Friday 12 February 2010

There and back again

School has been a lot on my mind recently and as so often happens there has been a knock on effect in the memory department.

For one lesson we were asked to bring in two newspapers. A tabloid and a broadsheet. I think I chose the Sun and the Telegraph. We then had to find the same news story in each and write about the different methods of reporting.

In another lesson we were told to take a subject we felt strongly about – I chose fox hunting – and do two write ups about it in the style of a newspaper article, one by someone pro and the other by someone anti.

It was an interesting exercise and although I am and always have been anti fox hunting I stepped into the mind of someone who is for it. It didn’t change my opinion at all, but I was flattered when the teacher asked me which was my view as she hadn’t been able to tell from the pieces I’d written.
She may well have been humouring me. She knew very well my opinion on animal cruelty since it was the subject of all of my class talks.

For the past few days we’ve been treated to a variety of stories about the weather, ranging from “We’re all doomed” to “There may be a few snow flurries” – well okay, I’m exaggerating, but you know what I mean.

During the January snow one newspaper reported that we were on the verge of a mini ice-age while further down the page they told us that this summer is expected to be the hottest on record.

So where is all this leading? There and back again to see how far it is? Maybe.

When I write a story I don’t consciously choose whose voice to use. It’s just there. Once I start wondering who should be telling the story it turns down the road to nowhere.

I suppose in my usual meandering way what I am trying to say is to get it down as it comes to you and let your creative mind do its job without interference from you.

At the moment I am on the road to somewhere so I’d best get back to it before someone comes along and overtakes me.


  1. Interesting post, Teresa.

    I find writing articles helps to keep my bias out of the way - because I'm writing about other things outside of my frame of reference and experience sometimes, I don't always have enough of the facts to form an opinion either way - but when I do feel strongly anti or for a subject I'm writing about, I can't afford to let my own opinions intrude and take over the piece - even though they are fighting to reach the surface!

    My old secondary school has been on my mind too as they are having an open day/reunion in May before it's demolished and the new school built alongside is opened - I'm sad but glad it's benen done as it's needed a rebuild for years and the nes school bilding and facilities are outstanding.

    I love the writing exercises you used to do at school - what a clever way of getting you to think outside of the box and be versatile in your writing - it obviously worked well for you, Teresa!

    Julie xx

  2. Being able to see things from a different POV is a real asset to a writer who will usually need to create conflicting characters.

    I used to be in the school debating club and liked taking the opposite side to my own opinion and I think that experience was useful. (Mention of a debating club makes it sound like I went to a posh school - I didn't)

  3. You had some terrific teachers, Teresa. I don't recall any of my lessons being that interesting (but then, to be honest I don't remember much that happened past last week).


  4. Glad to hear you are against foxhunting. I'm hoping you will help us get the message out to MPs and candidates to stop David Cameron from repealing the hunting act. Drag hunting is a great alternative. Please help save our foxes and sign up online at:

  5. Thanks Julie. It's funny your old secondary school being demolished - over the past few years I've seen my infant school knocked down and now my old primary school. I so wish I could have looked round them one last time before they went.

    Patsy, we used to have debates with Mr Wallace in the last year at primary school and they used to be so much fun!

    Suzanne, I wasn't at all fond of this particular teacher, but I probably learnt more in her class than in most of the others. And she let me bring my sister's dog to school as a "prop" for one of my talks.

    Thank you for that link mhayworth - I have signed up!