Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Don't you just...?

Don’t you just love it when...

Ideas seem to spring into your mind from nowhere and problems in the plot or the characterisation get solved without you having to work hard at it?

You find a great song or a piece of music which helps you bring characters or feelings to life?This becomes the only music you listen to when writing your story (and who cares if everybody at home moan and complain that they are really bored with it?)

You can see your characters as clearly as if they were standing in front of you? They have the power to make you happy or sad (yes, really!). You even talk about your hero or heroin as if they were real people, friends ask you for the latest news and you don’t even notice that they are joking. 

Your characters start talking to one another and all you have to do is jot down what they are saying? They take a life of their own and force you into a completely new direction.

Breathless, blushing and feeling rather pleased with yourself, you put the last touches to what is surely the best, the ‘hottest’ love scene of the story? You never knew you had it in you to be so inventive.

Don’t you just hate it when...

You read your manuscript for the hundredth time after a few weeks or months and you find embarrassing errors or clumsy sentences or things you now wish you'd never written? This is particularly bad if you have already sent it to a publisher or an agent, because a few weeks or months ago it seemed so perfect you just couldn’t wait a minute longer to share it with the world!

You saved some fantastic new work on a stick or on the hard drive of your computer and you forget in which file you saved it in and you spend hours trying to find it? And when you finally find it, it wasn’t so great after all.

You re-read the ‘hot’ scene which you were so proud of when you typed it up last night and think, ‘Oh my God, did I really write that? What will my boss, neighbour, my children’s teacher or the butcher take me for?’ (That’s if they ever read the story, of course).

A great new novel has just come out featuring a plot, setting or character you KNOW you had thought of FIRST, that you had practically invented and believed to be unique. How dare the author have the same ideas as you (and get her / his book published when you are still languishing in the aspiring writer's world)?


This lovely picture of a rose made me think of ‘Mon amie la rose’ (My friend the rose), a beautiful but very sad song Françoise Hardy sang in the 1960s. Here are the words with the  (English translation below).

Mon amie la rose
My friend the rose, a beautiful song Françoise Hardy used to sing in the 1960s.
On est bien peu de chose
Et mon amie la rose
Me l'a dit ce matin
A l'aurore je suis née
Baptisée de rosée
Je me suis épanouie
Heureuse et amoureuse
Aux rayons du soleil
Me suis fermée la nuit
Me suis réveillée vieille

Pourtant j'étais très belle
Oui j'étais la plus belle
Des fleurs de ton jardin

On est bien peu de chose
Et mon amie la rose
Me l'a dit ce matin
Vois le dieu qui m'a faite
Me fait courber la tête
Et je sens que je tombe
Et je sens que je tombe
Mon cœur est presque nu
J'ai le pied dans la tombe
Déjà je ne suis plus

Tu m'admirais hier
Et je serai poussière
Pour toujours demain.

On est bien peu de chose
Et mon amie la rose
Est morte ce matin
La lune cette nuit
A veillé mon amie
Moi en rêve j'ai vu
Eblouissante et nue
Son âme qui dansait
Bien au-delà des nues
Et qui me souriait

Crois celui qui peut croire
Moi, j'ai besoin d'espoir
Sinon je ne suis rien
Ou bien si peu de chose
C'est mon amie la rose
Qui l'a dit hier matin

And now for the English translation...

We are truly insignificant
And that's what my friend the rose
Told me this morning
I was born at dawn
Baptised in dew
I blossomed
In the rays of the sun
Happy and in love
I closed my petals at night
And when I awoke I was old.
Yet I had been beautiful
Yes, I was the most beautiful
Of all the flowers in your garden

See, the God that made me
Now makes me bow my head
And I feel I'm falling
And I feel I'm falling
My heart is almost bare
A foot in the grave
Already, I am nothing
Only yesterday you admired me
And I shall be dust
Forever, tomorrow

We are truly nothing
And my friend the rose
Died this morning

Last night the moon
Kept vigil over my friend
And in a dream I saw
Her soul, dancing
Dazzling and naked,
Above the heavens,
Smiling on me.
Let those who can, believe,
But I need Hope
Or else I am nothing.