Thursday, 13 December 2007

I Can Use That

(or: If you can't write what you know, write what you imagine)

Ever since I decided to try my hand at this fiction writing malarkey, I've found myself using a particular phrase more and more. Sometimes even out loud. It's the phrase "I can use that".


Walking through the lava fields on the island of Lanzarote, I was taking the time to tread carefully. The rocks have eerie, twisted formations and are razor sharp in places. I imagined what it would be like in a time when the rocks were softer and still forming. The heat must have been tremendous. A walker in that time would also have to be very careful. Not to avoid getting cut, but to avoid breaking the thin crust and plunging into the molten lava below. I can use that, I thought.

A bike ride to one of Lanzarote's few sandy beaches - most of them are rocky - also involved a very pleasant swim in the warm surf. It was here that I experienced the occasional annoyance of getting the salty water in my eyes, nose and mouth. I imagined what it would be like in the days when the volcanoes were still active. A swimmer would have additional problems of scalding water, made acidic by the sulphurous gases bubbling up from below. I can use that, I thought.

These imagined challenges are exactly what a time-travelling adventurer might face when exploring pre-historic Earth. I have used that in The Wild One's Hideout.


Some time ago when I was ill with a stomach bug for a couple of days, I found myself using that phrase. In fact, I did use the experience in The Bridge Across Forever, where a number of the characters suffer various illnesses.

Bitten by the Bug

so what does all this mean? I think it means that I can't stop thinking about my writing, no matter what I do and what happens to me. I hope this is a good thing. Now, some of my writing calls for romantic parts. Perhaps one day I'll be able to say: I can use that, but until then I'm making do with reading about it (sound of sad, slow violins). I've put my pre-xmas order in for some chick-lit novels, but in the mean time I'm open to advice about how to write realistic romance.


Annieye said...

Hi Kev

Love your Lanzarote observations. Very descriptive.

Writing romance: I don't really know. I've been married for many years to a bloke with the romantic inclinations of a gnat!

What I do know though, is that shared laughter over a private joke, or a cheeky wink from the other end of a crowded room always did do more for me than hearts, flowers and cheesy romantic candlelit dinners.

Also looks, to me, are completely unimportant. They always were - even when I was a teenager. Most important to me was a cheerful personality, nice eyes and strong arms. Even after all these years, my husband still makes me laugh every single day. When he says "you sit down, I'll get the tea" and makes me a cuppa when I come home after a busy day at work it means ten times as much to me as a bunch of flowers.

Expensive presents don't do it for me either. Rob often makes me things I need, or mends things for me. He'll sometimes buy me a bag of big juicy sweet Jaffa oranges because he knows I won't eat an orange unless it's a sweet Jaffa.

He does things like put a big fluffy towel on the radiator for me before I have a bath. Or, if I've got cold feet he lets me put them under his jumper to warm them up.

He actually prefers me without make up - I never have to make an effort for Rob. I never have had to.

Hope this helps. But it's just me and I don't think I'm typical of my gender for one minute!

Fiona said...

Humour is a definite for me too but I used to get attracted to the 'wrong types' when I was a teenager. Leather jackets, motor bikes, tattoos...

I will have a good think about this - this means it's too late or/and I've had a couple of glasses of falling down water - then i'll get back to you.

Fiona said...
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