Friday, 7 September 2012
"Write About What You Know..."
Writers are always told, at the outset of their literary careers, to "write what you know". That way, you're not going to get out of your depth. That's good advice, as far as it goes. I couldn't write a sci-fi novel that relied on a thorough knowledge of advanced rocket science. But I can write about sex, because I have a little experience in that field (over forty years) and, more importantly, I enjoy it.
But today I want to deal with writing about who you know (or, more properly, whom you know). Let's discuss some of my stories.
Waterlines (the original unnumbered publication)
Pictures of Janet
I was on that army course with Janet, many years ago, and I watched the soldier getting turned on as he was taking pictures of her, posing with her legs spread to show off her underwear. They went off one afternoon to the woods together - with his camera - and we never got to hear what happened. That's the true part of the story; the rest is my guess.... But one thing honestly did happen at the end: the real Janet seduced an army chaplain (no kidding!) and was thrown out of the army soon after.
A Train Ride With Lorna.
I got this story from one of the other guys who happened to be travelling with the lucky pair - he was married to a friend of mine. The fantasy part of my story takes over when the couple leave the compartment to look for a bed together. The first part of the story really happened.
...And I'll Show You Mine
The names have been changed to protect the innocent; the girl in this story got drunk with me one evening and opened her mouth a little too much. She was born Jewish, and had only slept with three guys - none of whom had been circumcised. When she found one guy who revealed that he'd been circumcised, she got curious and made him an offer he couldn't refuse. The rest is my fantasy.
Fun At The Bank
When I worked at a bank, I overheard a conversation between a couple over lunch in the staff room; they'd only just met. He wanted it, and she wanted it. My story takes over from that point, suggesting what might have happened.
An Accommodating Landlady
This story was created from something I read in the local newspaper; how a landlady seduced her new lodger. It really did take place in Oxfordshire, but I leave it to you to conjecture what else was fact, rather than fiction. I don't want to risk getting sued.
Away From Home
I knew the leading lady in this story very well: she worked in the office next door to mine. She was larger than life, was good at her job, but... oh, the adventures she had (some of which were corroborated by others). She was totally obsessed with sex (sadly, her husband wasn't). I met her in the street, some fifteen years after I left the department... and she will still surrounded by men.
There'll be more commentaries next time about some of the other titles in this series.