Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Day we Fight Back

As part of the campaign against mass surveillance (visit I wrote a Flash Fiction piece, called "Who Will Watch?"

It is a parody on the theme of 'quis custodiet ipsos custodes?' or 'who will watch the watchers.'

Grimbold Books, a Sci-Fi, Fantasy publishing house asked for stories to post online in support of the campaign against Big Brother. You can see three stories on their website, including my own.

Feel free to check it out "Who Will Watch?"

And the winner is...

Last year I was taken with the idea of writing. When I say taken, I mean obsessed. Let's make that clear from the get go. So, last year I got obsessed with the idea of writing and I looked about for something to give me a direction. And I found it.

There was a competition being run by leading Metaphysical Fantasy author, AJ Dalton.

Adam is a writer of impeccable skill, and weaves a complex world in his books. He is a nice guy and can be found in the UK, possibly in or around Manchester. He created a competition to encourage new writers in the Metaphysical Fantasy genre, specifying that "the stories had to be written in the metaphysical fantasy sub-genre, and had to include an inn and various disreputable characters."

This appealed to me, and I submitted a piece. I was thrilled when I was informed in January 2014 that I had won. Adam and I have been maintaining a correspondence since that time, and he has proffered a lot of very good advice. So, on top of everything else, I received some very necessary mentoring from a writer who really knows his onions (This is not quite a mixed a metaphor, as I am sure Adam really does know something about onions...)

You can find the competition page here. By all means check out my story, The Inn at the Edge.

How it all began...

Like many, I have long been drawn to the idea of writing. And like many, I did nothing much about it. Sure, there are some old poems, and the odd short story floating around. But they were never very serious, and at no point did I consider myself to be a writer, even though I thought that I had a modicum of talent.

So what changed? I guess it was the National November Writing Month, NaNoWriMo in 2013.

I entered in 2013 (and won) developing a science fiction novel that pitted three races against each other, as they fought over a source of ultimate power. It was not a good book, but I had fun writing it. I found that while I struggled with things like plot, character arc, timelines, etc, I really excelled at descriptions, motivations, and one or two other things.

In short, I felt that I had some good ideas, but was simply too inexperienced to bring them off successfully.

So I set about trying to teach myself the various tricks of the trade. To do this, I started to write short stories.

I have written about a dozen or so, in the last six months, some of which I may feature here. The process of writing short stories is obviously quite different than that for a full length novel, but there are some necessary elements which carry over.

But I am not going to talk about that. There are many other writers much more qualified, who can tell you far more than I can. But I just wanted to paint a picture of how I got started.

So, after NaNoWriMo, I joined a local group of like minded people and have found their personal stories, enthusiasm and talent, inspirational. I'll talk about them at a later time.

And that is it, in a nutshell.