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Week 233 – Neutral Protagonists, The Reason Lemmings Jump And New Genitalia.

Another seven days bites the dust, so this must be posting number 233.

I didn’t need to look very far for my inspiration this week, it came from working on the emails.

We’ve had a few strange submissions in of late.

There seems to be a trend for not naming the characters and having ‘titles’ such as ‘the protagonist’ or calling them by a distinguishing feature. I find it all a bit weird and am wondering if this is the writer doing this so that the reader can transpose whoever they want as the main character.

Does this then come from that ‘Your own voice’ nonsense that we discussed a few weeks back?

I just find it odd and it causes the story not to be as smooth. If you have a two way conversation you can mingle names with the odd ‘he’ or ‘she’ and the story flows. If we need to read about the protagonist or a trait, like right or left handed, blonde hair etc, it just sounds shite.

I’m a bit of a dinosaur in so many ways but I really do think that this type of writer gives less thought to the story and more to the possibility of insulting folks who might be reading.

It’s not Rocket Science. All you need to do is come up with a story, add your characters to carry out the plot, give them a name and away you go.

There’s fuck all else to think about. If someone doesn’t like your story, that can just be their preference. But if you’re scared of insulting anyone, don’t make the characters neutral, before you do anything, please send it to us!!!!

I’m still praying for a comment about one of my stories being signed – ‘Enraged Reader.’ I would answer that as ‘Doesn’t Give A Fuck Writer’

Nik and Diane will have read this next segment in a different guise.

Another common topic we’ve had in lately is nature stories. I’ve no problem with them but I’ve a confession to make. I hate nature programmes, especially those narrated by David Attenborough. He has one of the most boring voices in the world. Only the Queen and Forrest Gump’s voices are more annoying. And before anyone says Mr Attenborough’s voice is soothing, it isn’t, it’s whispery and grating!

He sounds just as enthusiastic when a gazelle gets away from a lioness as he does when it gets its throat ripped out.

He is the broadcasting equivalent of opening a vein. Lemmings never went near a cliff until he did a documentary about them.

Steve Irwin could have shown him how it was done.

Woody Allen once said, ‘Nature is nothing more than one big restaurant.’ (He also said at bedtime, ‘Of course I’ll marry you one day Princess.) But I wouldn’t want to stare at humans eating whilst the most boring man in the world described how the tin of soup had been hunted down at Tescos. So why should I be interested in what animals eat or don’t? He monotones about the starving beasties too.

…And there is something just weird about being fascinated with animals having sex.

Okay, onto this weeks stories.

We had the amazing Leila Allison and four new writers for your reading pleasure.

The topics include; a delay, a haunting, waiting, oppression and an attendance.

As always our initial comments follow.


First up was Leila. She continues to send us in imaginative stories of the highest quality.

Monday was no exception with ‘The Haunting Of Miss Gwen Cooper.’

‘Leila makes doing this look easy, that’s how good she is.’

‘A simple story beautifully told.’

‘If you believe in this, it’s believable and makes perfect sense!’


The next four writers are all new.

So we welcome them all, hope that they have fun on the site and that they continue to send us their work.

Ben Gamblin was the first of them with ‘A Little Bit Toasty.’

‘We all grab onto mundane illogical tasks when we are stressed and awaiting an outcome, the sandwich making was done realistically and very well.’

‘This was gripping in a sort of once removed way which was clever writing.’

‘Well written and an excellent ending.’


Frank Kozusko broke the back of the week. His story, ‘The Grandfather Clock‘ was published on Wednesday.

‘The sections on the sectarianism and the troubles were understated and judged very well.’

‘This made me look to see if there was such a legend. So that can only be good.’

‘Enjoyable, interesting and with an excellent flow!’


On A Balcony In Budapest‘ was our story on Thursday.

Irina Popescu was the author.

‘The vagueness made the conversation real. We never need to explain if we have lived the events. That’s where a lot of stories fall down and the dialogue becomes wooden. But not this one.’

‘Thought provoking and sadly relevant to so many places.’

‘The drip-feeding of events kept you reading.’


And we finished off on Friday with Michael Foy’s story, ‘Blowing Across The Top.’

‘The back story was very well done and wasn’t overplayed. It gave us enough info for the story to build up in our minds.’

‘This managed to avoid being maudlin and there was some bravery from the father.’

‘The hint that the wife still had affection for him was subtle but meaningful.’


Well that’s us for another week.

Just the usual reminders folks.

Please keep the comments coming. They help the site breathe.

And have a go at the Sunday Re-Run. Just pick an older story that you have enjoyed and write a spiel about it or an introduction. Throw in a couple of questions for the author. They have all been answered so far which probably means that I have cursed it.

Just to finish off, I want to leave you with this thought.

When this gets posted, Britain will have a new Prime Minister.

I honestly don’t give a fuck. No matter who, neither of them will do me any good.

It could be Jeremy Hunt. (Rhyming slang.)

It could be Boris Johnson. (BJ – Abbreviation)

So either way we’ll have a leader who has a strong association with either a Pussy or a Prick!


Image by Sa Ka from Pixabay

2 thoughts on “Week 233 – Neutral Protagonists, The Reason Lemmings Jump And New Genitalia.”

  1. I was rooting for Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale for co-PM. They could focus all the Empire’s energies on the “liquidation” of Moose and Squirrel. Now that would be a nature story worth reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Warning there is a plug in here somewhere.

    As a reader, if I am not hooked in the first paragraph forget it – I’m easily bored. There needs to be that grip and a reason to read on – a promise of some excitement, – either the name of a character (so I can love her or hate him) – or a purposeful expectation that drives my reading on.

    There is nothing worse in the whole universe if I don’t know what or who the story is about. Or I lose my place or have to read that last bit again because I fell asleep.
    I am reading a book “Cold as a Grave” and the author has a habit of finishing one section in dialogue and then . . . jumping scenes by starting in dialogue and I don’t know the story has shifted to a new location until a few paragraphs in. Irritating – why – because it pulls me out of the immersion and my simple mind fumbles as I start to reorientate. It is like someone pushing past in front of your seat in the cinema and you miss the most important part. WTF happened?

    I have adopted the the habit of introducing my reader to the main character by name as the first word or else in the first sentence. This is my preference, because shaking hands is what you do when you say hello (maybe), so now the reader and character can skip along hand in hand into their imaginary world knowing all is well – sounds like a real Red Riding Hood story- holding hands with the wolf.

    So I agree with the sentiments so eloquently expressed by Hugh regarding the set up of a story – so either included me in your egoistic literary contribution so I may understand and hang on every word or else I’ll exclaim ‘shite’ and go and pull up a few weeds out in the garden.

    OMG I have just looked through my novel and almost every chapter starts with a character’s name – I wonder if this was a subconscious trait – why didn’t the editor pick it up as Chp 1 -6 all start with Laura . . .

    I had to sit down when two unrelated readers (either to me or each other) remarked how they thought they were watching a film as they read my book. Just the sort of reader immersion you want.
    Or – perhaps they were watching a film! Plug – MISSING by James McEwan – available to order from every bookshop in the world.

    I look forward to reading more stories here next week.
    There are many brilliant stories and writers whose contributions on this site I enjoy for their skill in telling a great story, leaving me in awe and feeling humble.

    Liked by 1 person

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