One of the cool aspects of this latest course is that it allows me to play with other writerly skills as well as poetry. One of my prompts this week was to write a short script inspired by the Grand Hotel in Scarborough. It’s an imposing building, with an interesting past including being bombed in WW1. I’m fond of Scarborough, it’s somewhere we went when I lived in Yorkshire (apparently, I had a mini meltdown because I had to get off the toy train), and somewhere I’ve been since. Like the best seaside towns, it’s a bit rough and ready but it’s full of life and has some very exuberant waves.
The guidance for this scriptwriting prompt was for it to be a conversation between two people, inspired by the Grand Hotel, and was to involve a secret. Here’s what I came up with.
Lucy – early 70s, polished looking, well dressed. Calm confidence.
Viv – also early 70s, neat and tidy but less fancy looking.
At a window table in the Grand Hotel in Scarborough. Turkey and Tinsel is happening in the same room. A weak voiced crooner is warbling through his catalogue of wartime songs
Viv – I can’t get over it. I never thought we’d be back.
L – You know I always wanted to come back. It’s special.
V – It is that. We had some laughs though as well eh. Locking Mrs Woods in the tower room. Never knew it were us. Good girls me and you.
L – Well you weren’t. Not according to Mother. Bad influence. Dragging me here.
V- Ooh I remember, “A chambermaid! A chambermaid! she can’t be a chambermaid!”. If only she’d known.
Lucy giggles. They break away from looking at each other to look at the Turkey and Tinsel shenanigans.
V – Awful tripe this. Remember my mam telling us about the bomb? This lot wouldn’t be so sentimental if they’d lived through that.
L – They would. This tint of nostalgia stops them having to face up to stuff. That girl I was telling you about was back at the food bank this week. Poor soul.
V – I don’t get it. Look at her over there. Dancing and flag waving like she was survived. She’s not old enough to remember WWII never mind WWI.
L- I remember Mother telling me about one chap – trifle rough but a decent sort – he said he was out feeding his chickens and suddenly it felt like the ground came up to meet him. Terrifying.
V – Or that lad who came home to marry his lass and she was killed in the bomb that morning.
L- I’d like to see them all keep calm and carry on if that happened to them. Some of them can’t even cope with hearing a voice that sounds different to their while they’re going around Tesco.
V–You’re not wrong Luce. Daft lot scared of anyone different.
L – …
They break away for a moment, look at the singing and dancing. A portly fellow ambles over. He’s a little merry but harmless.
PF – By ‘eck love you’re wasted sat ‘ere. Come and ‘ave a dance, mek an old man ‘appy
Lucy – Oh no, thank you – I’m quite happy
PF – crying shame though, love. Lovely lady like you sat on her own like.
L – Oh I’m not on my own, not at all. We’re on honeymoon. Aren’t we Viv?
I love writing dialogue, and the challenge of telling a story without all the fill in details a narrator can bring. It exercises different writing muscles, and makes me think about the quirks of speech that insinuate rather than spell out. Language, dialect and accent is endlessly fascinating and the link to the YTV clip was a a great resource. I had fun writing it, and I hope you had fun reading it.
As ever, please do share this as much as you like – social media is increasingly hard to use for any kind of publicity, and your sharing means I get to interact with more people, which makes me happy.
Thanks for reading