I’ve just finished my first piece of creative short story writing for about 12 years. Whilst I’ve written a fair few scripts in that time I haven’t really had the desire to return to anything like story writing, my first reaction to any new idea was to ask how it would pan out as a movie. There’s a local publication dedicated to writing from this area and I thought I’d try and get something in for their next issue, as an exercise to see if I could still write short fiction. The deadline is August 31st so if you live in Dumfries and Galloway and you fancy a crack at it then I’d get moving now. I’ve submitted a piece which actually has its roots in something I wrote whilst at school. It’s been shortened down a fair bit seeing as I only had 850 words to play with but I knew the pacing inside out so it was a safe bet as a testing ground to get the creative writing flow back after all these years.
It’s a sketch, little more than that which does have slight frustrations. A few years ago, back in college, I was doing a creative writing module as part of my course. We all had to write poems, recite them and receive feedback on what we had written. I went at it purely for laughs with something about everybody avoiding a Big Issue seller in Glasgow. My tutor, a man who I respect and admire greatly to this day, said that whilst it was good it felt a bit ‘poetry lite’. It might have irked me a bit at the time but I’ve come to realise exactly what he meant.
Comedy is really hard to get right but when it does go well, it’s pretty much unbeatable. This said however, it’s often the case that I’ll try and go down the funny route even when I’m trying to write dark drama or make a serious point. Whilst I never had to use comedy as a ‘defense mechanism’ in school to prevent bullying I do end up using it as a defense in my writing. Essentially, if I can lighten the mood then I try to but it’s mainly to avoid anything too bleak.
Hopefully, nobody at The Fankle will mind and it’ll be included as the curio it’s meant to be. I’ve decided to have a simple rule of not publishing any writing on this blog unless it’s been published elsewhere. It would be very easy just to stick it on this block without much thought and move on but that seems a little bit too self important and unregulated. If somebody else deems it worthy of publication then I’ll link it to them.
The story is called ‘Uncle Roger’ and I’ll know if it’s been accepted in the first week of September.