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Sunday, 30 August 2015

Drop it in the the mail

I woke up to an email on Sunday from West Cumbria Writers, not all of them obviuosly, but one of their number and after reading the mail over a mug of Yorkshire Tea chased up the website and the blog. I recommend you have a look for yourself.

An interesting collection of short stories for adults by Susan Brice is featured on her website  www.lakestay.co.uk, under the title, Returning Back & Other Short Stories. The brief introduction mentions a few of the topics covered in the book, and one title particularly set me thinking, Is your wardrobe watching you? The idea of a shifted perspective. The header for cheekyseagull.co.uk came to mind.

The picture is a panoramic of South Bay Scarborough, but the way the camera has caught the multiple images and laid them alongside each other makes the outer edges of the bay appear to be closing in on each other. The image became metaphorical, seeing the world through the eyes of a writer is about changing perception.

The universe we create when our characters come to life may superficially resemble the reality we live in, but there are shifts in our perception we aim to desccribe in the stories.
The closing arms of the bay in the photograph are like the writer wrapping up the story, but the picture won't stretch that far, and so, for some of us there are threads, loose ends hanging from the edge of the literaray tapestry we weave.

The picture is complete, but...

There is always "But"

What are the boundaries for the writer, are we the all seeing all knowing, or do we share the perspective of our characters? Whose side are we on, does identifying with one character, or one set of characters mean we are unaware of elements on the other side.

Of course, the panorama metaphor is useful. What is in front of us we can see, laid out and visible and we are aware of what is behind us, but the image is hidden, so we fill in the gaps, we imagine!
It is possible to bend the photograph, and put ourselves in the middle, totally surrounded by the image in a seemingly enclosed world, but we can't see beyond that surface, and writing involves looking beyond the surface.

It's behind you - a much loved cliche from the world of pantomime, the hero arrives on stage to cheers and the villain sneaks up to sieze the moment, and the chorus in the stalls gives up the call!
The section of the panorama we know lies behind the viewer is part of the picture, and there's the crunch. What we imagine about the parts of our writing world we can't see helps the part we see clearly be more real!

How real is your world today?

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