“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never, in nothing, great or small, large or petty, never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” – Winston Churchill
My determination is still with me in getting this story written. I suppose in four long days it shouldn’t really have left me, though usually by now, in the past, the idea would have been written up and immediately shoved in a filing draw to be forgotten about. I’d be saying, “I’ll get round to that in the next week,” but I never would. That is what happened with the rest of my story ideas, except this one. No, this one, this one is on my mind all the time. When I go to sleep at night, I’m thinking up ideas. When I wake in the morning, I’m still pondering what I had on my mind the night before. I got to work and imagine colours, characters, voices, emotions and then come home and watch my other chickens to take note of the way they move, the sounds they make, what attracts their attention. It’s all there and it’s all going down on paper. Every little idea, however irrelevant it may seem, is safely put in one place, ready, just in case.
The main barrier I’ve had to knock down today to get started, is knowing where to start. I sat there for a while, just thinking, “I’ve never written a serious story before. What do I do?” So I began with research. I found some websites, took some notes, which I have to say were extremely helpful. One particular website really grabbed me and I just sat reading all their blogs for hours, taking in their advice and using it to improve my own wordpress account, as well as to help me find where to focus my attention at this early stage.
A friend, who is studying English and Creative Writing at University, said I should start a notebook, to put down any ideas I have, any images, thoughts, memories, that could be used for my story. I’ve filled nearly half of it already with ideas. But I’m finding it really useful, because if a thought comes to me, it’s there, right in the book and I won’t forget it when I finally manage to sit down and begin writing. I’ve been given gifts over the years as well, to help get started with writing. One in particular, The Writer’s Toolbox, that my uncle bought me last year, should come in handy as it helps you to develop characters, develop the plot and just generally get your ideas down onto paper.
The thing is with this story, I know it won’t be realistic in terms of the fact that the main character will be a chicken, talking with other chickens, possibly, and narrating the story. And actually reading that sentence back sounds quite strange. But what actually happens in it, for instance, the first time they go outside, the first time they feel rain on their backs, I want to be memories I have of Agnes actually doing these things with her friends. So for instance, when she first came to me, she and ex-bat Gwen had a little fight with each other, bigging the other up for dominance. And somehow, I’d like to put that into the story somewhere, make it part of Agnes’s life and make this story as truthful as I can, though still with that element of the mysterious animal world, talking and interacting with one another.
I’ll never give up with this. Agnes, and the rest of my girls mean the everything to me and this book will be in honour of her. It may fail, or it may actually work out. Whatever happens, it’s for Agnes and I am proud of that fact
Iona Gibson (PiellaGibson)