Sirwin
Sirwin

The Joy of Writing

By rah | rah | 29 Jul 2022


I have always loved writing.

I remember as a teenager I used to write stories that were usually fantasy themed and while if I look back they were over simplistic they represented a starting point. I recall vividly being set some homework in English class in which we were asked to write a story with the given opening sentence and closing sentence. The teacher probably anticipated a 3 - 4 page story and I recall going to his class the next day when the homework was due and asking for an extension. He was initially not very impressed, but when I pointed out that I'd written 10 pages and had simply run out of time to finish he relented.

The final story was more than 37 pages long and it was - in my mind at least - a sword and sorcery epic. Move over GRR Martin!

I experimented a little with different genres including a post-nuclear scenario, but that was hard going and I was disappointed with the result, but in moments when we find it hard going we learn more. It is easy just to drift along if something is unchallenging.

I can then skip a fair few years, I moved country three times before finally settling down and then I had time to sit and write. Again I experienced some challenges. I have a great concept for a novel primarily set during the Second World War and another for a fantasy epic. However, with the former I got bogged down in the necessity to absorb too much historical information (and I love history) to correctly contextualise it and for the latter I realised I had two other difficulties.

The first being that I lacked the confidence to write dialogue without it sounding wooden and clunky. The second being that I struggled with the standard third person narrative approach.

The solution when it came proved to be remarkably easy if unconventional. I switched my style to a first person narrative and that made it much easier to identify with and build solid characters as I was suddenly feeling what they were feeling and almost experiencing what they were. As a consequence of creating such deep characters the dialogue then flowed naturally and I was able to move away from the over-repetition of variants of the word say.

And now here we are a few years later where I have two soon to be published novels in the pipeline and a third on the way.

Of course, the arrival of a baby last year has somewhat disrupted my time for writing, but I wouldn't change that for the world and I still have plenty of time to complete the third novel (which is the last part of a trilogy) with the first two parts yet to come out. There will additionally be at least two more novels that are currently only sketched out based on the same characters. One is to provide a backstory for the main characters and the other is because I belated realised that at the end of the trilogy the main protagonist needs to undergo one final challenge to complete her character arc.

So actually it is going to end up being a "Quadrology".

I am pleased to say that I must have something about my writing style because my first manuscript was immediately accepted at the first attempt. I understand this is quite rare, but let's be honest I have spent the best part of 40 years, probably starting from that 37 page story that I wrote as a homework project, honing my skills.

... and maybe now I am just reaping the results of a long apprenticeship.

As always stay safe and stay well my friends.

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rah
rah

I love reading and technology as well as history. I teach English and Business to professional clients as well as soft skills with a focus on communications. I am a big fan of both Sheffield Wednesday and Lincoln City Football clubs


rah
rah

Experienced Business Owner and Coach and Tutor who now trades in Crypto. It is proving to be an interesting journey with so much technical language involved. Follow me as I learn the trade (and how to trade). Made some howling mistakes to begin with, but still learning and will share what I learn as I learn it for the benefit of the community. - RAH

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