Many many years ago, when I went to school, the English teacher used to set composition homework. Write a short story on a given subject of not less than 500 words. I genuinely believe that he did this to make his life easier. It saved him having to list words to learn for a later spelling test or develop an exercise involving grammar and punctuation, or some other more complicated form of homework. It was simple. Write not less than 500 words on….
Most of the class didn’t appreciate this, or any other form of homework for that matter, but composition. Five hundred words on lemmings. How do you write five hundred words on lemmings? was the sort of complaint bandied about. And here comes the problem. I couldn’t admit that I found it easy. I couldn’t say, only five hundred words, that’s easy, otherwise I’d be branded a swot and the fate of a swot was equal to that of a lemming jumping over a cliff. Only they don’t really. The idea that lemmings commit mass suicide is just a made up tale that has taken on the cloak of truth.
There I go again, onto another track. I can churn out five hundred words in my sleep, a thousand, five thousand, so I guess I’m a born writer. I can’t not write. Writer’s block, no chance. My head is full of so many stories I sometimes don’t know where to begin.
So I would churn out my not less than five hundred words on lemmings, setting them in space, fighting aliens, or turn them into monstrous blood sucking vampire lemmings and eventually, because assigned homework has to be read, my English teacher started to apply a maximum to his instruction.
No one is now duty bound to read anything I write but I hope you do and I hope you enjoy the story because I try to do what every good story needs, create a character you care about, whether you want them to succeed, or with an anti-hero, get their comeuppance in the end, provide a plot that gives good reason for their actions and a story line that maintains your interest.
Now for the boring bit. I was born and raised near the small village of Wraysbury, Buckinghamshire. When I left school I joined the Royal Navy, sailed the sea and saw the world. After that I worked in a variety of different jobs, living in Devon and Cornwall, and now I write full time. I like history, music, photography and philosophy, the order varying as the mood takes me. Everything I write has its roots in my interests and my experience and some of those experiences are beyond what I can put in any book of fiction. Or maybe not.
Where to find Peter Coster online
Where to buy in print
The Ogre's Fairly Grotty
by Peter Coster
It's Christmas, when Father Christmas delivers presents to all boys and girls that have been good. But what about those that haven't been so good? What about those that have been downright naughty? Is it fare that they get left out? Ogre the ogre doesn't think so and sets out to do something about it.
Illustrated Children's Book published in aid of Mill Ford School for children with special needs.
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