I’ve been experimenting with black and white photography over the past few days. Using a setting on my camera called ‘high-contrast mono’ I’ve achieved some unexpectedly pleasing results.
Wheelbarrows in the walled garden at Croft Castle
It’s also got me thinking about how working in monochrome can translate into writing. We often talk about introducing colour into our work, but what about stripping it away? What about, instead, concentrating on shape, pattern and contrast?
I’ve just got back from a week at Tŷ Newydd, the National Writing Centre of Wales. It’s close to the village of Criccieth in Gwynedd, North Wales, and overlooks Cardigan Bay. Dolphins swim in that bay, maybe mermaids too, for there’s more than a sprinkling of magic in the area. It’s been inspiring writers for many years.
I was one of a group of ten writers there this week. Under the guidance of tutors Francesca Rhydderch and Mavis Cheek,who complemented one another beautifully in their teaching, we ten all found that the words flowed freely in this beautiful setting. Helped not a little by the leaven of laughter – writing may be hard work, but it certainly doesn’t have to be solemn.
I came home with the drafts of two new short stories. As well as the makings of a new writing support network. And we’ve all promised to invite one another to our book launches, in the fullness of time!