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Writing to perfection

I finally sit down to write my ideas for yet another story. It’s my happy place, the pen running smoothly across the page of my lined notebook. But soon my flow is interrupted. It looks like the last word of the sentence, 'blankly', won’t fit in before the end of the line.

I can’t possibly add a hyphen to the word and break it in half as that would break my 'every word must be complete' rule. I can’t skip to the next line because the gap would be too big, breaking my 'fill every line to the margin' rule. My hand is shaking.

So I stop before the second last word, which is 'staring', and raise my hand from the page. I close the notebook; I can’t bear it. If I can’t follow the rules I’ve established for my notebook, what next? That I use my kitchen sponge for washing cups to wash the plates and cutlery?

Deep breath.

I think I’ve found a solution. I open my notebook again. I make the ‘s’ in 'staring' look like a long snake, and the horizontal line on the ‘t’ also stretch out, so that it’s longer than the vertical line. I give the ‘a’ an oval shape, and continue the stretching until the last letter. The word 'staring' looks like a piece of string you’ve stretched too far but it does end close to the margin.

So, you see? If I simply adapt within the rules that I make, I never have to break them. I am in control. Life is perfect.

Clara Andrade

Copyright: Clara Andrade; photos: Wix.

Posts on this Sydney School of Arts blog are published to showcase the work of emerging writers who meet weekly to workshop stories. The posts comprise just some of the responses written in just 10 minutes as a warm up to the meetings.

If you'd like to join any of our groups or are looking for writing classes, contact us at

The latest novel published by a writing group member is 'Cloudless Love' by Robert Carrick. Available at major bookshops and here at Abbeys Bookstore in Sydney's CBD. Just click through ...



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