So, recently, I actually won a writing competition. Yippee-doo-dah!
However. It wasn’t the kind of piece of which I am all about. It was about, hmm, I suppose it was on travel and holidaying. It was a non-fiction essay on a family adventure. But it was still writing and I won it!. My prize was a book on micro-adventures (worth £16.99). Which really turned out to be quite a gem of a book that I definitely would have bought anyway. It’s jam-packed full of all the kinda shit I like to do. Camping, canoeing, climbing hills, etc.
Over the past few months, I’ve fired out a bunch of short stories and essays for competition and won none, short-listed, long-listed – nada. So, was feeling a bit miffed of late, but getting this prize for a non-fiction piece has kinda stoked my fire somewhat. Okay, it’s non-fiction, it’s not what I wanna do, but hey, I won a prize for writing something! For me, that’s fucking brilliant! I’m a writer!
Sci-fi and fantasy is what I’m all about. Yes, both! To me, sci-fi is fantasy and fantasy is, well, it’s fantasy but c’mon, elven high-lords wielding Singing Swords and Shards of the Scion is pretty scientifically fictional to me. I mean, creating a whole-new world is one of the most scientifically challenging (as well as personally gratifying) procedures a writer can have, of which, I’m sure, every fantasy writer will concur.
But I digress. The point I’m trying to make to myself, I suppose, is maybe I need to make my fictional writing more non-fictional. When you write non-fictional, you write something that is indubitable, something of unequivocal value on this earth and is quite simply fact. That’s how, I’m deducting, I need to write my fiction. Instead of trying to persuade the reader ‘this is real’, as in trying to ‘info-dump’ a load of facts about this newly-made world I should be writing about it as though taking for granted that everything is already known by the reader as if the reader currently resides in said world—if you know what I mean.
I think that’s what the secret to a good book is. Pulling the reader into a state where they feel like they are part of the ‘ether’ encapsulating the actual story. Like they are sitting on the shoulder of the narrator, experiencing everything the narrator experiences. And on completion it feels as though they had watched a movie, with all the images and emotions and the sounds still fresh in their memories.
This, thanks to winning a non-fiction writing competition, and in retrospect of previous short stories, is how I think I need to move forward. While I’m still exploring my first draft of the first story I’m going to fully complete (inc. rewrites and edits) and in accordance to the formats of the thousands of books I’ve previously read, I think I may just well be edging myself onto the right track.
We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
― Anaïs Nin