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Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

14 October 2018

Posted by Charlotte

I Spent Most of the Summer

Being back together as a writing group after the break is a wonderful feeling. We all felt the buzz in the air to share stories; an itch in our fingers to pick up a pen, or tablet, and get our words down.

With the heat of summer drifting away and to commemorate the end of a season (where has this year gone!), it also seemed natural to reflect on summers that have passed and use them as our source of beginnings in our pieces. And needless to say, the exercise cracked open an array of beautiful stories and writing styles that our So:Write Women have to share.

Jo wrote a simple but eye-catching opener, ‘I Spent Most Of That Summer…’ the ellipsis an invitation to take the narrative wherever we wanted it to go. The only proviso, perhaps, being the compelling use of past tense in this one line, which forces our narrator to think back and sift through their memories, to find – and tell us about, or maybe avoid telling us about – the worst thing they ever did.

Which, in turn, brings about a number potential idea for our writers…

How reliable is our narrator if they are relying on memory?

How many unanswered questions will exist?

How in-the-dark will we be, as readers, as we try to navigate a story contained to this perspective?

With this prompt there as our stepping stone, we took some time to see where the story would lead us.

And sure enough, each tale was very different. We had stories dripping in deception, guilt and betrayal. Stories filled with a nostalgic yearning for love lost and treasured. Happy, cherished moments.

We were all enthralled by the stories written and able to appreciate how each person bought their own individuality to the direction the opening would take. And what was most wonderful to see was the fact that this exercise was just the start of what each story could be.

If you missed our writing session and would like to join in, do try this exercise for yourself. You will be surprised with where it takes you. There is something incredibly visual about the timing of summer, how the heat can impact on setting and the emotions of our characters.

In other news…

Don’t forget about the upcoming So:Write Book Launch, just a month away now and a date to save in your diaries. It will be on Sunday 4th November at the John Hansard Gallery. So:write anthologies from our groups and Writers In Residence will be available to purchase at the free event.

More information can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sowrite-book-launch-tickets-47887025382?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

Would you be interested in joining us? We’d love to see you at our next session! We are next meeting at the Art House on Thursday 4th October and Southampton Central Library on 20th October at Southampton Central Library.

Hope to see you there!

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