30 days of Creative Writing: Day 6 & 7

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and all you other creatures.

I’m feeling less like death warmed up today, and am ready to get back on schedule. Let’s start with the creative writing course. Later I’ll post my review of Curtsies & Conspiracies.

Day 6

Yesterday’s exercise was a three parter. I certainly wouldn’t have managed it the way I felt yesterday. The exercise is about creating characters. In the first part the author instructs the reader to devise two names from their own. One name has to be female, and the other male.

I came up with Janet ‘Jay’ Marwell and Wellington Walk (pronounced W-au-lk).

The second part is an interview, asking both creations the same questions to ascertain something more about the characters the names are attached to.

It’d be so much easier to show you all if I were writing this on my laptop, but it’s died so I’m tapping this whole thing out in my phone.

Most treasured possession
JM: Oh, that’s a hard one. I have do many valuable things. You see this ring, that’s a whole caret that diamond. I could sell some of my things if I get really desperate, I suppose. There’s one I would never sell though; my grandma’s little emerald engagement ring. It’s not worth much anyway. She wore it for eighty years, you know.
WW: My Bentley. I’ve worked hard for years to earn that car, and I’m not giving it up just to make people happy.

Favourite journey
The trip to Greece for our honeymoon. Train all the way, stopping in all the cities; Welly spoilt me terribly. Last generous act my ex-husband ever did.
The Friday commute back from Westminster to my humble residence in Bedfordshire.

When & where were you happiest
Before I married Welly. I had my own place, my own friends and a good job. I gave them all up to make him happy, and where did it get me?
Oh hard choice. I’m very happy now of course, but university was also an excellent period in my life. Did you go to university? No, I suppose you didn’t, you don’t have the air of a graduate.

When did you last cry
I do not cry

Greatest extravagance
My what? Oh, no, I’m never extravagant. I buy quality.
Oh, no, no, I try to avoid extravagance of any kind in these straightened times. After all, we must tighten our belts and pull together to get through this recession. My party’s policies on the current economic crisis…oh, I see, you’re not interested. That’s unfortunate. Well, my personal greatest extravagance must have been five years ago, I took my then wife on an extended tour of the Continent, an educational grand tour you might say. Unfortunately the silly woman was only interested in sparkly toys. There’s a reason people call her Jay you know.

Greatest regret
Not getting a better solicitor during my divorce.
I should never have married Janet, she tried to ruin everything I’ve worked hard to attain.

If you were in a bar what drink would you order.
I don’t go to bars; I used to, all the time. That’s how I met my ex. These days I prefer to stay in with a vodka and coke, and read.
I only drink in the members bar in the House. They serve an excellent malt whiskey. I won’t bore you with details I’m sure you won’t understand.

Trait you mist deplore in yourself
I’m not very clever, or confident.
I’m far too trusting and generous.

Trait you most deplore in others
Selfishness and cruelty. So, I don’t mean to blubb all over you.
Arrogance. I can’t stand people who assume a superiority they

don’t deserve.

Most overused words or phrases
I don’t know.
I never over use any word or phrase. I consider it laziness.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be
My hair, it’s boring. I hate being boring, don’t you?
Nothing, I’m quite content with myself as I am. I wouldn’t mind a cabinet post though.

One thing you wouldn’t want others to find out.
Now, that’s a secret isn’t it?
I have no secrets; are you suggesting that I have?

The third part of this exercise is to write a conflict scene between the two characters. The instructions are to choose the character that I like the most and have then ask the second character to do something out-and-out wrong; persuasion is necessary.

I struggled with this a bit because I don’t particularly like either character. So I wrote a scene with a different type of conflict. Here’s my attempt.

“Janet, Janet, I know you’re in, you always ate, so answer the damned phone.”
Jay trembled at the sound if Welly’s anger, clear even on the answering machine. She’d missed another of his phonecalls. It must be urgent, only a month ago he’d declared that he never wanted to speak to her again. She couldn’t ring him back, no contact was part of the divorce agreement.

He’d ring back. If it was important he’d ring back.

Janet paced in front of the phone, taking her coat and shoes off while she waited for the phone to ring. Eventually she decided to do something else, something to distract herself from what, she had no doubt, would be an unpleasant conversation.


There’s more, but this tap, tap on my phone is wearing my fingers away. I still have the next exercise to tell you about.

Day 7 Use a name from the list written for day 1 and use it to write an acrostic.

I actually used one of my nicknames that wasn’t on the list. Only a very few people have ever called me it.

The only other name I ever took
Reaching back into childhood;
Ordinary I suppose but
Unexpected from the bibliophile
Laughing, incorrigible child.
Everything changes but that.

My poetry is terrible, but I have to try. And now I’ve spent all morning writing it’s time to eat and go outside. At least the Sun’s shining now.




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