Saturday, 19 April 2008

Aspiring Author

Once many years ago I was an aspiring author. I had aspirations to be a published writer. To be an author.

I can clearly remember the opening sentence of my first draft paragraph.

"The judge placed the black cap on top of his wig and pronounced sentence on
the prisoner. "You will be taken from this place to prison from whence you
will be taken to a place to suffer death by hanging"

As you can see I was attempting a dramatic opening. I remember clearly the events that raised this rich seam of drama in my mind. I was young at the time of the murder. It was the first murder of which I became aware of newspaper coverage of the crime, the victims, and then the trial. I remember my father's distress over the hanging of a man who may well be innocent.

My father didn't agree with 'legalised murder'. He thought that a sentence of imprisonment for life was sufficient punishment. It allowed for errors in judgement, mistaken identity or other extenuating circumstances. When he was explaining his thoughts to me he told me he came to this decision when Derek Bentley was hanged for murder. A shooting of a policeman committed in Croydon in by Bentley/Craig obviously aroused a great deal of local interest at the time. Many years later it still distressed my father. He was worried that another man was about to be hanged when he may have been innocent of the crime.

I'm not quite sure where I intended to go after this dramatic opening. I'd worked out the beginning. But it had no middle and no ending. The latter surprises me. It surprises me because I have always chosen my books by reading by the last paragraph first.


teeni said...

Wow - I never would have thought to choose books by the ending. I have always liked to keep that as a surprise. LOL. But it is an interesting idea and I may have to try it. Oh you blog buddies of mine always get me thinking in different directions! :)

Flowerpot said...

Yes that's how I choose my books too! I picked one up from the library yesterday wihtout doing that and bitterly regret it!

Retiredandcrazy said...

Have you noticed that many of us bloggers are aspiring writers? I did actually write a whole book once but it must have been crap because no-one would publish it! Oh well!

Winchester whisperer said...

Sounds like the beginning of "Little Dorrit"

lady thinker said...

teeni - even when you know the ending how the writer gets us to the ending can be a complete surprise in itself...

flowerpot... funny isn't it ...

retired and crazy ... you should perservere - wasn't JKRowling turned down numerous times??

win whisp .. are you telling me that Charles Dickens copied my draft opening!!