I don’t know about you but I find the writing bit often starts with a very little idea. So one day I thought of the words: ‘There was something to his left’. Now I may not be the only fan of MR James in the world but whenever I write something spooky I think, would he have approved? Have I over-egged the horror? Should I hide it somewhere? Because that was what MR James did. Sneaking the fear up on you.
He was also the master of the spooky title. ‘Oh, whistle and I’ll come to you.’ You don’t get more sinister than that. That’s why those six words got to me: ‘There’s something to his left’. And that’s why I wrote a story based entirely on that line.
The other thing I find is that ideas come rarely and there’s an awful long way from the rush to get an idea on paper to a story I’m happy to share with the world. Half way along I’m all for giving up and putting my story in a drawer with all the rest.
And that’s what’s good for me personally about Create 50. People read my stories. They sometimes tell me they like them and (hopefully) tell me when I’ve got it wrong. I know, there are Writer’s Groups and Writing Schools and all the rest but sometimes it’s more rewarding when it’s someone out of the blue who reads your story and likes it.
And then, of course, there’s the satisfaction at getting picked for Twisted Evil Little Sister, of knowing a story has hit the nail.
It’s given me a spur to go back to other stories and rework them for Twisted 2. And perhaps it’s why, even as we speak, I am sat at my computer typing this and occasionally glancing up at my shelves of book, where my copy of MR James’ Collected Stories sits, coyly looking back at me, drawing me on, somewhere to my left.
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