Saturday, 16 March 2019

On being forced to write

I spent this morning with a group of fellow 3P Publishing authors. We got together to compare notes on overcoming writer's block, what we're reading and writing at the moment, and to have a good old natter about words. It was a very useful way to pass a couple of hours.

Andy, who facilitated the session, gave us an exercise to get our brains working. He gave us three words - suicide, prostitute, Brexit - and asked us to write a  sentence that included one of those words. I wrote:

I'm not a prostitute, it's just the way the light plays on my cleavage.'

Then we had to pass that sentence to the person on our right, so we each had a new sentence to develop into a paragraph or two. I was given:

Brexit drives one to consider suicide.

I continued as follows:

Doris, though, thought she'd rather someone else took responsibility. So she put on her best hat, bought a National Express ticket to London, put a small pistol in her handbag and set off. Quite what she expected to achieve wasn't clear, but someone had to pay and she didn't think it should be her.

It was surprisingly easy to get into the House of Commons. Playing the role of the dizzy old lady, she charmed her way past the security guard and into the lobby, then set off in search of her first quarry. She found the office of Septimus Nobworthy (Con), knocked on the door and walked in without waiting for permission.

He looked up in annoyance at the interruption: 'Who the hell are you?' Then he saw the gun in Doris's hand. 'Look, if this is about that shares business...'

'No,' she said. 'This is about Brexit. It's time to settle up.'

Now, I'm not saying this is a great piece of work, but given that we had no warning and about five minutes to write, I don't think it's too bad. The point is that sometimes you just need a little push to get started.


  1. Great exercise, Julia and I liked what you ended up with! I agree, it's amazing sometimes what you can create, when you're 'forced' to. Might 'borrow' this exercise (or a version of it - might change the words), for my class next week. So thanks for sharing!

  2. What a fun exercise! Your prostitute sentence made me chuckle.:-)

    I had writing group today, too. We had to write something with St Patrick's Day in it. I wrote a short scene about a teenager walking in on her parents having intercourse.

    1. Well, Priscilla, that's certainly thinking laterally! Thanks for taking the time to comment.