Use it to write.

Cam and I broke up. It was amicable and necessary, but still, there is sadness for the devastated hopes we had orginally. We just weren’t being productive together. At least it’s warm at Nan’s, my fingers are no longer numb and I’m writing and playing violin again.

Been avoiding my manuscript as I didn’t want to write loads before meeting Hellie Ogden next week because there’s a chance she may advise me to remove particular threads, but I was worried about losing Kai’s mentality and his world. Spoke to Henry who made the brilliant suggestion of keeping a protagonist journal so, although Kai would never choose to write, I’ve started one which is more, capturing his thoughts on the page.

Now I’m right back in Kai’s head. Perfect 🙂

Also, I’ve been hanging out in places he would, not the shitty local club, the countryside: Stanton Drew stone circle, Deer Leap, Holcombe woods and I’ve been, what I call, free writing. Really, it’s making observations so that I can strengthen the scenes when he’s in Middledown woods, the meadow, and at the Grey Tower. The best thing about it is that Is has been coming with me and because my little brother is so non-judgemental I can read out the first draft sentences and he’ll make poetic suggestions or improve the imagery and it sounds much better. Is has the prettiest eyes with heavy, triangular eyebrows, but they’re so dark at the moment because he’s stopped smiling. Makes me think of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. I try to make him laugh by acting silly.

Alternative methods for working on the manuscript indirectly have been:

  • Go to places.
  • Read good authors (just started The Remains of the Day. Had the impression it was a must for working-class readers – interesting that Ishiguro, the writer, had a very privileged background. Guess that’s the thing about being a writer, we can write anyone. Interesting that I’ve not heard anyone question appropriation around him like they have with other authors).
  • Steal actual dialogue.
  • Watch YouTube videos.
  • Exaggerate, embellish and rewrite (fictionalise) memories and experiences; mine and people close by.


Maybe. But I want to be honest. My manuscript is an amalgamation of many lives and truths because I want it to be alive and to be as real as the tragedies that inspired it when, in the first instance, the manuscript was just a bud with a single raindrop glistening from an outer petal.

The sadness of our break-up will be used for writing. I take the ache of missing Cam’s company and the disintegration of our idealised dreams and reshape it to use in the manuscript.

I heard Heartaches, by Elmo Tanner, a song from the 30s the other day. It was perfect; both happy and sad. We know we’ll be happier as friends and what better thing in the world is there than a true and honest friend? They last lifetimes. Even Kai agrees with me.

9 thoughts on “Use it to write.

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  1. I agree about realism, but I think realism doesn’t have to be overall material. Dragons can be simply a part of the characters’ thoughts and dreams, for instance. Or, in one crucial place of Jane Eyre Brontë simple gives an illustration of the situation — a para long — having switched the gender of the main narrator! ( , after “Hear an illustration, reader.” ). But I think realistic stuff might be more extraordinary than fantasy.

    In my view, you need fantasy if you want to talk about real life but also about moral issues (that’s why I think Lord of the Rings isn’t good, because it creats it’s own world instead; they all create their own worlds , but LOR’ world doesn’t point out at ours, it’s not about our life, unlike Game of Thrones), very close to proselytising, so in order NOT to cross the border and stay in fiction and not in sermon you need fantasy genre.


  2. Sorry to hear about the breakup. I think some people are destined to go with us a shorter distance than we expect, no matter how much we love them.

    Reconnaissance is a good thing I believe, I do it all the time.

    Diaries I think is a great thing, my whole novel is diaries.

    Honesty is crucial. It’s a tricky thing for me still- to separate creative implying from creative lying.


    1. Don’t get me wrong, Alex, if I could, I’d write fantasy, but I seem to have a knack for realism. It’s a burden at times, right?

      And yes, I was listening to a radio programme about Audre Lorde and hearing about her relationships made me feel better. The idea of ‘The One’ is the biggest fantasy, or fallacy, around. Or maybe I’m just feeling cynical post break-up!


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