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A Common Thread

Tuesday 5th May 2020

This week my elephant has mostly slept quietly in the corner, not disturbing me too much, but constantly reminding me he is there. I cannot reach things I need because he is in the way, or if I try, I fall over him. He even sent his shadow as I attempted my one distraction from my Work in Progress—and that was Furious Fiction—a competition run by the Australian Writers Centre over the first weekend of every month. I knew that a few other friends were also taking part, so it felt as if we were still connected by that common thread, while spending the weekend furiously writing. It was interesting to see how varied our approaches were. I looked at the parameters and dashed off what I thought was a brilliant first paragraph then realised that it posed many questions, which included one huge one – it felt like the elephant in the story. I could go no further forward till I’d answered them. I phoned a writing friend and tried to brainstorm but nothing seemed right. It wasn’t the usual, “Who is my main character?” , but rather, “Why is my secondary character in the dilemma he is in?” Against everything I have ever been taught about writing, I decided to continue and see if the answer would emerge as I wrote. Incredibly it did—in the very last two sentences.

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