Today’s writing prompt is a really tough one but, never one to back away from a challenge, here is my attempt to describe the weather with a single sense – touch.
The wind grasped rough handfuls of my hair, as if tugging me back towards the house in warning. Don’t go out in this, it seemed to say, you are not yet strong enough. The rain too pushed me back, pasting my thin layer of clothing against my icy skin. I felt rigid, clammy, as my frail shape fought against the elements. I had to know, though. I had to find out what was at the far end of the field.
This was a really interesting exercise and something I will definitely be taking on board when I sit down to write my book – using different senses helps to avoid cliché and you end up with something a little different to what you’d initially planned.
For years now, I’ve wanted to write a supernatural detective story that is a sort of combination between Simon R Green’s ‘Nightside’ series and early seasons of Buffy. I’m aiming to have two post-uni girls as my main characters, with the cheesy kind of relationship that Dirk Pitt (Matthew McConaughey) and Al Giordino (Steve Zahn) have in the 2005 film ‘Sahara’. In essence, I want lots of angst, lots of romance issues and lots of Zombie mayhem…
… only, it’s not really turning out the way I want it to. I don’t know whether it’s the fact that I’m not involved in any particularly relatable angst at presence, or whether it’s because I haven’t played House of the Dead in far too long, but somehow what I’m writing seems to be more akin to that dreadful chick lit pulp that’s presented in glittery pink covers than it is to unrealistic zombie massacre.
Mostly, I love it when characters turn out to have a life of their own – it’s one of the more interesting aspects of writing. I’ll never forget my excitement when I realised that two of my characters had fallen desperately in love without my prior knowledge . It was almost as good as the surprise I got when one member of this happy union died unexpectedly. I know how pretentious all that sounds, but it’s true nevertheless – while I do plan key plot points of my work, the vast majority just sort of spills out through the keyboard.
Right now though, I’m really hacked off with my subconscious at coming up with nonsense I’d actively avoid in a bookshop. I know I said I wanted romance, but I don’t really want my prologue to incorporate a break up, declarations of undying love and something so lame it could only ever have been conceived by a ‘Neighbours’ script writer. As a result, I have scrapped my opening chapters and will attempt to start again. After some distinctly non-lovey music. Spineshank here I come.