Selected text from the novel 'Mayflies' by Jan Moran Neil
Keeping the Police out of the Study
Kick Start Your Writing Brain – Firing The Mind
- Write what you can see from your window – but you cannot use the letter ‘e’. That lovely little letter is verboten! (Watch the directions your mind goes in when it must wear this restrictive corset. Restrictions can create possibilities)
- Find how many words you can make out of the words ‘CREATIVITY’ and then write a poem.
- Imagine you have lost one of your senses. Write about it (and don’t forget the sense of Taste).
- A woman comes out of a cemetery with a bunch of flowers. Why?
- Whichever day of the week it is, write about what that day has meant to you and/or what it means now. Double maths or wash day? Hockey or half day closing? Golf or pay day? Try to find some contrasts.
- Choose any concrete or abstract noun at random eg lemons, (concrete as you can touch it) or sorrow (because you can’t), then visit istockphotos. Punch in your word and see the images which come up. Choose one image that catches your eye and write. (Who knows? That image could become the cover of your next best seller.)
- Go for a brisk walk. Choose seven objects you see and come back to the laptop and try to connect them in a piece of writing, If weather or your health is not permitting, then choose seven objects from the room you are writing in.
- Write only in clichés. You could try a dialogue between two people. (This one’s more fun than you think. Do it when you need a dash of humour.)
This morning write a didactic cinquain.
The Next Ten Exercises
Arthur Miller wrote the theme of his play at the top of every A4 typescript page. It was a constant reminder of what he was writing about. The theme is the purpose of your words. Why are you writing this oeuvre? What do you want to say? Whose thinking and what thinking are you trying to change?
A leading High Court judge is faced with making both a private and a public decision. It’s a perfect juxtaposition. Does this fifty nine year old wife end her marriage to a faithless husband of thirty years? That’s, unfortunately, not an unusual dilemma. But at the same time the woman has to make the extraordinary decision. Does she allow a young seventeen year old to refuse medical treatment for his own religious reasons or force a life giving blood transfusion on him?
The decisions run concurrently but for Adam, the young seventeen year old, time is running out. One also has a feeling that time is running out for Fiona Maye. There’s a powerful twist but it made me consider the bleak fact that at some time in our lives most of us are forced into making life changing decisions for not only ourselves but for others. The novel’s a close analysis of our private and public personae.
There’s also a moment of a madness …