05 May 2008

The Writer Returns

In the last few weeks I have decided, for the second time in my life, to take up writing quite seriously.
My first attempt at this was a little less than successful, for several reason: 1. I was almost straight out of school. 2. I had what amounted to no real writing experience beyond a personal ramblings - certainly nothing published - which compounded the next point. 3. I leapt straight into a full blown novel. Apparently I felt, at the time, that a few shorts written in school, a few tattery and painfully Emo poems and a book full of lyrics - some of which were performed, some of which weren't - were enough to prepare me for the slog that lay ahead. Hum... That isn't to say that I'm not proud of what I accomplished; I had a good story, interesting characters and over 50 000 words - about 145 pages - and in my humble opinion it is a good read. I lay the blame almost entirely at the foot of my own inexperience and hence a lack of knowledge of my own capabilities at the time. I went from a few tiny, 2000 word shorts straight into a fully fledged novel (which, by my approximation, would have reached completion at around 400 - 500 pages), three main characters - each with an individual storyline - and a deadline of one year. Yeah. The novel has now taken a back seat - or, more correctly, has been tightly buckled there and told not to open the windows or talk too loud - and receives a few hours of consideration a year; five to ten pages is my guess. My focus has now turned to short stories. After the (arguable) failure of the novel, my interest in writing took a sturdy knock, and it wasn't until two years later that I found myself reading a Something Wicked: Quarterly Horror Magazine off the shelves of CNA. In it I found a request for writers to make horror/sci-fi submissions for a short story competition. The prize was R1000 and getting published in the mag and I thought to myslef; "Why not?" The dry spell was over and i felt inspired again. My first story in almost two years was titled Birth One 1. As it turned out, four finalist were all published, including mine, and the winner was left up to public vote and has yet to be decided. I did, however, get to meet the editor of the magazine, the wonderful Mr. Joe Vas, and he expressed a strong interest in my writing and requested that i make further submissions in the future, which I certainly shall. And that's where it began. Since then I have begun several new stories, one of which is very near completion, and joined the Cape Town Writers Guild - something that I am especially excited about. I am also, obviously, still doing my photography and illustration and am busy considering ideas for a new, definitely longer stop-motion film. I even have my puppet (assuming i can rescue him from an old lecturer). And as for the novel... well, watch the shelves - in maybe four or five years time ;)

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