Thursday, December 14, 2006

Narrative Fiction or Narrative Fact?

I've been thinking about narrative recently, what it is and how it differs from reality. So, what is narrative?
  • A single strand extracted from the infinite tangle of reality
  • A language for the description of time
  • A tool to show that reality has a direction
  • A tool to show that reality doesn't have a direction
  • An argument to be pitched against other narratives

And many other things besides. Please feel free to add your suggestions for what it is. I'd love to read them.

It seems that using narrative is one of the things that characterises human beings. But, paradoxically, to be a prisoner of narrative risks us behaving in the most inhuman way.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Crime and Diversity

Have you ever agreed to do something and then regretted it?

How many months ago was it that the Literature Development Officer for Leicester asked me to give a workshop on Crime and Diversity? It was easy to agree - what with the event being so distant. I'd have something to talk about, I reasoned. Diversity is an issue that fascinates me. I'm a crime writer. How difficult could it be?

But as the time for the workshop approached, I started to worry. The more I thought about the title I had been given, the less I seemed to know about the subject. Instead of being able to formulate ideas and come up with activities to demonstrate them, I had more and more uncertainty. Finally, on the day of the workshop, all I had was a list of questions.

And that was what I took to Knighton Library in Leicester - questions. Thankfully, the people who came along to take part had plenty of answers. So I spent a very pleasant two hours listening and learning from them.

Thank you to all who helped. I'm still not sure I know any more answers. Perhaps, in this case, it is enough to ask the questions.