Monday, June 25, 2012
It all began with a simple, united voice speaking to me of identity loss and other painful things. It all began as a way to stay awake while sitting in Parliament House during debate time with the youth parliament. It looked like, to the casual observer, that I was taking notes about each bill. I was really writing a story. Elements of that original story still remain in future drafts, the words a powerful reminder of where things began. It's simple. It's The We. Actually, it's not that simple. Nothing ever really is though. It is a social commentary that is my way of exploring the issues that have plagued me while I have looked for work. The lack of control over my near future is something that I have fought against, along with the fight to maintain a personal identity. I didn't even realise when I first started writing it how close in theme it was to George Orwell's 1894. Over the years, it has overgone many reworkings. One of the things that I struggled with as a writer was maintaining the universal voice. By intercutting it with articles and a single voice, I have been able to better explore themes and ideas that, while writing as a universal voice, would not have been done so. The paranoia that the characters feel is very real. In reality, jobseekers are monitored closely, though not as closely as represented in the story. I believe it speaks to those very real fears we all have that someone's watching our every move, looking for us to make an error. Security cameras watch us in public. We are aware of their placement. We know that if they are watching us, if is likely that if we do something wrong, they will catch us. This story is my way of venting my frustrations as a system that sometimes seems unfair and unjust, While some of the thoughts expressed are my own, most of which is simply exaggeration.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Let’s take a step back in time. Not a massive leap or anything, just ten short years to look at what I was writing back then. This time ten years ago, I was halfway through my first year of university. I’d almost finished my first semester doing a uni course [as opposed to a TAFE one] and realising that I might actually be able to make it. My stories were dark, horror noir, slasher types without any real insight into the whys or hows the attacks were happening. Or they were ghost revenge stories. There was no real depth to them. Just straightforward exposition/dialogue/description pieces that were a filler to the anthology my Diploma course put out at the end of each year. I was still in that whole ‘oh my god I’m at uni’ mind-space. It was a big step for someone that no one else expected to leave home, let alone my home state! At the time I was experimenting with the ‘slice of life’ type stories that didn’t need to have a beginning or a conclusive end. My characters rarely, if ever, got a happily ever after. My central female characters had a bit of Buffy in them, because of how much time I spent rewatching old episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and marvelling at Joss Whedon’s story creation. I think, at that time, I was working on a piece that surrounded a central female character with telekinesis who was working in some sort of factory with her friends, each one possessing some ‘supernatural’ ability. Then they all went to a training facility to teach them how to use their powers. Then The X Men came out and I realised that, even without knowing about this world, I had created something similar. So I put mine aside while I worked on other projects. Flash forward to now: I experiment with different genres. I wrote Ferris Wheel in the magical realism genre. Dark Destiny is a horror with supernatural overtones. I’m currently working on a dystopian noir fiction piece that is a speculative look at the unemployment system. Now though, I understand a bit better about the psychological insights into each of my characters. I want their motivation for their actions to be clear to myself as a writer, and to the reader. I understand the need for action that progesses the story as opposed to brings it to a screeching stop. Growing as a writer doesn’t mean that you have to necessary let go of what you know to create something new. It’s a lot about building on what you already have within you to create something else. Something different. And not being scared to show another that this piece came from within your mind, dark and scary as it might be.
Friday, June 1, 2012
I’ve been thinking about what I write, why I write it etc. Not altogether riveting stuff to some, but I thought I’d share a bit of it anyways. Genres: I’m drawn to writing genres like speculative fiction, gothic horror, fantasy, dystopian fiction because there are elements in them that connect to me at a deeper level. As a reader I’ll read anything, but as a writer, I get pulled towards the darker aspects. I studied each of these genres in depth at uni, connecting with them on a larger scale than other topics possibly because I understand the depth and darkness that these stories can encompass. Characters: Every one of my characters is flawed because humanity in itself is flawed. If I were the religious type, I might say that we’ve been flawed since that day in the Garden of Eden when Eve ate the apple. In Ferris Wheel, Sasha and her co-workers are all so flawed, each one seeking out a way to make the world better for themselves without care for anyone else’s desires. Themes: I have a slip of paper next to me with the themes of my next book, which echo throughout all of my story drafts. These include power, control, conformity and the exploration of human’s darker nature. It disturbs the reader, makes them uneasy, which as a writer, I understand, but keep pushing at those boundaries. In my life, I struggle with each of these things on a daily basis, fighting against the idea that I have to be what another person tells me to be. I fight against conforming to the concepts others present to me, and I do constant battle with my inner dark demons which, as I’ve stated in facebook statuses of the past, are nasty little bitches willing to put up a fight of their own. As a reader, we are drawn to things that allow us to connect and escape from our mundane realities. As a writer, I am able to explore, in depth, those things that challenge and scare me on another level, bringing out a lighter or darker outcome as I choose.