Friday, 24 September 2010

Back on the Literary Horse

The title's probably a dead giveaway, but in the past I've only used this blog for my latest geek ramblings. Now, I'm not saying that those days are over. I love a good ramble as much as the next tragically nerdy person and I may yet post a lengthy hypothesis on who is hotter: Arthur or Merlin, but for now I'm getting a bit more serious.

Wait, not serious. What's the word I'm looking for? Ah, that's it: self-indulgent.

I may have mentioned this, at length, but I'm a writer. Have been for 20 years or so. Fairly impressive for someone who's still only quarter of a century old. I used to staple together sheets of sugar paper covered in felt-tip scrawls and God-awful illustrations (art was never my calling). Then I graduated to ringbinders and finally computers, and along the way I also shifted from a prose writer to a script writer. I love film and TV (again, a cursory glance at the blog will have told you that much), and, while reading an interview with Joss Whedon as a teenager, I had a revelation: I want his job. I still do (although with fewer cancellations) and I am still chiefly a script writer. But recently an idea has been playing on my mind. It began life as a script, but I couldn't help but think: damn this would make a good book.

So here I am, dipping my rusty toes into the pool of novel writing. I used to be good at it. I recently re-read something I wrote when I was younger and it contained the line "Three sales were dipping and rising on the waves, torn, yellowing sales, dragging the remainder of the vessel into sight above the horizon". Not bad for a 17-year-old going through a pirate phase. But the problem is that since then I have been writing scripts that cut out all the fancy descriptive stuff and get straight to what interests me: dialogue, character and story. I'm out of practice with prose.

Hence, this blog. I'm going to use it to get back into the habit of describing tension-laden silences in more literary detail than "(Pause)". I may also use it to muse on the nature of being a writer, which isn't so much a career choice as a life sentence. It has more in common with a religious belief than a job: you know it's irrational and it doesn't quite add up, but that faith you have in it is utterly unshakable. If a bloke broke my heart half as often as writing has I'd have chucked him long ago. But here I am, coming back for more. Glutton for punishment that I am.

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