Couch to 80k Week 3 Day 1

And so, we move from “This is fun” to “Oh, ok, writing is HARD”

The Couch to 80k podcast by Tim Clare is part of his Death by 1000 paper cuts blog/podcast and is a writers bootcamp. I’m currently on week 2.

So, this episode took a very different sort of turn, breaking the writing down in to a 3 minute chunk and a 7 minute chunk. The first three minutes were set aside to visualise a character that could be considered a spirit that would use you to write through (this is less wanky than it sounds) and the second to writing a dialogue between you and a the character.

I suppose none of these exercises should be considered for public consumption, but I can’t help feel sometimes I’m better at some than others (I still think I killed week 1 day 1 – list of names- but who can live on that glory forever?) and this one is one I’m not happy with. It was hard, and I’m not sure if I really let myself go so much as tried to guide and steer the ship while it plummeted down the waterfall to certain doom.

My subconcious obsession with death continues, the character I imagined? A pall bearer from 1873 (I visualised the character’s physical attributes and what he was wearing) then talked to him, and asked him. I mean, he had a sense of humour – though tbh I felt myself consciously steer him that way. Though, wife died 12 years earlier and he had kids he never talked about. So pretty grim.

Though, oddly, instead of me conjuring a character to stand in front of me and tell me about themselves, as I tried to form the mental picture, I imagined it more as me appearing in front of the character in his own time, and him asking me if I was death – I said I wasn’t and he said “Well, death never knows he’s death, do ’e. That’s what makes ’em death” which, at least is an interesting narrative twist.

Anyway, no point getting sulky. Even when it’s hard or feels unsuccessful there always feels like there’s something interesting turning up (even if it’s only further proof that I’ve somehow become preoccupied with death).

Hey, if you’ve decided to go along and do the couch to 80k, because of the blog, let me know, and I’ll follow along!

Author: PJ

Belfast based Comic Artist who won’t shut up on twitter.