I am about to start an online writing course with The Big Smoke Writing Factory. I am looking forward to it and to making a start. For years I had wanted to do one and for one reason or another I have never done. Was it down to a snobbish idea that writers are born pen in hand (which would be more agony for the mother) and not taught? It may have been, and if it was, then it was certainly misguided. It isn’t about learning how to write its about sharpening or solidifying the tools that you already have. I think anyone can write poetry or a short story, you just need the idea. And, as is evidenced by the massive gaps between blogs, they are not easy to come by.
Secondly, my wife and I are training to do a Half Marathon in Dublin over the August Bank Holiday. My progress is not as nearly entertaining as hers and you can read her excellent blog here.
Finally, I retuned to reading Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels, in particular, the third one “Tripwire”. Whilst it is an excellently vicious thriller and is engrossing, entertaining and other superlatives, one thing struck me. And a similar thought occurred whilst wading through the massively plagiarised shite that is David Baldacci’s “John Puller” novels (lawyers note: this is my opinion, I am not saying they are plagiarised but if someone was to check the two I am sure someone would be getting a cease and desist letter, at least one would fucking hope so). That is: the hero is invincible, the smartest man (always a man) in the room, irresistible to the ladies etc. In Baldacci he is also impossibly and annoyingly patriotic. Does this serve as wish fulfment for the reader? He (always a man) works in a shitty office and goes out with a girl called Belinda who has a glandular problem, the hero is everything he wanted to be but isn’t. He cannot be killed and will always be a step ahead of the bad guys (again, always a man). Would a story of a normal man thrust into a violent world sell or does he have to be Super Massive Hero Military Cop? Something to ponder.