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Community ideas

Writing, mixing fact and fiction


The Sanna, Moorcroft Wood

Fact supporting fiction

Last week, I used my ‘Body in the Sanna’ picture to start my blog. A picture can paint a scene. I’ve used a picture of ‘the Sanna’ again this week. The Sanna, is actually Moorcroft Pool in Moorcroft Wood. People have always called it ‘the Sanna’ because of the isolation hospital that was nearby. That was a hospital for infectious diseases like smallpox.

April Fool

I had more readers to my WordPress blog yesterday, to read a blog that I actually wrote for April Fool’s Day. I took a lot of local information, history and some myths and stories to concoct a story that was basically, a joke. Much of the story was fact, but the bit about there being buried treasure to be found locally, was the joke.

Fictitious letter

In the UK, we can get government grants for insulation and other energy saving stuff. These are usually handed out as part of schemes run by the local council. It’s not hard these days to forge a letterhead or logo, you just go to the website of the organisation and download the image. I did that with the local council and used their logo to start a masterpiece I was writing, mainly for my own amusement. I did give it to friends to read though. It began something like this:

Dear Sir,

As you know the council has been helping residents for some time with energy saving initiatives and the schemes have been on-going. We have a number of schemes for householders to have their loft insulated, cavity walls insulated and in many cases double glazing installed. We are now extending this scheme and your home is now eligible to be included in the enhanced scheme.

It all sounds reasonable and believable so far doesn’t it? Now we begin to get a little naughty and stray from what the council actually do, now the facts change to fiction.

You are, of course, eligible for the energy saving measures already mentioned, but the enhanced scheme also means you can get free energy saving lighting installed at no cost. We have also found that 20% of heat escapes through the floor and so are now offering householders luxury thermal carpet throughout their downstairs rooms, this includes free fitting.

Is it still believable or just borderline? Now we go for outrageous…

Our research indicates that many households waste energy, heating their swimming pools and we have now endorsed a design that uses 75% less energy. We can’t install these for free of course, but where households have a sufficiently large garden, we can meet 90% of the cost with a grant. This initiative, is in conjunction with the council’s ‘learn to swim’ scheme. You might also consider applying for a grant for a new wind turbine generator in your garden,  to cut electricity costs. Again, these are only available to people with larger gardens.

You can have some fun writing fictitious letters like this because your goal, is to make the letter believable. You have to make it plausible. When you write a short piece of fiction, you need it to be plausible, no matter how outrageous the story. You will see from this letter that the way to do that is to build up to the more outrageous stuff. This applies especially to fantasy and  science fiction. It can also apply it to non-fiction, where you are trying to get across an idea. Does that sound plausible?

The Jake West Trilogy

M J Webb  starts with two boys in his novels in a ordinary situation and they get transported to another world, full of wizards and all sorts of unbelievable stuff. The trick to making it believable, is in the build up. If you like fantasy, the Jake West trilogy is available through book-stores,  Lulu and Amazon. There are more details on the website.

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