Tuesday, 24 April 2012

My D’oh Moments by Karen King

I’m never short of ideas for stories, anything can start my imagination going, an overheard comment, a line from a song, a newspaper article, people going about their daily lives, they’re all fodder for my over-active mind. And once I get an idea I run with it to see just where it will take me, I don’t put any restrictions or barriers on it I just go with the flow, writing away whatever comes into my head. The trouble is, sometimes I’ve got so carried away with the idea that I’ve forgotten to think whether I’ve got my facts right. I used to write for the Rainbow comic – remember the Rainbow TV programme with Bungle, Zippy and George back in the 80’s? Zippy was a hand puppet, a fact I completely forget when I had this wonderful idea for a comic strip set in a shoe shop where Zippy was trying on lots of shoes. I can’t remember what happened in the actual story but I can remember my editor phoning me up and saying “Karen, that’s a great story but there’s one problem...Zippy hasn’t got feet!” D’oh!

From then on I resolved to check, check and recheck my work to make sure not only the grammar and punctuation were right, but that the characters were consistent and true to their personality/characteristics. Despite that, I’ve had several other D’oh! moments in my writing career like the time an editor telephoned me to tell me that I had to change the name of a spider in my children’s story because the name I’d chosen was a rather rude slang word for a certain part of the female body.

Recently, I had another D’oh! moment when running a writing workshop with some children, creating a story based around the Olympics. One of the characters wasn’t very sporty but was great at walking really fast so we had him entering the Marathon. Then I remembered that the Marathon was a running not a walking race. D’oh! So we had to change it to Race Walking. At least the children learnt a valuable lesson, when you’re writing your story remember to get your facts right.
What about you? Have you had any D’oh! moments?


Miriam Halahmy said...

We LOVED Rainbow and all the characters when my kids were growing up. Well done you and don't we all have doh moments. Lovely post Karen.

Karen said...

Thanks, Miriam :)

Linda Strachan said...


Zippy was always my favourite, never occurred to me that he didn't have feet!!

Ann Evans said...

Loved the post Karen! I had a D'oh moment a couple of days ago. On a school visit I was trying to write on the electrical white board thingy with the special pen. Couldn't get it to work. The teacher took it out of my hand, turned it round and said, "You write with this end of the pen!"

Karen said...

I can't write on those electrical board things either, Ann. Give me a good old fashioned blackboard anytime!

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