Has it happened to you yet? You return to a book or film you've loved for years only to find yourself siding with the grown ups rather than the young protagonist? I'm at a crossover stage (part of me hopes that yes, at a push I could still carry the watermelon). Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan was one of the books that turned me on to writing. Written at the age of eighteen, its pages were dazzling to a pre-teen in Devon - full of sensuality, freedom and sophistication. I wanted to be Cecile - lounging around a villa in the south of France or meeting a golden boy for trysts on sail boats and in scented pine forests. I've read it many times over the years - I love Sagan. A funny thing happened the last time - I started siding with Anne, the older woman.
Youthful passion is a great source for your writing. Did anyone take yesterday's prompt and find themselves a notebook? Perhaps by now you are considering your subject - what you would like to write about. Today, why not have a think about how you would like to write - will you fictionalise your subject into a short story or novel? Or are you writing a factual book or article, or an auto/biography? Even if at the moment it just feels like you are noodling - don't worry. Soon all the observations, notes and overheard sentences start to coalesce into something. In England the poster boys of British Journalism A A Gill and Jeremy Clarkson were recently discussing plundering life for work - JC said nothing is wasted.
At Cecile's age I was dating a boy primarily because he bore a striking resemblence to Rupert Everett in 'Another Country'. Needless to say the relationship didn't last, but the still divine Rupert was on TV last night treading in the steps of Sir Richard Burton in India. Burton translated 'The Kama Sutra' and 'The Perfumed Garden' - he pretty much set the benchmark for sensuality, and last night's programme was fascinating - full of gorgeous colour and architecture. Engage the senses in your work and it comes alive.
TODAY'S PROMPT: If your children are old enough to run around a playground, offer to time them doing an obstacle course of swing, slide, climbing frame. I discovered years ago that they love this - will happily run round and round again trying to beat their best time. Notebook in hand this buys you up to a minute of writing time each go round. As you walk to the playground, or the back garden, think about what and how you want to write. Start to think about who is narrating your story - is it you, or a character? Think about where you are in the story. Think about the senses - what can you/they see, hear, smell, touch, taste. Engage your reader - seduce them through their senses. Even if you are still noodling around your story, as your children have a good run around note down what you can see, hear, smell, feel, taste. At the very least it is a great way to ground you in the moment and really make you appreciate it, and who knows when those notes may come in handy later.