After the Birmingham Writer’s Group meeting last night, we sat in the pub and played the index card game again. We asked everyone around the table to write a chapter heading from our novel beginning with the words, “Mr Clovenhoof…”
Once again, the results were brilliant. Heide and I gathered them together and tried to see if there were any obvious themes and we divided them up into piles. We also had separate piles for the completely bonkers ideas and those that were much more generalised concepts (Heide might blog about these separately).
The thematic groups we got were very interesting.
Mr Clovenhoof experiences what it means to be human
Mr Clovenhoof…
Goes shopping
Makes a new best friend
Eats magic mushrooms
Gets a cold
Finds a sore tooth
Goes to the chiropodist
Mr Clovenhoof PhD
Mr Clovenhoof’s birthday party
Mr Clovenhoof comes to terms with wealth and poverty
Mr Clovenhoof…
And the generous redundancy package
Blows his wad
Forgets to renew his TV licence
And the stern banker
Goes on the dole
Becomes an estate agent
Mr Clovenhoof’s battle with his appearance
Mr Clovenhoof…
Not just a pretty face
Finds a grey pube
Nerys gives Jeremy a perm
Mr Clovenhoof visits places
Mr Clovenhoof…
And the pet shop incident
Discovers America
At the movies
Goes to the seaside
Mr Clovenhoof discovers food and drink
Mr Clovenhoof…
And the incident with a very hot curry
And his ring of fire
And the George Foreman lean mean fat-reducing grilling machine
Brimstone and treacle tart
Throws a dinner party (or maybe a barbecue)
Mr Clovenhoof’s attempt at a music career
Mr Clovenhoof…
Sings Karaoke
Learns the guitar
Goes to Glastonbury
Meets Bono
Goes on Desert Island Discs
Fools Britain by pretending he is the second coming of John Peel
Mr Clovenhoof struggles with modern life/technology
Mr Clovenhoof…
Updates his status
Is put on hold
Sells things that don’t belong to him on e-bay
Mr Clovenhoof’s love/sex life
Mr Clovenhoof…
Goes commando
Goes speed dating
Shall go to the ball!
Discovers some women are exactly what they say they are (or when Satan popped his cherry)
And a suspect one night stand
And that second awkward date
Chooses his drag queen name
Mr Clovenhoof’s spiritual life
Mr Clovenhoof…
Assembles his dark legions
And the ice age in hell
Votes for the next pope
And the kindly priest
Meets his replacement
Goes to confession
Encounters with other people
Mr Clovenhoof…
Meets some trick or treaters
And the angry football fans
The lady from the market and an unfortunate excursion
And the boy with a lisp

We will end up using some or all of these ideas. I think the next step is generating some story arcs from these ideas and see what overall shape this gives to our piece.