I feel I have to have a confessional entry at this point in my tale. You may lose confidence in me and think “what a fool”,  you may have a laugh at the crassness – but someone out there may just think “Oh my god I am not alone!”

  • I edited my first attempt at a womag story on the original word document without printing it first or saving it.
  • I wrecked the whole piece and ended up deleting it in frustration and starting all over; I lost 2 days’ work and cried many silent tears.
  • I could not fathom the 1st or 3rd person principle, more on this to follow.
  • I spent hours counting the words in magazine stories using the good old fashioned bar and gate notation, anyone picking up a mag in my house wonders what all the scribbling in the margins mean
  • I lost faith in myself.


Wow this one got me going! The coursework says “you will know what you prefer from what you read” or words to that effect. I immediately summoned the great computer of my mind and entered the words STEPHEN KING 1st PERSON OR NARRATION into the Sainsbury (my surname in case you didn’t know) search engine and came up blank. UNKNOWN.

I immediately consulted one of his books, picked at random from the shelf, thinking it has to be 1st person; his writing is so full of insight. It amazed me to find that I actually had to study the words to get to the bottom of this; I couldn’t pick a passage and just read (or escape or fall into that world). I realised I needed to go back to school and study the style.

I then went to my current read – Paulo Cuehlo’s works – same thing.

I actually now read a lot of things twice.

One thing I didn’t get from the course material was the strength of the “person’s viewpoint” within the narration or 3rd party approach. This, I have concluded, has the potential to give us story tellers the best of both worlds.

My uphill struggle continued and I went back to the fateful story I had written and destroyed deciding to make this my F3 story submission. Using all the insight and tips I had learnt, I studiously re wrote (after saving the original) and inserted dialogue where ever possible, I shortened my paragraphs and sentences and I edited the word count as much as I could.

Then I moved on to the Angela exercise (someones first day at work) which stumped me until I fully visualised Angela as my friends daughter, then I was off, I had cracked F3.

The Angela exercise is worth a note here because I realised then, that a lot of my stories start from a character rather than a plot, I form the character, usually around someone I have met or observed, and then the story grows from what I envisage that character doing or being like.

Is this my own little quirk or do others find themselves doing the same? Please let me know.




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