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Tony Parson on writing and reading

Tony Parsons, on writing and reading

First posted in Diaryland on 02/10/2002

Finish ‘Man and Boy’.

Ultimately a light read, a travel book, a book for long journeys. I could skip through the pages, it mantained the pace, things kept happening. In brief, a soap for someone who never watches the soaps. Contemporary, even if the frequent references to a four then five year old playing with Star Wars figures is a decade out. Single parents do NOT have succesful careers while being busy parents. Paths do not cross the way the do in Ramsay Street yet this gives me clues on what to do with JTW.

What I need to do:

Set up my characters, like a child’s toys. Infest my world with them.

Contain the story by location

Limit the timescale

Work out what happens

Know my ending

Pace events across the chapters

Write more thinly, get the stories told.

Mike, directionless and drunk one Christmas Eve gets a blow job from a prositute, has an accident and has to drive the car without lights for the final stretch.

Found out by his wife she leaves him. He sinks deeper into drink and sex, then gets this idea in a car wash, that shift to a disused airfield.

Teaming up with J they set out to complete the challenge.

A compromise is found with the family, M gets on with being a housewife.

He cracks, heads for the seaside to be alone and work on the challenge.

Learning of his child’s accident he returns home

The task is attempted.

They eventually succeed.

With wealth and help he goes on to become a billionaire.

Why I don’t need to belong to a ‘writer’s group’

Five out of the seven cannot write.

We are supposed to be helping each other write novels, not help each other write, or find a voice.

I seek support and inspiration. S gives me support, no one inspires me. J’s efforts put me off writing. Trying to read his efforts feels like sticking my head i abowl of quick drying cement.


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