This evening Kez asked me to do a workshop on the theme of visibility. I thought a lot around this, looked at newspaper articles, the invisible woman’s fashion blog at the Guardian lead me to think about the Slut marches and the reaction in France against the burqa. When talking about this in the workshop this lead to the Ascots, and their rules for skirt length, and hats being required to have a rim.
We focused on writing dramatic monologue using newspaper articles as prompts for creating an authentic voice, Rihanna’s desire for a bigger butt, Kristen Stewart’s take on Snow White, and how she might be feeling….
I have made my name
by playing a wimp
my character was weak and subserviant.
I mean, she even let the man drive her truck,
what strong woman does that?
But now, I’m the highest paid woman in movies,
now I can pick the roles I want.
Now I have the chance
to show teenage girls
how life can be
with, or without, a man.
This monologue style piece from an inner Kristen Stewart was written in the later part of the workshop, in the first part we looked at:
an optical illusion, girl or woman? I asked participants to come up with ideas for both characters, setting them in a certain time, with a certain persona. We covered the where, why, when and who on the girl and older woman, coming up with different ideas.
The young girl could have been boarding the Titanic, a dancer on her way to better times in New York, or a high class prostitute underneath Piccadily Train Station meeting her secret girlfriend.
The older woman could have been a lady vicar praying in the twentieth century, a beggar woman in the French revolution, a widow going to a funeral.
I brought some horoscopes along from the metro and magazines, because I wanted us to choose a character from our options and then create a star sign reading for them. Here are a couple of horoscopes:
Lisa the lady vicar, Aries
A romance you had high hopes for could end in an angry way. Your partner’s negative behaviour could take you by surprise. Next time, you should screen would-be-lovers carefully, you need to find someone really compatible. The best way is to communicate very well, both face to face and through the internet, before deciding the relationship is what you want.
Suzette the dancer, Sagittarius
You may think that your ship has sailed but life could still be full of adventure for you. Take a chance and you might just get the lucky ticket. Following your dreams could leave your past behind and lead to a wet and wild future.
Francesca the beggar, Libra
It might seem like a good idea to spend some time alone, but you need to think about who you can turn to for help when you’re troubled. Your past is creeping up on you, you are now discovering that to build a new future you need to know where you’re going. You should think about a new direction and look back at some of your choices. Your passionate ways may get you in trouble when you least expect it.
Better than the Metro methinks! Next workshop I want to focus on the secrets that these characters might have, and the way this might lead to a story climax. Thursday 19th July, The Lesbian Community Project Creative Writing Group.