Rosie Crouch is a BA (Hons) Creative and Professional Writing student at the University of Nottingham. She finds herself writing mostly short stories, with a focus on the relationships between characters. She is also currently setting up a food blog. When she graduates in 2013, she hopes to begin a career in publishing.
I was two years old when I got the scar next to my right eye. One minute I was jumping on the top bunk of mine and my sister’s bed, the next, I was falling full-speed into the backrest of a wooden chair. At the hospital, my mum had to sit on my legs in order to keep me still for long enough for the doctor to treat the gaping hole in the side of my face. I have no memory of any of it, maybe because it was so traumatic that I’ve repressed it. Or maybe because… well, I was only two.
Either way, the story of its arrival is one I’ve told countless times, as though I remember it like yesterday. People sometimes seem embarrassed that they’ve asked, like they think I’ll be offended that they’ve noticed I have something that sets me apart from others. No way. I love my scar. Firstly, it proves I was a fearless two-year-old, and secondly, it looks like a crescent moon. Harry Potter, eat your heart out.
As Amy wrote earlier this week, our differences make us more interesting. In the same way, our interests, the things we love/hate/care about, are what make us fully rounded human beings. In the first year of my Creative and Professional Writing degree, one of the first things we were taught was to give each of our characters an anomaly – something about them that you would never expect in a million years. This is what plucks them up off the flat page and gives them life. It’s what makes them a pleasure to read. You might not want to read about just a normal eleven-year-old girl. But an eleven-year-old girl who can see into the future? Now that’s something else!
During my time here at Hot Key Books, I’ve done a lot of reading. It’s been heaven. Let me tell you, readers, there are plenty of delicious literary treats coming your way. Every story I’ve read here is jam-packed full of exciting plots, gripping conflicts and wonderfully intriguing characters. There truly is something for everybody, whatever your anomaly might be.
What do you think makes a story great? Are you a complex character lover, or do you prefer it when the plot does the talking? We want to hear what you think.