Thursday, 9 July 2015

Writing - Embrace the unusual

We live in a weird and wonderful world. Throughout our lives we hear of strange and sometimes inexplicable occurrences, some of which are wonderful and some with devastating outcomes. Take skyscrapers for instances!

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Leeds death skyscraper!

In March 2011 a man walking across a bridge close to Bridgewater Place skyscraper was killed when a gust of wind blew a large van over on top of him. I was at work in the building next door to Bridgewater Place and had used the temporary handrails that were in place to see pedestrians safely round the base of the building, that very morning. It was fairly typical of the way things changed once the building had been completed a year or so earlier. We even had notices on the inside of our office door warning us to take extra care when passing Bridgewater Place because of the danger of being blown over.

A sad and also unusual situation. Don't architects consider such things? That is not the reason for reporting this fact. Our world is quite a hazardous place at times and irrespective of health and safety accidents happen. These unusual occurrences are meat and drink to people who write.

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Seaburn sea front

Seaburn on the Durham coast is not the most dangerous looking part of the coast and yet a year ago the sea was pounding as in the pic above and a man, a non-swimmer, was walking his dog. The dog decided to go for a swim and the man went after him and tragedy struck. The currents were such that the man couldn't get back to safety and it took 24 hours to recover his body.
On a calm day the same stretch of beach looks like the photo below.

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Yesterday a tornado struck in Italy.

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Italian tornado

A man is believed to have died in Italy as the result of a tornado whipping through the outskirts of Venice. Tornadoes are not unusual in Europe but they rarely become large enough or last long enough to cause major problems. There are records of tornadoes going back to the first century in Ireland. For those doom merchants who like to blame everything on global warming, having looked at the records in Europe since  the Irish incident in April 1054, there is no discernible pattern!

The point of all of this unusual stuff is that it happens and so as story writers, examiners of the worlds truths and people who look at things differently, we have endless sources of interesting occurrences with which to embellish our tales.

With the plethora of disappearances, strange occurrences and weird sights in this amazing world of ours, writing shouldn't be that difficult - should it?

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God Bless