At the End

When not trying to dream up characters or plots or similar fictional devices (and when not being silly on Facebook or elsewhere) I sometimes try my hand at a bit of poetry.  Although it is often maligned for being “up its own bottom” or “arty-farty” (particularly when it comes to modern blank-verse forms) and there can be a fair bit of unwelcome snobbery associated with poets and poetry, there is something very pleasing and human …

Dinner Date

Authors, critics and experts on writing have identified various models for the creation of characters. One particular model offers four ways to create a character: purely from the imagination (the “ideal” character); by the author basing the character on themselves; by the author basing the character on someone they know (or have observed); or by a mixture of the above three methods.  The purpose of this short piece is to introduce a new character who …

Night Cafe

This very short piece was an exercise in starting a new story completely from scratch.  The idea for this one came from a dream I had. I had never been in the café before. I’d noticed it often enough when visiting the city in the past and I had liked its old-fashioned look and feel – the linoleum floor, the Formica-topped tables, all decorated in bright colours or simple patterns. It could have been there …

We need to talk about Kevin

Please be aware that this short excerpt contains swearing and violence from the outset. This short scene is intended to introduce a stereotypical character who turns out to be more complex than you might first think. “For fuck’s sake ref! Are you fucking blind? It was a fucking dive you bastard cunt!” Kevin’s hoarse scream mingled with the other voices from the home stand. Less than two minutes of play left and it was to …

Palmyra

This is a short character piece, inspired by something heard on the radio.  It is slightly longer than originally intended. “A United Nations representative has today confirmed that Islamic State forces appear to have destroyed the Temple of Bel and other major sites in the ancient city of Palmyra. Satellite images show signifi…” Richard reached over the desk and turned off his radio. He usually listened to the one o’clock news while working, but it …