Layer Cake

I’m just back from a few days on the Northumberland Coast.  Before going I was in the midst of completing of an Arts Council evaluation – not the most inspiring piece of writing to complete!  There’s nothing like striding along empty beaches under vast skies to put a fresh perspective on things.

Walking between Sugar Sands and Craster, a new stretch for me, we turned the corner into an inlet where the beach had largely given way to rocks and retaining walls.  I stayed here for  a while and studied the layers which had been exposed by time and tide – the strata of the rocks, the slicing of the dunes, moss and seaweed, bottle tops and bits of rope, the crow and the oystercatcher.


In writing, the more I take the time to look, the more layers I see – a rich collage to draw upon.  Your dramatic narrative should be like an erosion, a process of washing away over time, a revelation of the complex layers.  What is revealed can be fascinating, unexpected and very rewarding.