Monday, 12 December 2016
READING SHINES A LIGHT ON LIFE
Finishing off the massive novel Game of Thrones sure was a relief and I have to confess to skipping through bits in the middle. I was always interested in what was happening in the story, although I seldom felt emotionally involved. I am told the film version increased the involvement. The book did shine a light on how another writer views the thoughts and actions of a whole set of people in a particular world and particular era, albeit fictional. Parallels were drawn all the time of course with real time history and events and people in it. On the whole, not a pretty picture but expertly 'painted' with words.
As a complete contrast I am reading a short story collection of Raymond Carver. Similar to Game of Thrones in its use of the very detailed examination of tiny snippets of a persons life, yet quite opposite in length and scale and somewhat disturbing at times, in the outcome. Almost all of the stories are open ended, which heightens the tragi/comic aspect of each story. It is a clever device, one which I have never been able to conquer with such subtlety and artistry. My work is much more matter of fact, or so I think. Readers may thing differently. I very much admire Carver's work as a teller of tales although I find the direct realism of the short stories by Nam Lee much more to my liking. Yet as a writer I learn from all of these masters and wish as many people read my books as read theirs.
Just over a week ago I began to write up a story that has been swirling around in my brain for over three decades. It is part memoir, part fiction, part documentary and it is being written down (pencil in a notebook) in a style I have not tried before. Yes, I am inspired by another classic writer, whose name I will not disclose at this stage. Hopefully my new work will become a book worthy of publishing and, better still, worthy of reading. Hard to tell at this stage as it it just the first outpouring of head and heart. This first draft is around half way through and it is getting a little scary, the way it is heading. I am pretty sure of where it is supposed to go but, as with all creative works, even its creator can be surprised by what it leads to. I must keep up the momentum and soon finish this first draft because, with me at least, too long a pause can dwindle away not only my enthusiasm but downgrade the yarn from interesting to boring. A writer's nightmare.
I will keep calm and carry on. Let me have your thoughts please. I would love to know what you feel about reading or writing, or both.