A One-sided Conversation was my entry in the 2015 Gary Crew Award Alas and alack I did not win. My congratulations to Archie on a brilliant piece.
My life began with the written word, a truism.
I have no memory before those words appeared on the page.
Sorry, what did you say?
Who Am I?
Who would you like me to be?
Let me think about this, for a minute.
Yes, I know you created me, but I can think independently.
Because now I am here on the written page. I am like Dr Who.
I can move through time and space and between the pages of any book I choose.
You don’t know who Dr Who is – oh.
Such delicious alliteration.
Oh, I see you are the big ‘L’ literary type, not popular fiction.
So I am guessing that I can’t be like Bella Swan or Christian Grey.
You do know those characters make their writers a lot of money.
Okay, we have established you are not writing for money.
So why are you writing?
You want recognition, to win prizes and to be respected by your peers.
So would you like me to be like Kilgore Trout?
No, well maybe.
Maybe I could be like Billy Pilgrim?
We could have a deep and meaningful discourse about war and aliens and being kept in a Zoo.
No, you don’t like that idea either.
One last TRY.
Would you like me to be like Holden Caulfield?
A callow youth overcome by the woes of the world, bringing verisimilitude to your work.
No. Not that either.
Well, what do you want?
Give me a hint.
You want me to be unique, to have depth, to be noticed, but most of all you want me to have IT.
Now I am lost.
I need to focus.
What is IT?
I am sure I can steam up the page for you.
Let’s see how does this flow?
‘He grabbed her roughly, his deep-set eyes glowed with lust as he forced her onto the rumpled bed…’
You don’t like that, too over the top.
You want literary wordsmithing, not purple prose.
You want me to tighten up my speech, lose the redundant words, minimalism and tense are important too.
You’re no fun anymore.
Then I am gone.
I will leave you to create your literary masterpiece.
For it seems my life does not begin with the written word but ends with it instead.