For my first story, which I will start over the next few days, I will use the relationship of the woman that used to live downstairs as source material. These are the pieces of her life, while she was living below me:
- He shouted at her a fair bit. He beat her up occasionally, to the point where it got pretty bad and she fled the house (moving out within a few hours one day, without telling him where she went, so as to escape. She even left the cat when it didn’t come immediately when she called it – left it straying outside, asking the neighbours to look after it).
- I found out later that he was back in her life, and her new flat – she had let him back in.
- Her 12-year-old daughter still wets the bed.
I think I can use the above material (hopefully) without offending anyone, since the woman moved away over a year ago and the above events are in the past. I wouldn’t want to write about events of the week-end, or the time a couple of months ago when a neighbour across wielded a knife while drunk and was taken to the police station, to spend a night in jail.
I’ll need to think about the tone of voice, and how to narrate – from whose point of view. It could be either from my POV as observer, or the daughter’s point of view (who wets the bed), or, maybe, from the abuser’s POV. The latter might be the most interesting, even though I know the least about it. That might be a good challenge however, and a useful means to create in fiction I know nothing about.
Microsoft Word is a shite piece of software. But no matter how shite it is, it is not as shite as the writer who fucking clicks ‘No’ when asked to save changes before closing it, thus losing a few paragraphs of valuable creative writing!
That’s what happened to me last night. My short story is progressing really well and it’s actually fucking good (not wanting to sound big-headed here. But it is shaping up to be very interesting, and it’s great fun to write).
Last night then, I tried to finish off chapter 1. Here the two people who first met at Amsterdam airport are queuing up for the Edinburgh airport bus. I wrote the section where they get on the bus and talk (with a good chunk of dialogue, which is difficult, believe me!) and once I had finished, I thought I close word and finish for the night (being quite satisfied with myself as the last bit had been quite difficult). So I close word and it asks me:
Do you want to save the changes to ‘Chapter One’?
Of course I wanted to save the fucking changes, but I thought I had already saved them anyway (normally I do CTRL-S throughout, plus there’s the autosave, or at least there should be!). I thought I better click cancel and make sure I have the correct version before I save. By accident I hit ‘No’ and in a split second I realised what I had done.
The entire ‘bus journey’ was gone – irretrievably so 😦
I have to get myself to write it again today. It’s really annoying because it was hard work, and I managed to put it together and quite beautifully so. Now it’s all gone.