Yesterday I learned something fundamental about my writing. It came to me as I was reading yet more feedback from someone who has kindly read the 77,000 word beastie from cover to cover.
I do not write good literature, it is probably not even very good fantasy!
The biggest lesson I have learned as a new writer is to be honest with yourself from the beginning. We all start off wanting to be up there with the literary big hitters, but most of us are just not destined to do that.
Hey-I’m not beating myself up, this is supposed to be encouraging and positive!
What I have discovered from the feedback is that I can do other stuff, so all is not lost.
What I can do is write an imaginative story in a really easy style that people like to read. I have found that readers warm to my characters and care about what happens to them. Readers also seem to like my rather dry sense of humour!
So all that can’t be too bad!
I write in a very ordinary readable style because that’s what I am very ordinary-no matter how much I would like it to be otherwise! Sophisticated narrative and hidden themes are probably way beyond me.
If I do finally get the thing published it will probably sell a few copies (well I have a big family). Anyone with a sophisticated literary taste is probably not going to be looking at my stuff. But I guess if someone just wants to suspend belief for an hour or two on a plane or curled up on the sofa and not work too hard then that is I where I am at.
Hooray I have found my Literary Niche at last!
This blog is supposed to encourage other novice writers to have a go.
I was so pumped up by book 1 that I started book 2 while the muse was on me.
It’s really early days but flatteringly the people who have read draft book 1 for me are nagging me to get on with book 2 because they want to know what happens-no pressure then guys!
This is a longish snip from A Crows Last Calling
They both knew that there wasn’t a chance in hell of escaping that blast, but he went anyway.
Jon sat down on a convenient rock. He wasn’t quite sure what had hit him. Emotionally it was big and he knew it was going to hurt, but somehow he couldn’t quite get his head around it. He remembered a similar pain from years before, but somehow the memory kept escaping.
Robbie Wilkins took out a cigarette for him and one for himself. His hands were shaking so badly that he couldn’t light it.
Valentine took it from him, here let me do it he said, I think you had better make that three smokes.
They all sat on the rock, no one speaking.
Finally the Professor said quietly, excuse me I really need to pee. He got up and walked off around a jag in the rocks.
They looked at each other, after a minute Maggie Valentine got up, I’ll do it, I’ve known the Professor a long time, Jonny’s much more fragile than you would imagine, and liable to do himself a mischief unless we keep an eye on him. Marc would never forgive me if I let that happen, I couldn’t ever forgive myself.
But it was too late, they both heard the noise, a sickening crunch of splintering bone.
Shit, Valentine muttered under his breath as he sprinted around the boulder.
Jon stood holding his own hand, it was a mess of dislocated fingers and gore.
After a mental sigh of relief that it was something that could be fixed, Valentine said looking at the cliff, Did punching it help?
Jon shook his head, not really, I thought it might, but weirdly I don’t seem to be able to feel a thing today. I’m saving the other hand for when I meet the dragon.
Well that’s good then he said kindly, now why don’t you come back with me and Robbie can take a look at it. There is a medical kit in the car.
He followed quietly
Wilkins gave Maggie a look,
Do what you can he said, I’m going to find Marc. If I’m not back in half an hour get him to a hospital then call out the big lads. We are going to blow that scaly fucker out of the sky.
Robbie nodded, the idea of hunting dragons had lost its appeal. He looked at Jon who seemed oddly calm. He couldn’t quite get his own head around the fact that Tony was gone. He smiled sadly as Valentine’s words came floating back to him.
‘They make an odd looking couple but you never met a happier one’
He knew the form, one day soon, today or maybe tomorrow some small thing would make the bomb go off for the Professor. It might be a half eaten biscuit on a plate in the kitchen, or a tiny pair of slippers on the floor next to the bed, who knew what would do it. One thing he did know for sure, Human, Elf or Pixie when that penny dropped it would hurt just the same.
Jon looked at his fingers, Maggie can you do me a favour he said, take my bracelet out of my pocket. I can’t do it, there is something wrong with my hand he said looking at it absently. I want to see Tony’s acorn for myself perhaps that will help. It’s odd but it feels like he is still with us.
Doesn’t seem to have arrived yet, it goes here he said. I know them all. Sometimes it takes a while especially if the person wasn’t expecting to die. With Sally it took two days, but it turned up in the end, they always do.
Marc’s is the biggest, Tone’s is the smallest. It only grew about a hundred years ago. Funny really, it never quite caught up with the others. It’s an odd little thing, I used to call it stumpy when it was still attached, I was rather fond of it. He drifted off again, staring into space, the bracelet clutched in his hand.
Maggie nodded, so that was the famous Elvish bracelet that Jon’s grandfather Gethenaar had given to him so very long ago. Marc had told him all about the acorns and how they only came loose for someone you loved.
He looked at his boots, Dammit he thought, the Pixie had become a good friend over the last 6 years, and he was going to miss him terribly.
He looked at Jon who really wasn’t firing on all cylinders at the moment thank God- he shook his head.
I don’t know how on Earth we are going to get you through this he thought, but it starts with the Dragon. He knew one thing, if he had his way that scaly son of a bitch was never going to see another dawn!