Writing: Days 93-96

With only four days to go out #100daysofwriting I want to carry on, I haven’t decided on the hashtag yet but need to come up with another one on day 101. You can find my final decision on my Facebook Page. Until then, enjoy all my ramblings up to day 96.

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Day 93 of #100daysofwriting and it’s Christmas Day, I am grabbing five minutes here, five minutes there to get on with scribbling editing notes around Mausu story, one of the women in the story is revealed, she steps forward from the group and in her vanity we see the truth of the settlement and the role of the women. Another society controlled by men, even though they are the minority. All society is controlled by minorities, be it down to the colour of their skin, the god they pray to or the amount they have to spend. Power corrupts only the few.

Therein lies something I stated yesterday, about trusting the reader, you see if I had told a tale with all that as the subtext you as the reader would think all I said above. I wouldn’t have to say, power corrupts all! I wouldn’t have to say it like Dickens clumsily does after the death of Little Nell, here we see the enduring loss of humanity and suffering but Dickens steps in and makes damn sure that we understand this. It deadens the moment.

It is often hard as a writer not to step in to a story, a story in which you know houses what is really making you angry in the world, but the moment you do that it ceases to be a story and becomes a viewpoint. I have written plenty of those over the years for different magazines from being disabled to the problems with competitions. If something annoys me, I can write about it.

Yet. often a writer will assume the reader wants to hear this, because surely if we think some politicians are dickheads, you do to, but you know that, so why tell you something you know when all you want is a good story that may give you insight into who you are?

Stories have the power to make people better. Stories have the power to stop politicians in their tracks and make them consider how they can make the world a better place. One of the greatest stories we have gave birth to this holiday season. We all know how it runs, the barn, the virgin, the wise men, the shepherds, an angel, a donkey, star etc etc but at no point in that story does it say, be good to each other, be kind, find it in your heart to keep this all the year round. No, Dickens did that, and boy do we like retelling that story even if we never live up to it, and our own truth becomes discarded like an abandoned library.

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Day 94 of #100daysofwriting and even though Boxing Day is normally a day to relax after the festivities and food, I find myself unable to get to my computer until evening. I find myself drawn to editing the Mausu story and the section with flying fish, I push forward and finish the editing for the eight draft, it will go off tonight to be read and appraised, and tomorrow I will move into my third draft of my Bodmin Moor story.
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Day 95 of #100daysofwriting and it is difficult to commit to writing every day at this time of year. Ray Bradbury spoke about the desire to write everyday, the drive to just sit down and let the stories out, and I am with him on that one but I am sure Ray found it difficult around the holidays. I want to join in, and know these moments are precious, but if I run out of time, and I fail to tell the stories, then I have failed myself. There is something of the selfish in writers, you must have some sense of the ego, or else why would you lock yourself away? You must know that this story must be told. I have never professed, like some, to be a great writer, I let the work stand for itself, criticism and all but I cannot turn my back on the stories for one day without becoming cranky.
 
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Day 96 of #100daysofwriting and I doubt I will finish this story within the 100 days because of the need to get in a pattern of speech which makes me think of Riddley Walker and how Russell Hoban couldn’t spell for a year afterwards without reaching for a dictionary because Riddley had flummoxed him. See, it’s started. I wudden mind…see, how easy it is to slip into other way of spelling and dialect but it’s important for this story because my character wouldn’t be well spoken, not even middle class and writing redrafting the paragraphs below took three hours and getting my wife to look at them, arguing about whether scat or scruff was the right kind of fight and whether I should keep the word home or opt for dijey, which would confuse some readers and really means more than home. Anyway, several hours, several heated conversations and maybe a scat or a scruff, and no loffs, we have two paragraphs in the narrator’s voice. They’re still rough but getting there. Why write in dialect, you ask? Because the voice says so, we are in a future without public heath or public schools, seriously, when the NHS falls what do think those buggers will go after next? They’re already privatising it by the back door.

Grandad reminds me it’s five hours to traipse down to Bodmin, that’ll it be a proper disaster. I’s be tired before De Lank, he sayst, won’t I? I tells him if we scoot east we avoid having a scruff at the fabs at Sladesbridge. Hang on a minute, sayst Grandad, you know some silt kids will catch on when the road’s empty, they’ll go off cat hunting and we bis the cats strung up a tree. He’s proper wrong cos most of the fabs are empty nowadays, just sand and bones there, you have to be a chuckle-head to call that home. Grandad sayst allish get moved to Bideford, too pale and wasty for the water men to tend. When you’re allish that’s the last your seen of or hear of, and no bugger goes to Bideford, not with the army there. They’ll be berryin youm sayst Grandad. It’s hot in the yard, and Grandad shuffles further into the shade and whistles for the wind, nawthen happens. We hears feet approaching and Grandad sayst, here comes the eyable buggers. He’s having me on a line about the water men, Jones, Brown and Smith.

Water men always travel in threes and they always has weapons; not guns, well that’s not a’zackley right, only proper bastards have guns at a scruff. A scruff ain’t a scruff when there’s guns involved, that’s a slump bastard that’s out for a killing, and no one comes back from those. These cat-in-pans prefer socks full of washers or old pennies. Better pennies in a sock than a gun, at least with a sock you got somewhere to stick your cock when it gets cold and you wudden do that with a shotgun. Water men control the ground water, make sure none of us are a cheating the government but most water men are on the take, they’d steal cream off a skilly cow. Jones thinks he’s funny, he’s always hanging out a line for us when he does his big talks in the yard, looks like he’s going to do one today by the way he vamping about. Brown and Smith allis loff at his jokes as the rest of us stand there looking zad. We’re taken on the hop each time they cut our ration, and Jones says things like, ‘Tough shit’ and starts gadding about like he’s name-up on a big stage down at Tor Marsh with everyone having a loff. He’s no Cary Grant, sayst Grandad. We allis loff when we think that and look at Jones, cos is we don’t loff it could turn ugly.

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