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

05 October 2021

There's a Dragon in the Wardrobe...

Tuesday evening’s session of Crow’s Nest took place in the Barover Room at MAST Mayflower Studios and began with describing our weeks as weather (we experienced equal parts rain-and-shine all round).

The group was presented with an assortment of writing prompts to choose from including ‘A mundane ability becomes a superpower’, ‘Lady Wattlethroat is throwing a Ball’, and ‘A character wakes up in the future and learns their legacy has outlasted them, for better or worse’…

Our facilitator this week, Beth, is a believer in a process of trial and error when searching for a story’s most suitable medium. We wrote five responses to our chosen prompt, each time returning to the same interpretation but adapting our ideas into a new style or perspective, as follows: first person prose; third person prose; screenplay; poetry; non-fiction (article/report etc.).

The results were thought-provoking. Our consensus was that using first-person (“I walk/walked”) made it easy to access a character’s thoughts and the events of the story, while use of third person (“They walk/walked”) lent itself more naturally to setting up scenery and exposition.

Screenplays were a new medium to most of us; some found the technical demand of a script distracting. We were more familiar as a group with poetry; one participant, Libby, working from the prompt ‘There’s a dragon in the wardrobe’ found herself holding a keener focus on imagery than narrative at this stage, which the group concurred with. Libby created the following poem:

A Smoking Wardrobe.


Throw open the doors-

Brace yourself!

Look slowly down

Eyes half open

Half shut

See,

A baby dragon

Eyes aglow

With a thirst for knowledge

And perhaps for human,

Though,

This little creature

Small and shy

Seems like it couldn’t even

Hurt a fly

She smiles up

At you above

Your heart softens,

Pick her up

You stroke her scales

She cuddles close.

But

Claws latch onto your shoulder

A toothy grin, and

Your dragon starts to smoulder.


For a baby dragon,

Is sweet and shy

Until humans come

And hold her.


On the whole, we rated the exercise well as a method to fall back on when we get stuck writing in future.

Crow’s Nest returns next Tuesday with Beth.

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