Life Lessons for Writers – One

An extract from  How To Start Writing A Book brought to you courtesy of E.M. Swift-Hook and Jane Jago.

To whoever is deluded enough to read this crap.

This is Jacintha Farquhar, woman of a certain age, and distaff parent of the delusional and currently incapacitated Moons. I never thought I’d feel sorry for the poor self-centred little twat. But I do. I actually hurt for him. He’s so bruised and battered that I have sent him away to lick his wounds in the fleshpots of Mykonos. I packed him off with a bag of clothes, a few smutty novels, and an introduction to a couple of gay friends who run a very popular bar there. As to what precisely happened to the sad little bugger, that’s his business. I’m not about to discuss it with a bunch of prurient wannabes. If he wants to tell you when he gets back into the saddle that’s his affair. But for now, mind your own…
If it was up to me, I’d stop this crap too. However, it means a lot to my battered son, so I have promised to keep it going until he returns from his sabbatical.
I have decided to write about life lessons, because if you lot really want to write anything decent you’ve got to live it first.

Life Lessons for Writers – One: Alcohol.

In almost every piece of adult literature you will find booze, and as a general rule boozing falls into one of half a dozen categories:

Polite drinking.
Social drinking.
Party drinking.
Getting pissed drinking.
Drowning the sorrows drinking.

So then, where are you on the scale? A sherry on the third Thursday of every month? Prosecco hangovers on Sunday mornings? A bottle of vodka in every cupboard in the house?

Whatever your own consumption, consider that as the strongest use of alcohol you should ever write about. Of course, many of you will be timid shits like my poor little bastard of a son, and will consider a glass of Fernet Branca on a sunny afternoon to be the height of decadence. But on the other side of your shiny little threepenny bit you will be wanting to write about drinking and roistering. Well. You bloody can’t….
If you want to write about a drunken orgy, bloody well find one (effing Google it) and go and get completely off your face.
In the same vein, if you really want to write about the miseries of a hangover, or the utter awfulness of drinking so much you vomit what feels like your toenails into the gutter, then at least have the frigging courage to try it out and see what it really feels like. My recipe for the first: a bottle of good red wine with your dinner, followed by at least a dozen cocktails, and four large brandies. To achieve the second, take recipe one and add a kebab and half a bottle of Bucky at the end.
When you’ve done that. And taken a week to recover. Then you can write something that will be at least recognisable as real.

Now piss off and get on with it, because, to be brutally honest, you lot are getting on my tits right now and I’ve a hot date with a half-bottle of calvados.

Next week: Hair pulling and brawls.

Jacintha Farquar, unfortunate mother of Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV

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