The Violinist of Mosul, Twitter Short Story by Paul MacAlindin

Watch the 140 Character Short Story: THE VIOLINIST OF MOSUL

Get to know writer Paul MacAlindin:

See writer’s upcoming book: @upbeat_book

1) What is your very short story about?

I’m the Music Director of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq

The violinist is one of my players who, being a Christian, was forced to get out of Mosul last June when they invaded. He made it into the Kurdistan Region of Iraq where he was supported by other players from the orchestra. He now teaches music at a school there. Nobody is really safe in Iraq at the moment, but he is, at least, resettled and safer.

He is one of the gentlest, kindest people in the orchestra, as well as being a very fine player who, like many, managed to teach himself violin without any teachers, by learning from masterclasses on YouTube.

2) What motivated you to write this story and submit it to the festival?

I’ve just completed my first book, UPBEAT, the story of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq, and his story literally begins where the book stops, as the orchestra was forced to suspend operations last June due to the invasion of ISIL. UPBEAT will be out in the middle of next year in hardback with pictures, published by

3) What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Michael Clayton

4) How many scripts and stories have you written?

This year is really my first attempt at putting stories down as words, motivated by the need to tell the orchestra’s story.

5) What artists would you love to work with?

As a conductor, I would have loved to have worked with Dame Janet Baker. Living, the violinist Sylvia Rosenberg.

If my book were to get made into a film, I’d want Jake Gyllenhaal to play me. He loves those hunted loner roles of people who always think and feel differently to the rest. Besides, I need a much better looking guy than me to do me justice.

6) What is your passion in life?

Conducting orchestras, teaching, saving the world etc

7) Any tips for other writers who want to write a 140 character short

As a musician, I think and feel through movement and sound, and this is how I process words. So whilst visual imagery is important, as most people process their information primarily that way, use of onomatopoeia, alliteration and motion help bind such a short structure together. Try to think of the space between the words. Silence is part of the music, so that needs to be felt around the words, as this could end up being spoken. Try to feel the sentence as though it were a drummer riffing. What’s the inner rhythm that unifies the story and drives it along?

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