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Cherished Fictional Characters

Cherished Fictional Characters

Even though it’s well over 50 years ago, I can still recall watching Andy Pandy, Bill and Ben and other similar television programs for young children. I loved them all. As I grew a little older I became a fan of Dr Who and to this day I recall vividly the intense thrill of fear the very first moment I saw a Dalek on the television screen.  I was literally petrified of them but so fascinated I was glued to the screen during the episodes.  Someone only had to point at me and say ‘exterminate’ (a popular children’s amusement at the time) and I would run away screaming. My greatest fear then was that Daleks would become a reality and suddenly appear in front of me. Even with all the advantages of technology in today’s filming industry, nothing I’ve ever seen on a screen since has installed the same feeling of dread in me.

Fictional characters (if you can call a Dalek a character) can play an important role in people’s minds, especially the young.  I longed to be part of a gang and share the same adventures as Enid Blyton’s Famous Five or Secret Seven characters, to fly like Peter Pan, or to fall in love with a Mr Darcy. Today’s young people probably dream of being Harry Potter or Hermione Grainger.  Adolescent boys may fantasise about Daenerys Targaryen and young ladies possibly dream of meeting Jon Snow.

There are countless fictitious characters immortalised in literature. Unlike us mere mortals, forgotten a generation or so after we leave this place, fictional characters are re-discovered and loved anew by each new generation of bookworms, film buffs and story lovers.

A fictional character begins life inside a writer’s head.  As a writer, perhaps one of your characters will become immortal, possibly originally inspired by one of the WA’s Monday muses.

This week on WA
Category: Site News

A quiet week on WA, perhaps we are all otherwise occupied preparing for Christmas

Sue posted a couple of chapters from her recent NaNo writing.  Extracts from chapters, written in her usual eloquent style show promise of an action packed story, based on a personal and harrowing experience.

Congratulations to Bruce who has recently been published in ‘So It Goes’, the Literary Journal of The Kurt Vonnegut Museum Library.

The voted in Ad Hoccers this week are Sue, Maggie, Chris and Angela. Some members are becoming Ad Hoc veterans.

With her Nonsense Narrative Writing Challenge and thanks to a shared effort with Chris Fielden, Lesley had raised over £1,500 for charity.

The muse for the coming week was posted by Crilly.  The stimulating story titles are, perhaps mercifully, unrelated to Christmas.  For those amongst us with a literary seasonal frame of mind though, a Christmas theme could be used in relation to the prompts.

Despite being under the weather, Jo posted an interesting blog about a book on novel writing.  I've added it to my reading list.

The Revival of an Icon



The distinctive red telephone box was once commonplace in the UK. Unfortunately, due to advances in technology, the ‘Oh-So-British’ red telephone box is a much rarer sight these days.  So what happened to the 92,000 or so BT owned kiosks that once graced our highways and byways?

Many have been recovered from telephone box graveyards, refurbished as mini snack bars and art galleries, or have become tiny shops selling small items such as postcards, hats or sunglasses.  Two such kiosk shops can be found at the end of Brighton Pier.

Some are used to display flowers and at least one was used to house a Christmas tree. In a field opposite his home, one slightly eccentric chap mounted a 20 foot high sculpture composed of three telephone boxes mounted at different angles.  Apparently his neighbours were not appreciative.

As part of BT's "adopt a kiosk" scheme, communities are able to acquire a decommissioned telephone kiosk for £1.  Kiosks in remote areas have been fitted with defibrillators, small devices which can deliver an electric shock to a person in cardiac arrest, helping them to regain a normal heartbeat rhythm. If a defibrillator is used within three minutes of arrest, the chance of survival could be as high as 70%.

In the Cambridgeshire village of Shepreth, one redundant kiosk briefly became a pub as part of a protest at plans to turn the recently closed local watering hole into housing.

Benjamin Shine, an award winning artist, turned one kiosk lengthways and transformed it into a highly original Chesterfield style couch. It went on display in various parts of London and was to be auctioned off at a later date in order to raise money for a charity.  

A fair number of defunct phone boxes have been converted to hold ATM cash machines, a much more attractive housing than a bank wall. 

Many have found their way into private gardens and one resourceful chap converted his phone box into an outside loo. One hopes he made some effort to block the view of the interior.

One kiosk is home to Scotland’s smallest internet café. Visitors can make themselves a cup of tea or coffee and use the internet. 

During recent years, many libraries have closed their services.  Numerous localities have transformed phone boxes into book exchanges.  A kiosk can house well over 100 books.  Locals bring along books they no longer wish to keep, pop them on the shelves and help themselves to others.  One advantage over traditional libraries is that they are open 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.  If you are privileged to live where there’s a local red telephone box book exchange/library, you’re never stuck for a read, even in the middle of the night, though you will need to take a short stroll in the dark.

As a writer, if you live in a village running one of these mini libraries it’s perhaps a great way to get your work and your name noticed.  Pop a few copies of your latest novel into the kiosks around the locality and wait for feedback from the locals.



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