Tuesday, March 20, 2012

As a Writer...

As a writer, sometimes it's hard to find all the right words. Countless times I've found myself laying in bed or sitting at the computer or at my desk and I'm just staring into space, rattling off synonyms and antonyms hoping that the words will work themselves out.

But sometimes there's writing about deeper subjects.

Sometimes... The value of a work is deeper than some people realize. They read something and don't understand what it really is about, or they don't want to face the truth of it. So as a writer, tweak a couple of words here and there, take out that sentence and add in a couple more and voila, the same story.

Except not quite.

As an example read my original short story World of White, and it's counterpart, World of White - A New Beginning . I see it as a Songs of Experience / Songs of Innocence kind of thing.

The difference is that the original passion and feeling is no longer there. The work takes on a whole new tone and outlook on life. As a writer, this could be good... but I see it as almost a dishonour done to the work. It was brilliant just the way it was, it spoke of something that gets to the very core of someone and it captures a hopelessness that people do end up feeling but never outright acknowledge. Granted, changing it may make people feel better in a sense, but I believe that it kind of butters it up, passes over how serious the subject matter is.

Now just to note, I wrote World of White last year after I had read a couple of books by author Ellen Hopkins (She's such an amazing poet and writer... Such good subject matter and composes it all beautifully), and I believe at that time I had also read Tweak by Nick Sheff and Go Ask Alice. It's not that I had spiraled down into this depressing state after reading such emotional works, it's that I was inspired. This is the first short story that I had done that I truly was proud of, and I wanted to show it off. But, given the subject matter and that I was a 17 year-old with a bunch of family problems I was afraid that people would take it the wrong way. I had shown it to a teacher for submission into the schools literary magizine, and she felt that it would give someone ideas if read the wrong way. No words of encouragement, and it seemed like she was ready to grab a hold of a SAP referral. I assured her that I was fine, that it was just a product of my imagination and inspiration. I figured that would happen, so no hard feelings. Then this year, the lit mag held a contest for short stories and poems. I really wanted someone that I look up to (beside, besides my best friends of course) to give me their feedback on it, so I changed a couple things to fit the topic that they wanted: "New Beginnings." I wasn't exactly thrilled with the new version but I was hoping that the shock value had lessened so that I would get something in return. I submitted it to a teacher that I trusted (not the one I had shown the original story to) and I told her "it's strictly a work of fiction." She knew where I was going with my comment as she laughed and said "So no SAP referrals then?" with a smile. That was a few months ago and no, I did not win the contest. Oh well, there's always other outlets and more important people to read my works(:

7 comments:

  1. It is definitely sometimes difficult as a writer to find the right words...the right "voice" so to speak. I find that the best way to write is to write uninhibited...to literally let the words flow into the paper (or keyboard haha). I'm going to go check out those short stories!

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  2. I hope you enjoyed them, although they are of a different sort. Sometimes I find the best way to write is just to write anything down.. then go back and sort it all out later!

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    1. I did read "World of White" but haven't gotten to "New Beginning" yet. I loved it...it was very vividly written and emotionally powerful.

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  3. "World of White- New Beginning" is the second version of "World of White" (you commented on it previously) :P

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    1. My mistake I was getting them mixed up in my head! :)

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  4. And I think the only difference with the two versions is my conclusion paragraph.

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