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Far Off Blog

Other stories and other stories

As a child, each time I finished whatever book I had been reading under the covers, I would lie awake for nights, imagining what happened next. Did Cassandra one day go to America with Simon? Did the tiger who came for tea ever come back? I would place myself in the guise of a minor character - a fifth March sister, Katie Morag’s next door neighbour - and probe what might have happened if I’d been there to guide them differently. Would Anne not have dyed her hair green if I had doubted the veracity of the peddler’s ‘black’ hair dye?

What does happen to characters the moment we close the pages of a book? Do they freeze into sepia photographs, or do Lizzie and Miss Bingley snipe at each other with unpenned insults, becoming ever cattier? Do they reimagine their story, playing out alternative after alternative, so that in one version Juliet wakes up before Romeo finds her, while in the next Tybalt ducks out of the way of the fatal blow? Or do they climb out of the book altogether and, wraith-like, explore the nooks and crannies of your room?

sleeping books

Listen to the whispers coming from the paperbacks on your bookshelf and tell us what happens between the leaves. Deadline for submissions to Issue IV is 30 September, so best get writing! (To earn yourself a shiny gold star, to check out our submissions guidelines first!)

Image (cc) Mengjie Jo/ Flickr

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