The home of Critic, Writer and Film-maker: Liam Walters

Article: A Retrospective of My Writing [Part 1]

[ Article By: Liam Walters ]

[Originally posted: 27/08/2010]

[An Off the Top Article]

[Part 1]

So these last couple of days have been quite interesting as far as being a writer is concerned. I’ve been writing reviews and articles for a couple months or so now, and I have been finding it really interesting. It’s nice to see something that I’ve worked hard at, and its also good practice for writing something else than the fictional stuff I have done in the past.

I’ll go through a short retrospective of how my writing as developed over time:

2004/2005 – I believe that I started writing properly around this time. These werent anything big, only short poems or song lyrics, that I mainly did in my spare time. I didn’t really share these with anyone because I wasnt too sure if they were that good.

Summer 2006 – This is when things made a progress. After having read the first two Maximum Ride novels, I decided to join the fan message-boards. I saw that people had written stories based on the books and the characters, and this was when I discovered ‘Fan Fiction’.

So during the summer, I wrote and completed my very first story, which was a Maximum Ride fan fiction. It was more of an adaption, as I had added in 3 original characters and a separate story plot for them.

Whats interesting is this is the only large piece of work that I had written, that I actually finished. I’ve tried writing long pieces of fiction since, whether is was fan fiction or original fiction, but I’ve never been able to complete the story.

That summer was also a landmark as it was when I discovered text-based Roleplay. As you can probably guess, text-based Roleplay is where you create a character and story line and act it out through text, generally over the internet.

I can’t stress enough how roleplay has helped me become a better fiction writer. A lot of the time, you wont spend every day writing a story, and even if you do, your probably there alone. Roleplay is great because with short posts you can easily make time to do it in your day, and your also doing it with at least one other person, if not 4 or 5 or ever more. You have other people to bounce ideas of, and who will take the plot in a direction that you had never even thought of.

From Summer 2006. not much actually happens as the way of developed writing. In Winter 06, I started a roleplay with a girl, and that developed into a whole series of roleplays that were actually finished, with truly developed characters. Unfortantly, the Maximum Ride message boards closed down, and so a lot of the first roleplay was lost. Then we moved it onto my own forum that I created: Tortured Artists.

Tortured Artists was basically a safe house. I kept most of my work uploaded there incase anything ever happened to my computer. Of course, over the few years it did and it was safe… Unfortantly, I should have made proper back ups, because the hosting site for the forum got closed down without any warning, and so I lose everything on the forum, including the rest of the roleplay, a dozen or so stories, and maybe around 20 poems.

Cut ahead to lets say Autumn/Winter 2008. I start a Btec National Media (Tv & Film) course at college, after completing a Btec First Media. Since I did so bad in English at school (I got a GCSE ‘E’), I decided to retake English GCSE. One of the assignments was to write a short story.

Already having written fiction numerous times, I figure it would be easy… And it was. I managed to write a highly evocative short story, that my tutor graded as a A. So I carry on writing short stories in my spare time, showing a few to my tutor to get her opinion.

This is when things take a turning point, as she suggests writing competitions. I’d never really thought of entering them before, but figured that I would give it ago. And so I did, entering numerous competitions, but not ever winning.

I completed the course with a grade B, which I was happy with as it was a great improvement, and if anything, proof of how much I had developed in those years…

So this is the end of part one. I wrote this in one massive chunk, but when I saw the length, I figured to split it into two.  Comment on how your writing has improved, and I hope you look forward to part two of this retrospective.


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