Will Gatti & Daniel Finn


Write Fish Wrong Fish

If a man appears scrambling up from the river looking a bit pleased with himself the chances are this man has been fishing and he’s caught a fish. Yes! I see a not very big fish in the net. Size doesn’t count (of course it does). BUT, the thing is, what does this have to do with writing stories?

Easy – ask me another- standing on a river bank staring at the water, looking and looking and looking for a stir, a swirl, a hint of a rising fish is not unlike staring at the page looking and looking for the hint of a tale, or a twist in the tail or an end to the tale.

And if you hook that fish, that beautiful flash of silver, that leaping dream of far-away seas, you are in for a fight; and if you hook your story, your character, your place, your plot, you will be in for a fight too. Unless you’re lucky. We all get lucky sometimes but you can’t rely on luck because she (I don’t know why she’s a she but she is) will twist away from you when you need her most, so keep looking. Looking is the thing. Looking closely. Seeing what is out there, just beneath the surface…

And what if that man crossing the river wasn’t smiling and didn’t have a net with a fish in it? What if he had just seen something up the river, round the bend, above the fast water, caught on the ford…