Last night was the last Developing My Fiction class at Birkbeck. The six months have whizzed by and I feel I’ve learned an enormous amount. Any under-development in my fiction is now entirely my problem, and means I’ve not been listening properly.
To finish off the course, tutor Carol suggested we let rip with the worst fiction we could muster, full of unconvincing metaphors, infuriating changes of perspective, over-egged descriptions and relentless cliche. I enjoyed this more than any other exercise. In fact, I’m so proud of the appalling piece of writing I managed to spew out, I’ve decided to share it. This is, quite literally, the worst I can do. Read and despair.
The Hopeless Heart
After thinking about it for a very long time, Helen realised that she had fallen in love with Richard which was very sad because he was dead and she would never see him again.
Her heart aches at the thought, as if it would break.
‘I loved him, but he’s dead. He was the love of my life, but I will never see him again,’ she groaned in agony, out loud. She started to cry, tears pouring down her cheeks like a torrential river, until her shirt was soaking wet.
‘If only everything had been different and he hadn’t died in the first chapter. We could have worked together on solving the mystery and then we’d probably have got together at the end. I could have made him forget about his tragic past and he would have stopped drinking. It was probably my last chance of getting married, seeing that I’m over 30. Oh well, it’ll never happen now,’ exclaimed Helen, sadly, closing her big blue eyes that were ironically the colour of forget-me-nots.
She gazed at the river which was medium grey and dark, like her mood. Overhead, big black clouds gathered, mounting like elephants at an orgy at the zoo. The wind got up, whipping her shiny long blonde hair sadistically around her face, as if it wanted to hurt her too. It was getting cold, and Helen began to shake like an autumn leaf. The sunshine that had shone when she met him had disappeared, as if blotted out by the tragedy of his death.
‘It’s as if the sun has gone out of my life,’ explained Helen to a passing pigeon, which looked at her inquisitively and wondered what this strange woman was doing, talking to herself and getting wet in the rain that had just started. The pigeon wondered if she had any food. It was a bit hungry. The pigeon flew up into the sky, from where it could see the whole of the city. That put things into perspective a bit, it thought.