Through my work with my colleagues and students at The Writers’ Block, I feel as though I am entering a new creative phase. The opportunities to which I have access are helping me grow as a facilitator and also as a creative practitioner.
On Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending a workshop on landscape and character led by local writers Anna Murphy and Wyl Menmuir. This event was part of Ideas from the Attic 2, a KEAP project in association with Cultivator and Feast Cornwall. The exercises prompted writing in new ways and with new stimulus materials. There’s more to a postcard than a pretty picture, as Anna’s exercise demonstrated.
‘When I look at a postcard, I often wonder why the painter decided to pick that particular scene. Something happened before, and something will happen after that moment. That’s three act structure in its simplest form.’
We weren’t short of scenes to find stories in, and even had the opportunity to experiment with writing from the perspective of inanimate objects.
After a generative exercise which emphasised some of the more playful aspects of language, Wyl drew our attention back to the postcards and asked us to focus on something else which intrigued us. ‘Choose another object or perspective within the postcard…or if there’s another story that interests you, write that. That’s more important. Tell the story you want to tell.’
I scarcely expected to find myself writing a short piece about a character running a sand marathon, or for the rustling of a newspaper to spark my imagination in terms of a dog running through snow.
The Writers’ Block opens so many doors and provides myriad new opportunities. Our work is going from strength to strength, and through our being shortlisted in the People’s Projects Awards, we hope to reach even greater heights.
Written by Casey Bottono
Photo by Steve Tanner