Monday, December 22, 2014

easy to stay?

Where shall I start?
Our house is relatively small, and whenever I write, be it a blogpost, a chatline in facebook, an article for an agricultural monthly, or any work in progress, the very action of writing is obvious to anyone in the house. It just can not go unseen.

I have gotten used to it, and it kind of inspires me, too.

The kids don't seem to care, but my husband sometimes notes that I write so fast and am so immersed in writing as if my life depended upon finishing it, while at other times I type, do something and type again and so forth.

He claims that there is a correlation between the speed I write with and the quality of the outcome. He thinks the pieces I write with much enthusiam are better.
I am not so sure... :) 
But there might be a tendency.
When the scene is right in front of me, the feelings I want to convey are clear, (I type faster), the story is more vivid for me, at least. But for the reader?
My DH is just one of the readers :) :) 

What's your experience?

Friday, December 19, 2014

the gastro story

There is this short story, totalling to about 4000 words, that I have been writing since late August.
It's been a long time, but as per usual, I have my good reasons for not finishing ever since.
(I had to finish articles for the monthly magazines I work for, I even had a translation job in between)

And then there are the usual bad reasons...
Waiting for inspiration, waiting for something else.
At times I didn't even bother to open the file for days or at times, for a week or two.
Sometimes I came accross ideas, facts, interesting aspects, and I slap my forehead and thank myself for having waited for such a wonderful component of the story. I even praise myself saying 'how good it was to NOT write the story... see? This one piece of idea/fact/aspect was just what you needed'
But I think it is the other way around.
Since I have the urge to finish the story (do I, really?) anything that rings that particular bell reminds me of the story.
Do I classify as a procastrinator?
And also, if a story is not coming out by itself, is it worth writing?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Owe me, owe you

Yesterday I finished a short story, where the ending is based partly on my memories. This is a haunting, a nightmare~ish memory, the one you keep repressing, yet eventually, it has to see the sunlight.
I worked along the story to have this memory well grounded, and when I was writing, memories of the past have, for some minutes, become things of the present, and I underwent the same pressure again.
As with all therapeutic writing, it took much of the stress away from me and I felt liberated.
But here comes the uneasy part:
This writing was not intended to entertain/educate only me, this writing will be read at a reading evening of our writers' group this Friday.
(I have already contacted someone to read it aloud for I am not worrying about my massive stage fright)
The question rather is that am I able to make the experience as important for the reader as it was for me?

I owed myself this story, but I also owe the reader (or the listener) to be able to grasp it.
This is the trouble of writing from one's own experience: the writer has bits of information he knows so well and feels so minute and/or evident that he leaves them out of the story. Yet these are needed for the experience to be complete.

On a second thought....
I know that no reader/listener will feel the exact same thing what I felt. No problem with that.
But he has to feel something not unlike to what I felt.

How do you overcome the problem of writing things out, writing about haunting memories? How do you make the feeling as memorable for the reader as it is/was to you?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

NaNo knocked on my door, bringing memories of 2010, but I resisted.
I do not participate, neither did I in years 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Yet the memories are so strong that when October is about to say goodbye, I feel the urge to sit down again and write, but with each year coming, the call gets easier to resist.
I think I have to finish the first novel before starting a new project.
This is just how I work, I guess.

It took me some months and even years to figure out the faults of the story, the story arch, the characters. Well I write 'figure out' meaning 'gaining awareness of'.
I am well detached by now to start rewriting.
Geez. I have just written that down.

I guess Charles is working in a much more practical, useful and economic way. But he is a published author, which I am not. :)
I allow myself to be this way, while I do acknowledge the talent of those who keep steadily on writing, boosteed with ideas, plots and twists and all.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

too close

I have not written anything in the past couple of months. Summer is almost never a creative period for me because of my daily routine (I tend a garden) and whenever I sit down in front of my laptop it's for 2 reasons: either for fun (movie, chatting with friends) or for work. And for work I write.
And also, there is a story in my head, but it is so heavily related to my own life that I have issues about it. Actually, it was a first-hand experience in 2009 - and although I think I have analyzed, over-analyzed the whole thing over and over again, I just can not let it into words after words as a short story.
It is not a story per se, it is rather a bunch of emotions stuffed into a kind of funny situations. Maybe there is nothing to write about it. Maybe I am just not suitable to write it, or to write about it now.
For this story I was thinking about a gastro-setting, where the characters eat and the way they eat and the things they eat kind of reflect their respective personality and/or the type of relationship they have with each other.

Monday, June 9, 2014

how my short story did

at the contest***.
As you may remember, the contest was dedicated to the 100 anniversary of beginning of the first World War (1914). This war re-wrote the map of Europe and devastated Hungary, as it resulted in loosing two-thirds of the country's original territory. (This is no typo here guys: 2/3).
Participants were expected to explore the effects of war, the deeds of heroes and those that served them silently in the back-country.
Anyway, pieces written about WW II. were also eligible.
There were two categories: one for prose and one for poems.
The story that won the first place in 'prose' was a superb story with so many emotions that it lifted your spirit in one moment and let it sink at the other. It was excellently written and left you in awe. A well-earned first place indeed.
The other winning entries kind of left me untouched. There were 1st , 2nd and 3rd places and a special prize for both prose and poems.
I got none of these prizes, but I had the chance (as I had a year ago, too...) to talk to two of the three judges (acknowledged Hungarian writers and poets) and I have their opinion to share with you here.
One of the judges liked my short story so much that reading it left him wanting to meet the writer in person. I take it as a compliment. He also said that my writing was within the first 5 best of his choice but he dropped it because it was longer than the limit. Unfortunately not only it was longer but at times it was way too elaborate, unnecessary detailed and winding at places. Had I chopped it down to the character limit, the winding-style would have gone, too, he suggested. I was glad to take this advice and was overwhelmed with the praise :)
The other judge I talk to also said that my writing was within the first 5-7 best of his choice but he dropped it because it was looong-ish and way too elaborate at places. Whew. :)
He also said that in one particular scene I was quite obscure where I should have been more to the point. I thanked him too, for his time and personal consultation.
I am so glad that the faults they found are faults I am aware of.
I did know that my writing tends to be way too winding (meandering) and/or obscure at times. I know the problem which means I may find a solution.
Geez, I am happy.
This is the third year of the contest. It is organized by the town where I live and is growing bigger and bigger as years pass. The awarding ceremony is hosted by the mayor of the town. It is held in the town library (a very famous one) and the results are published in the local paper.

Friday, May 16, 2014

on the writing front

Dear Charles :)

Dear readers,
if any...
This is to recollect all my activities and questions on the writing front.
I wrote a short story based on real events in WW II. This 6-page story has been submitted to a local contest where the main theme (inspiration) was war, the effect of war on families, on people, on humane feelings, and the like.
The story is about a family that lives in the countryside and takes place in the last year of the war when the Germans are gone, but the worse is still to come: the Russians, but the family's worst night comes when Hungarian soldiers roam the village. These soldiers pretend to be ill to escape the end of war, but they are hungry and greedy. The end is good, though.
Someone who lived through this hell allowed me to use his story, which I re-told from a perspective of a 11 year old girl.
I will update you on the contest.
I wrote a really short story (3 pages) about a 40 something man (he's the pov, first person) who is fed up with being overflown with information. Basically he is freaking out, turns into a catatonic state and feels utterly happy there. He doesn't care about being institutionalized, fed by a nurse and so on: he is happy to be able to watch the whitewashed wall from his bed because there is no information on the wall at all and it satisfies him. Until one day he finds out that there is a spider in the corner watches him. The end is quite a horrible one, but the character likes the outcome.
This piece was sent into a competition and it won me some money and the story got published in a magazine that is issued like 6 times a year or so.
The quality of other writings that came along my story in that particular issue of the magazine are quite good, but almost all of them are as dark as my story. Still I feel I am in good company.
I have not written anything since February.
(more may come...)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

writing projects for January UPDATED

I plan to write at least one, but preferably two short stories by the end of January.
The first I am working on right now is a story set in the last days of the 2nd world war. The idea was given by someone I know at the writers' course I attend in town.
He was 2 at the time the war reached his village.
I am writing his story, or rather, the story told by his older brother, the one who was 6 at the time of the events.
It is not really and outstandingly difficult to see the world with the eye of a 6 yo boy, as my son (who has just turned 17 this December) once was 6, too.
I am a bit confused, though.
Am I to write the story to be read to kids? Is this a story to be read by adults? UPDATE: I definitely think it's the latter.
I have to use the voice of a 6 yo to entertain adults.
Any suggestions?
There is a massive plot, with things going on, it's the voice that is crucial I guess.
I am opting for a first person singular point of view character. That is, I am telling the story as if it was told by the kid himself.
Any opinions?
Thank you!
I finished the first draft and so far, two test-readers (betas) have read it. One of them said the voice was too mature for a 6 yo, the other one said my protagonist looked/felt younger than a 6 yo.
Go figure.
(there will be more betas in the future, for I am planning to introduce the story in a competition.)
As you surely know 2014 is the 100 year anniversary for World War I., and in Hungary alone there are at least 3 or 4 war-themed contests going on right now.