Wednesday, 25 June 2014
Why Writers are Magpies - Tamsyn Murray
Think about it: we build the structure first - these are the hard twigs, the acts and the scenes. Sometimes the twigs need to be broken a bit to make them fit but that's OK. Once our twigs are all knitted together, we add feathers and bits of moss - the characters, settings, description and dialogue. We make the story a good place to be. It can take several attempts to get the feathers in exactly the right place so that we achieve the effect of making the nest user so comfortable that they forget they are in a nest at all. And lastly, we add our shiny borrowed snippets - the decoration that sparkles and twists in the wind and makes our nest stand out from all the other nests.
I freely admit to being a magpie. In fact, I have a whole notebook of stolen snippets. Last night, on the train, I borrowed an old soldier who was on his way home. I stole sneaky little glances and captured every detail about him, from his spit and polish shiny boots to the brass buttons on his cuffs and the regiment badge on his jacket.
So come on, writers, admit your true nature and tell me what you've taken recently for your nests. Magpies love company.