Writing Fiction

Last year, I decided to join Cynthia’s Free Write Fling (her next one starts Feb 1st) and I began writing for 15 minutes every morning. I write a lot, but it is all formal and academic in style, and I thought that by participating in the fling, that I would free up my writing a little. It would help me to write more creatively. I’m ashamed to say that I only lasted about half the way through the programme, because I grew disillusioned with my own efforts. I realise now that this feeling was actually something I needed to push through, but instead I put the project to one side, feeling a little foolish for thinking that I could write creatively in the first place.

This morning, I read over for the first time, those little fiction vignettes I had written during that fortnight. And, do you know something, I don’t think they’re half as bad as I thought they were at the time. So, in the spirit of my focus word for this year, which is AUDACITY, I’ve decided to share one with you. I’m not going to try and explain it, as it is what it is. I have, however, included a YouTube clip after it which may help a little with some of the cultural references. I hope you like it, and if you’re interested in having a go at writing fiction yourself, check out my Tumblr blog today as the day’s theme is creative writing.

Anthem

“Those hills are bare now. And autumn leaves lie thick and still.” These words ring out across the stadium. Voices swell with pride, and the intakes of the crisp, clear autumn air are unified. Side by side, the crowd stand. Shoulder pressed against shoulder. Knees close to the backs of those in the next row. A sea of blue, punctuated by the occasional white saltire. The Scots were, and still are, a proud race, and this is demonstrated with every match. The tartan army. The kilts with kebab sauce slittered down the front. The rugby strips with suspect stains. Aye, the party began long before they made it to the ground. Whisky fumes blend with the scent of stale chips. Red cheeked faces and full-throated singing.

Crammed amongst this throng, a small boy mouths the words, his voice too soft to be heard over the drunken clamour. He looks overwhelmed. It’s his first time to a game. He normally watched the match at home on the telly, his daddy by his side on the sofa. Safe and sound: waiting for the game to begin. Here, it is a different story altogether. He doesn’t feel so safe any more. This large crowd could easily engulf him. Swallow him whole. Then, he feels Daddy’s large, rough hand take his small, warm hand in his, and a feeling of security spreads to every cell of his body. Nothing could happen to him when he was with his daddy. Daddy would never let it. Safe in this knowledge, he belts out the last line as loud as his little lungs will allow. “And sent them homeward, Tae think again.”

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January 17, 2008. Creativity.

7 Comments

  1. Penelope Anne replied:

    Very worth pursuing this avenue. I loved the second paragraph…the emotion within it came through loud and clear. Fiction is hard, I know I am currently working on that front. Most of my college years was research or reactionary papers. Then poetry. My freelance years were all nonfiction. 2007 brought me back to fiction and it seems I am doing something right.
    Never sell yourself short!!!!

  2. tobeme replied:

    This is excellent Amy! You should keep on writing! You have the talent.

  3. Kelly replied:

    You must definitely keep it up. That was a picture in words, truly. Fiction is challenging, but so freeing when you give into its pull.

    Keep pushing!

  4. On a Limb w/ Claudia replied:

    Hey, just a drive by… I’ll be back to read – promise! The link is fixed. Thanks for letting me know! πŸ™‚

  5. amypalko replied:

    You’re right, Penelope, fiction is very hard, especially if the writing you are used to is formal and academic.

    Thank you so much, Tobeme, for your encouraging words. It really is very appreciated!

    I’m glad you liked it, Kelly. Creative writing can be extremely liberating, can’t it πŸ™‚

    That’s great, Claudia! I’ll check it out. Thanks for letting me know.

  6. Cynthia replied:

    Amy,
    Your writing is lovely! Good for you for posting it. Your entry today so clearly illustrates how that voice inside us stops us from writing. When we get some distance and go back to read it, we can see more clearly, hey, this isn’t bad! (It’s actually good!)
    We have to learn how to be kind to ourselves. I often tell people to treat their writing efforts like they would treat the efforts of their child to do something: completely encouraging, kind, and patient.
    Keep going with your writing! And thanks for posting this.

  7. amypalko replied:

    Thank you so much for the encouragement, Cynthia. I think one of the many things that I learned through participating in the Fling was that I need to nurture myself and my need to create in a far more proactive way than I had previously.
    I hope that your new flingers can learn this lesson from one of the flung πŸ˜‰

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