Monday, 30 November 2009


The lovely Sally Zigmond has posted her analysis of the title story of 'Words from a Glass Bubble' on her brilliant blog, The Elephant in the Writing Room HERE
She calls it taking a microscope to the story, and it is done incredibly well. Sally says some nice things about my work which you have my permission to skip...but it was she and her colleague Jo Good who gave me my first breaks into print, in their magazine QWF. (QWF is, sadly, no more.) And not just me. Many writers have them to thank for their first 'real' publications!
Reading through her insightful analysis, I am so grateful to her for the time and effort she put into this. But also...what a wonderful resource Sally has created for the aspiring short story writer. To have a piece of work that has done OK out there analysed like this for free and gratis, is fab. So whether or not you 'like' the story, get thee over to Elephant in the Writing Room. Make a copy of the story (you have my permission!), and her analysis. Feel free to disagree, to dislike, to argue. And use her headings to analyse another story - maybe one of your own?
And the other thing it does, this exercise - it reminds me how much we gift our work to the readers when we put it 'out there'. And like a gift, we cannot control how the user will use it. One commenter sees a phallic symbol in my description of a statuette. Fair enough. I can't say I put that symbol there consciously, but if he sees that, then its fine by me! I'm only the writer. Not the reader. And I do not control the space between us, thank heavens. I am immensely moved that people read my work, and find it interesting enough to debate!


Anonymous said...

This is fascinating - and thank you so much for the link, Vanessa. Min x

Vanessa Gebbie said...


Ossian said...

Great link. I know a successful playwright who says the actors will often bring out something in a line that she didn't even know was there. I think that's like the way readers see different things. It must be because in recreating a world, you recreate the things that everyone sees differently in life to start with.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Absolutely... all we can do is write what we write. The rest, as they say, is bonus.

Lauri Kubuitsile said...

I'm off to read the link. I think often inexperienced writers don't leave that space for the reader to interact with the story. They give the reader everything, cut to bite size pieces and often pre-chewed. Makes for a boring story and a bored reader. The spaces are meant for the story and the reader to interact and it's lovely as a writer to get the feedback about what is taking place there.