An interesting new writerly experience for me last week. I was lucky enough to have one of my stories selected for a public reading by the lovely people at White Rabbit a while ago, and on Wednesday I went along to a pub in Ashford to see it performed.
I’ve read my own stories to an audience before, but I’ve never seen one of them read by someone else. Gareth Brierley did a brilliant job. It can’t have been easy for him; unlike most of the other stories featured in the evening, mine contained no humour at all and didn’t really tell a story.
It was more of an atmosphere piece, really. That’s not the kind of thing I usually write. In fact, if someone tells me a story of theirs is “more of an atmosphere piece, really”, I tend to interpret that as an admission of failure. But I won’t anymore!
Like I say, Gareth did a great job. And I had a good chat with him afterwards to get some tips on public reading. Video of the performance exists somewhere, I’m told, but I don’t have any yet.
Interestingly (for me, anyway) I wrote the first draft of the piece – “One of us is a ghost” – in the room where it was eventually performed, and then developed and edited it in the knowledge that, if it were accepted for performance, I wouldn’t be reading it out myself. That seemed to change my writing style in interesting (for me, at least) ways that merit some reflection. But not now.