This blog post marks my 100th post *cue sounds of celebration*
After hacking my way through the overgrown jungle that is a writer’s first step, it is time to look back at where I have come from and where I intend to go from here.
My journey began in October 2009 when I decided to focus on creative writing. I began writing micro-fiction of six sentences as a way of “getting my feet wet.”
2010 was a year of practice, putting words out there, not planning out where I wanted to go with my writing or trying to get ahead of myself.
I came across Fiction Friday writing prompts at the site Write Anything. Its premise is simple:
- Spend at least 5 minutes composing something original based on the theme or challenge (and keep writing…)
- But, remember, no editing. This is to inspire creativity not stifle it.
- On Friday, simply post what you wrote to your own blog.
For me, this was the impetus to get writing and not to be afraid of doing it. It forced me to write each week, to move beyond the initial fear of what people would think of my work.
I have received such amazing benefits from the experience. I became involved in a strong, positive community that was encouraging and supportive providing feedback through comments. A few people deserve thanks: Icy, whose encouragement kept me writing, Annie and Jodi (co founder of eMergent Publishing) whose support cannot be underestimated.
It has led to involvement in Choose Your Online Adventures (a collaborative writing project) and and my debut publication in Literary Mix Tapes: Nothing But Flowers.
Later in 2010, I took another step forward by becoming involved in the #fridayflash community on twitter (courtesy of J.M. Strother @jmstro). This is a broad and diverse community that if you spend some time, will encourage and support.
Through #fictionfriday and #fridayflash I have made some good friends and continue to do so.
Lastly in 2010, I began a web serial using characters and plots from a Fiction Friday prompt. This has made me think about actually writing a novel. When the serial is finished I am going to take it down and reshape it as a Young Adult novel.
Which reminds me, I had better go finish it. My characters are waiting to see what happens next.
So what do I write?
This has been a question I have been filtering for the last 12 months. I know what I don’t write.
I don’t write horror, paranormal, zombies, romance, sci-fi, fantasy, speculative fiction, westerns, historical fiction or “other.” I have dabbled in sci-fi and is a genre I might return to one day.
I write suburban realism (a term coined by Icy) – which is what exactly? Looking through my writing of 2010, it has predominantly been stories focused on the minutiae and ennui of people. I take an aspect of relationships or circumstances of a person’s life and explore it. It can be tragic, comic, tragi-comic or comic-tragedy. In writing flash fiction, I focus on the microscopic view that is a parable of the macro.
I have been strongly influenced by the writing of Tim Winton and Markus Zusak whose novel, “The Book Thief” is one of my all time favourite reads. Both have strongly poetic writing of vivid imagery and the intricacies of relationships.
Where To From Here?
Short stories or novels?
Do I ever have to write a novel? Perhaps not. Does a poet have to write an epic poem? I would like to write a novel, but I don’t feel like the compulsion to do so. I want to know I can write a novel, so that is on the cards.
I like the scope and framework of flash fiction and short stories and intend to write an anthology.
I want to push myself further this year by making 2011 the Year of Editing. This is a necessary tool to improve the quality of my writing as I will begin submitting pieces of flash fiction or short stories to anthologies, competitions and literary journals.
I am a writer. I fabricate existences and construct realities that have a remarkable resemblance to real life. I tell lies and you believe it.