Friday, 26 May 2017

Writing - Happily Never After

Take a story, or a real event and then challenge yourself to produce a different outcome. That could be some inspirational exercise. Len Deighton produced an example.

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SS-GB

It’s 1941, the Luftwaffe have defeated the RAF in the Battle of Britain, and Hitler’s Wehrmacht have conquered Southern England. Winston Churchill has been executed, King George VI has been imprisoned in the Tower of London, and Swastika banners adorn the bombed out ruins of Buckingham Palace. Tyranny has triumphed. The Nazis have won.

What a premise to begin writing with but just imagine the wealth of material. In fact Roald Dahl tested the waters in his poetry Revolting Rhymes and, as he would, came up with some great interpretations.  

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This a collection of Roald Dahl poems published in 1982. A parody of traditional folk tales in verse, Dahl gives a re-interpretation of six well-known fairy tales, featuring surprise endings in place of the traditional happily-ever-after finishes.

Three Little Pigs
 ... 
If strolling through the woods one day,
Right there in front of you you saw
A pig who'd built his house of STRAW?
The Wolf who saw it licked his lips,
And said, "That pig has had his chips."
"Little pig, little pig, let me come in!"
"No, no, by the hairs on my chinny-chin-chin!"
"Then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in!"

The little pig began to pray,
But Wolfie blew his house away.
He shouted, "Bacon, pork and ham!
Oh, what a lucky Wolf I am!"
And though he ate the pig quite fast,
He carefully kept the tail till last.
 ... 

I have deliberately avoided spoiling the rhyme in the lines I have chosen to give you a taster.
So what is there available for you?

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Being purely subjective if I was to pick an event it might well be the incident at Rourke's Drift in South Africa in the 19th century. In that conflict a handful of men kept the whole Zulu nation at bay. Perhaps if the indigenous peoples had triumphed we may have never had a white dominated country that was guilty of apartheid and other crimes against humanity.

On a lighter note, a Harry Potter world ruled over by Lord Voldemort or perhaps an unsuccessful Shrek who never married Princess Fiona! In each case the world's would be very different. The bottom line - it's all imagination.

God Bless