Monday Motivation: The writer as alchemist

 In Monday Motivation, Richard Beynon's blog, Tips for Writers

Here’s a thought to sustain you through these dark days of European conflict:

You can write about grand matters, the fall of empires, the rise of civilisations, global conspiracies, the collapse of entire societies – or you can write about the humble ambitions of ordinary folk, a shoemaker in Minsk, a charlady in London, a street urchin in Cape Town…

You can set your story in places of great beauty, the glittering corridors and staterooms of Versailles or St Petersburg’s Winter Palace, amidst the snow-sheathed mountains of Switzerland, or in a sumptuous villa on the Amalfi Coast – or in the slums of Mumbai, the shack settlements of KwaZulu/Natal, or the ruins of Aleppo.

You can make your protagonist a master of the universe, or the least ostentatious of street-cleaners…

You can make your stakes the future of humanity itself, or the fate of a much-loved stuffed toy…

And yet – and here, dear reader, is the rub – through the alchemy of your art and your artifice, through the skillful exercise of your craft, you can transmute your subject into pure gold.

Happy writing,


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