"A word after a word after a word is power" - Margaret Atwood


A blog for readers and writers

A blog about the stories we tell each other and how we tell them...

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Writing like Mo Farah runs - Making sense of the Olympics

The Olympics  are over and it's all right to go back to watching ordinary TV. The news returns to workaday-economic-disaster and ice caps melting faster than we thought.

My husband's almost glad: he feared that taekwondo was going to be too steep a learning curve. In 17 days he had mastered the nicities of dressage and dive scoring and came to understand the concentration required in clay shooting. For one brief glorious moment he knew what it meant to be a coxless pair with the taste of victory in your mouth and experienced the thrill of escaping elimination in cycling contests, but he wasn't sure he was going be a good enough spectator for the taekwondo contestants. 

As a novice watcher I wasn't so worried, most sport is a mystery to me, but I was transfixed by the stories acted out in front of us in real time each day. I was learning a lot too about crises and climaxes, character development and story arcs.

If you are a writer who wants to write a page-turning unputdownable epic, I recommend watching Mo Farah's 5000 metres race. It was suspense distilled into 13:41.66 minutes.

Here's part of Carol Ann Duffy's take on what we have just lived through. It's got a punch big enough for a boxing gold.

A summer of rain, then a gap in the clouds
and The Queen jumped from the sky
to the cheering crowds.
               We speak Shakespeare here,
a hundred tongues, one-voiced; the moon bronze or silver,
sun gold, from Cardiff to Edinburgh
               by way of London Town,
on the Giant's Causeway;
we say we want to be who we truly are,
now, we roar it. Welcome to us.
We've had our pockets picked,
               the soft, white hands of bankers,
bold as brass, filching our gold, our silver;
we want it back.
We are Mo Farah lifting the 10,000 metres gold.
We want new running-tracks in his name.
For Jessica Ennis, the same; for the Brownlee brothers,
Rutherford, Ohuruogu, Whitlock, Tweddle,
for every medal earned,
we want school playing-fields returned.

Read the rest of it in The Guardian

And it starts again on August 29 with more heroes and heroines telling more stories...

No comments: