Monday, September 28, 2009

Elf Visitors

The emails have been zipping back and forth over the last week, resulting in some pleasing progress with All-Australian Scenes From The Second Storey. Amanda and I have been editing our respective socks off and we now have six of the thirteen stories wrapped up, with a couple more teetering on the brink of completion. Hurrah!

One of the things we've been asking our writers to do (on top of the usual author's biography) is to pen a short paragraph about how their stories took shape. What inspired them in the particular songs they were given? Did their ideas leap fully formed into their heads after a single listen, or did they have to percolate over several weeks? And while I was reading through a couple of these afterwords, the penny suddenly dropped: I'll have to write one of my own for the story I have in the Scenes International Edition.

Now I'm not very good at things like remembering where I get my ideas from. One thing I'm certain of, it wasn't from the song lyrics (the tune I was allocated, as you may recall, was an instrumental). So I've sat and I've thought about it, and so far I've come up entirely blank. If I could find the notebook I was using at the time, that might help, but I really can't recall very much about writing the story itself ...

So I've decided I'm going for "I left an iPod, a pen and some pieces of paper on the desk when I went to bed, and when I woke up some elves had done it all for me". It's worked for other people.

Meanwhile, the Australian Horror Writers' Association Critique Group (of which I am a member) is fast approaching its first birthday and Horrorscope has reported briefly on its successes so far. As an experiment, the group appears to have worked very well indeed, so much so that plans are afoot to form a second writers' cabal to run alongside this one. Check out the article for details on how to apply if you're a member of the AHWA and you want like-minded people to pull your stories to pieces (and then put them back together better than they were to begin with). Because we don't all have elves to do our heavy lifting ...