Science Fiction / Writing / Writing Group

Something old, Something new

It feels great to be able to say that I’m not updating my blog as often due to my own writing and that is indeed the case. I am currently working on an essay that revolves around early science fiction and their relevance to modern life. I’m also attempting to write a horror story to be read aloud in under four minutes. Both of these projects must be completed, or at least well underway, by the weekend and I’m loving the deadlines, though I won’t deny I also find them stressful.

Writing to a close deadline feels great because I’m forced to stop trying to write perfectly and just write. One of these projects is in a genre (horror) that I have never attempted before and it’s all too tempting to just shrug off any ideas and plots as ‘incomplete’ or ‘not good enough’ until I realise that I’m meant to present it on Saturday and there’s simply no more time! I honestly feel that I come up with good ideas, though my writing itself is not up to scratch, but I don’t know why I’m so hard on myself during my first drafts. Horror writing has never even occurred to me before and I feel enthralled trying something different. Even if my monologue turns out to be total drivel, I’ll be pleased that I stretched some new muscles and attempted something different because of my writing group.

My essay is about a subject very close to my heart, I wrote my 10,000 word dissertation on exactly the same subject in university and I am a particular fan of H.G. Wells (just look at my earlier post about my favourite books). This essay is far easier to write though as I have more confidence in my opinion. I think I was held back in uni by my determination to reference ANYTHING other than myself. If you take those 10,000 words, I have no idea how many really sound like an original idea coming from me. To that end, I’m greatly enjoying this essay and getting to share my opinions in a less formal environment. And again, even if this comes to nothing, I’ll feel great writing about what I love. Below is the first paragraph, to give an indication about what I mean:

When early science fiction writers H.G. Wells and Jules Verne first put pen to paper, it’s unlikely that they imagined their writing would have much relevance over a century later. They lived in a time of head spinning change, where technology fairs brought out dazzling new machines and streetlights snapped to life all over Europe. Jules Verne was a serious hobbyist, following these technological advances with intense interest and H.G. Wells was the first SF writer who had a science education that we would recognise today. That’s why it might be surprising to learn that Verne was critical of his counterpart, insisting that Wells took flights of fancy with the science his fiction that tarnished the results. 

So this week I’m writing in a genre I’m unfamiliar with and on a topic where I’m a bit of a self-taught expert. Who knows what next week will hold for me?

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3 thoughts on “Something old, Something new

  1. Does that last sentence of the wuote make sense? I dunno, maybe I'm mis-reading it and getting stuck in a loop but:"insisting that Wells took flights of fancy with the science his fiction that tarnished the results. "something odd there…!Nice assignment about Sci-fi in contemporary life. I think there are so many angles you can take, esp. as Wells is seen as a prophet (imagined up tanks and chemical warfare and parallels with the battle of britain well before they occurred) I like to see Arthur C. Clarke as taking over the mantle as Wells died in the 1940s and that's when Clarke began writing. I don't think modern sci-fi is very wonderful compared to Wells because, he was writing about, say, now, from the perspective of a Victorian. Maybe in a century people will know if our sci-fi authors are any good.

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