Thursday 31 May 2012

BTT: Do It Yourself

Today’s Booking Through Thursday question comes from Cathy De Los Santos, who asks:

If you could write a book, what would it be about, and why? (Though, of course, some of you already HAVE.)

I used to want to be a writer - or at least I used to think of myself as someone who wanted to be a writer, which is not necessarily the same thing. I never really had my head full of stories waiting to be written though… At least not with plots long enough to build a book around.

Back in the 1990’s I attended a few summer courses in creative writing and I enjoyed that a lot; but I still never really felt that I had The Great Story lurking, just waiting to be told.

This past year, after the death of my parents… Going through old photo albums, and notes on bit and pieces of family history, and old postcards collected and written by my grandmother’s siblings… I do sometimes wonder if there might be a story waiting among those fragments…

I think that if I could, I’d want to write a book about “ordinary people” whose story would otherwise be forgotten. To be able to make characters interesting, who would not have thought of themselves that way.

As I write that, I realize that we do have a very strong tradition of working class literature in Sweden. I read a lot of that kind of books back in my youth.

Best known abroad is probably Vilhelm Moberg’s The Emigrants series, about Swedish emigrants moving to the USA in the 19th century; also filmed by Jan Troell in the 1970's. Probably very hard to outdo!

Looking at facts rather than dreams… Forms of writing that always came easier to me have been letters, short reflections, essays, occasionally a bit of poetry. Blogging is perfect because there are no rules. A blog post can be anything (except perhaps a Great Novel). So maybe I should just stick to that…

… Or if I ever do write a book, perhaps I should try an epistolary* form! Winking smile

*(= “written in the form of or carried on by letters or correspondence”) 


  1. A person who can write and keep us all involved and intrigued has a real talent. I likely don't have it.

  2. Vilhelm Moberg is not a name I know. I shall look out for him in the second-hand bookshops pending the creation of your great work. Perhaps you could base it on your ancestors post cards, turning them into letters.

  3. Like you, I find that blogging is perfect for me; I love writing and have been doing that in various forms since childhood, but I lack the stamina for a novel and the time and money for proper research into a subject that would enable me to write non-fiction. On my blog, though, I can write about whatever I fancy, in whatever length is practical for me, plus I get a more immediate feedback from my readers than what would be possible with a book.

  4. That;s actually a very nice idea fora book, and I'd enjoy reading that. I found a book once of drafts of letters written by a 19th century servant. It seemed like a lot of gibberish but then I found that there was really a story behind the letters. I've never written it up yet.

    By the way I tried to join your blog but there was a problem - I'll try and remember to come back later and do it.

  5. An epistolatory book: I'd better be careful about what I put in my communications!


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