I spoke to a class of Year 12 students today about inspiration, ideas and research. Most of them hadn’t heard of Poe. I think all of them, actually; a couple put their hands up but they were just being polite. I described “The Tell-Tale Heart” a most passionate way, and they were interested. I talked about how, on visiting Poe’s house in Philidelphia, the floor board squeaked and I thought, “He stood here! He made that floorboard squeak!”
I talked to them about trying to inject themselves into the sootry they were writing, to make it different. One said, “B ut I’m writing in the third person, so there’s no I in it.” So I spoke about having passion about the story, how writing yourself into means writing with passion, and working to make sure you come up with a story no one else would come up with. They were shocked to hear I do ten or fifteen drafts of my stories, but pleased at the same time that what they had to start with could be worked with.
I hope at least a couple of them seek out the writings of Poe.