"Laugh at yourself first,
before anyone else can!"
Writing tip of the day:
Everyone works differently. Many writers get up early to write, and some
work late into the night. I've always advised aspiring writers to find their
own space and their own method of doing things. It's all about what works best
for you. I've read much about writing on blogs, writer's sites and in books,
and some of the advice I've disagreed with. Many times I've read that it is
essential for you to have a journal; one you write in every day. That's fine if
it works for you. Mm ... not this black duck. I've just written notes and filed
them away in manila folders with suitable titles for later reference.
So, having organised your space, coffee and favourite time to write, how
do you dream up themes for stories? Me? I have no idea. They just pop into my
head at the oddest time, but I immediately write them on a scrap of paper and file them in a
folder that is currently jammed pack with ideas ... maybe 400 of them.
Sometimes an idea will occur when you are driving or lying in bed with a good
book. Great, but make sure you write it down before you lose it. I have adopted
the same attitude as a photographer, 'Stop the car now and take the shot!'
Occasionally I read through those scraps of paper and gain ideas for the story
I am currently writing.
I live in a pristine rural area and, whilst driving to town one day, I thought of a holocaust story. Why? Who knows and who cares? What did I do? I pulled over, surrounded by green pastures, cows and trees and wrote one word on one of my tiny pads: holocaust. Months later, I write a short story (28,000 words) called, 'A Rose for Anna'. Having visited four concentration camps in Europe in the early 70's gave me great background knowledge for this story. Amazing, eh? Listen to your inner self and act on your gut feelings.
Mm ... great question, but not easy to answer. I wrote 'Gunnedah Hero'
(story of an Australian drover in a drought in 1910) in the middle of Australia's
biggest drought and it has won two awards in the Australian National Literary Awards.
'KY!' (story of a young Muslim refugee girl who wore a hijab, glasses, loved
to read and was bullied for being different) was written several years ago when the front page of every newspaper in the country was dealing with refugees, boat people and detention centres. It also won an award in the National Literary Awards. However, just because a subject is topical, doesn't mean that publishers will pick it up - even give it
a sniff. Trust me. Go with your gut. Be in touch with yourself and you will write stuff that surprises you.
Due to the controversy about global warming, I wanted to write an
environmental story. Two words immediately came to mind: dirty water. So, I
pencilled those words on a manila folder which sat on a lounge chair for some
weeks. Then, I began writing and the name changed to 'Mister Rainbow' - story
of two young kids who loved fishing; a girl and a boy. The story is based on
Marysville, the beautiful country town that was obliterated during Black
Saturday. Why Marysville, because I lived there for ten years and fished every
stream. I guess I sometimes went to places man has never been and, being a
photographer, I took some sensational shots. The cover for the book is a
photograph I took a year later. I saw a rainbow and followed it until I found
the end of it. How cool is that, eh? Mind you, 'Mister Rainbow' is about a
whopping rainbow trout - not the colourful phenomenon we see in the sky. Hey,
check out my photo gallery and you'll see that rainbow.
I guess my best piece of advice is to find something you're passionate about and write passionately about it - Quote: Clancy Tucker - 'Kids Magazine', 8th February 2005. Not only but also, listen to your inner self, allow yourself to be confident and let it rip.
Don't be shy ... leave a comment or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for listening.
I'm Clancy Tucker