The prompt for this one was to choose an author, take one aspect of their work and steal it. If you haven’t read The Wasp Factory but feel like you’re going to, maybe don’t read Tales for the Nursery or the rest of this post.
Actually, that’s good advice for anyone who prefers their stories well-written or enjoyable.
ANYWAY, I chose Iain Banks and went with the ‘Dark Family Secret’ element that happens in almost all his non-sci-fi novels. Even more specifically, I directly ripped the penis thing from The Wasp Factory but left some differences in there.
The second part of the prompt was that after stealing that one thing, you can’t use any other aspect of their writing (within reason. I think I was allowed to submit the story in English.) That meant no grey Scottish landscapes and no post-industrial towns in further decline. No alcoholic characters or even characters that struggle to cope without a few drinks. Very limiting because I can’t think of a single thing I’ve written where those haven’t featured heavily.
That’s why there’s a dark family secret set in the heart of colourful Toytown, where everybody leaves happy, fulfilling lives and the worst indulgence they’ll partake in is an extra slice of pie at dessert. What a swell place.