January’s topic for the Telegraph Creative Writers’ Group (picked by me) was ‘Legend’. A story written around any sense of the word. We had the topic ‘Myth’ in the past and reading the OED definitions, it seems that myth typically involves supernatural beings – eg the Greek myths. Legend may be about historical figures eg King Arthur. In a wider sense a myth can mean something that is widely believed but untrue. A legend can be someone or something that has become celebrated, eg ‘a legend in his own lifetime’. So, my entry ‘The Imp’ diverged from my own set topic, but it was a satire that came into my head and I couldn’t resist writing. February’s topic was a memorial to David Bowie: take the title of any Bowie song and use it as a story theme. I saw a man collecting for ‘Help for Heroes’ in a supermarket and thought of ‘Heroes’; the character, troubled and handsome, emerged, but the story didn’t. More of this later.
In March the topic was ‘Cluedo’, and I had a bit of fun transplanting the Cluedo set-up into a school: Love and Death at St Cluedo’s.
My story came second in the March voting. For April the theme was to write a short descriptive piece with no dialogue; I found this a real challenge. In the end a short piece about Doggerland and its inundation emerged. This story came third in the voting.
In May, disaster struck our beloved Telegraph Creative Writers Group. The website became infested by spam from the Dark Side of the Internet and myT announced that it was to be closed down. As a result our May competition was held over until June. We now have a new site : TCWGShortStories.wordpress.com and the nucleus of 20 or so writers has held together.
My May/June entry, following the theme ‘On the Road’ took my unemployed February character and gave him a road trip: Land’s End to John O’Groats, a charity bike ride, and for a travelling companion I gave him Emma, a divorcee who has appeared in some of my previous stories. I also provided them with a motorhome and an uneasy relationship, for 969 miles.