• The Quiet Writing Project (WEEK THREE)

    The Quiet Writing Project • Feb 18th, 2019

    Welcome to WEEK THREE when you’ll have the chance to write a longer piece in the voice of another person. Your writing will still be in the first person and you’ll need to get into character as if you were an actor. The 5 prompts should ease you in:

    Prompt 1  You’ll need to find your character or maybe it’s the other way around and she’ll find you. You may have an an alter ego based on a person you admire and feel a connection with. She may be inspired by film or literature or she maybe someone from your family history. She may have been with you for a long or short time. Have a think and make a list with a few notes about why your character is significant.

    Prompt 2  A little research might help you when you start writing in her voice. Think about the life and times of your character and note down things you could reference to give your piece a sense of truth.

    Prompt 3  You could usefully put together a list of images you’ve always liked and see which might be a good fit for the thoughts and feelings of the character you’ve chosen. I have a little notebook of these and the one that I used was whisper to the future. I also worked on some natural world imagery because Colette loved to write about flora. And there was her long hair described in great detail in the early novels.

    Prompt 4  Have a go at writing in your chosen voice. Once you start it gets easier. We aren’t really editing but you may find your words come more easily as you continue. Don’t change the opening, it’s natural to hesitate and work up to a high point. I thought I’d show you my attempt.

    I’m writing in the voice of the writer Colette whose husband took credit for her work when the early Claudine books were published. I saw the bio pic at the cinema recently and didn’t rate it so highly but the scene between Colette and Willy at the end was good and I thought I’d rework her words into a letter.

    I cannot  express my feelings in writing, my feelings are too strong. I need to shout at you. You have taken away my spirit and my soul. I realise that as my father’s daughter I have been condemned to a life as your inferior but my writing has exploded all boundaries. How can you put your name to my stories which are diaries of my womanhood? You must realise that my readers see through you. Did you think that buying me a pretty house in the country would be a fair exchange? I will not be quiet and will not rest until proper attribution is made. My name will go forward and yours will be forgotten. Claudine whispers to the future where you have no place. You wield your sword because you are a man of wealth and reputation, both are slipping like sand I might add.

    Prompt 5  You could consider a letter format for your writing too. How might the letter start? How might it finish? I’ll be  working on the closing of my letter, replacing the tirade with practicalities about living separate lives.

    I’ll add my closing on Friday.


    The photo of the veronica stems was chosen because veronica means true image.

    Prompt 5

    I’m guessing nothing will change. You have the original manuscripts and I will have to fight tooth and nail to get them back. Strangely I have found strength from this separation of mind and will. I believe I can write and be recognised as a writer. You are surplus to my requirement. Do as you see fit with anything I have left behind. My life as Colette begins without you by my side and I am glad. For the very last time I shall sign as your estranged wife,



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