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

Guest: Writing Retrospective


Hopefully, I haven’t rambled! :P

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I began writing in around 2006. The exact year and date of this is a bit foggy in my mind, but I know it all started “properly” (I’ve been thinking and reading stories my entire life) when my friend told me about Mugglenet and it’s large fan fiction base. She told me about a story that was being written and posted that she loved, that was about Lily and James Potter watching over their son as ghosts.

Again the exact details of this story are foggy to my brian now, but I found it after a bit of a search on the internet and loved the story. Then I found another one, read it, and again, loved it and read, and read, and read until I found myself not being able to get off the site.

Then I decided to write one myself. Again fogginess takes over any details the story clearly had, but the first two fan fictions I wrote were based within the confines of a notebook (one of which I still have) and was a Harry Potter one. I loved that story. I had a notebook and a new pen that I genuinely loved and penned away at it every night until the early hours of the morning.

Unfortunately, I seem to also remember this being the downfall of my GCSEs. I’d have never of admitted it at the time (nor shown anyone else other than my Dad the notebook either!) but I think the reason I didn’t do so well was partly due to me wanting to write that Harry Potter story instead of revising.

It was also around here that I began to love Doctor Who, and soon after that I’d written Age of the Codslingers (my first who fanfic) which again was in a notebook. And then shortly after that The Pearl of Souls and My Fairytale (which I posted on the internet).

The laptop we had soon became my constant companion. I would bat out word after word without a worry over spelling, grammar, storyline, plots or characterisation. These simple, but more sophisticated part of storytelling hadn’t occurred to me just yet. In fact, now I think back on it I actually don’t remember even learning about these kinds of things. But you’d have thought that at some point over the last four years I’d have looked it up.

I was a curious (and still am) new writer. :P

Then I showed a teacher, who kindly read my little (and rather bad, I cringe! :P ) fan fiction The Pearl of Souls. She got back to me about it and stated that I should become a script writer when I was older. To which I remember becoming extremely excited of the prospect and ran off to tell my friends.

Before then I hadn’t really considered doing it as a career. I was just having fun with my own Doctor Who stories, but when she said it, something clicked inside of me. So when I entered college for the first time (on my BTEC first in Hull) writing the script was a massive thing for me. Of course when I look back at those little scripts for projects now I have heart failure. Not only are the lines cheesy but the formatting is completely wrong!

Then came Sheffield. And with it came a new college. And with the new college came Kathryn. And with her came the comics. :P

Now before I go on you have to realise that at this point. I was still very much into my fan fictions and Doctor Who. And with a new close friendship in my life it wasn’t long before Kathryn and I decided to do a comic together. It was Kathryns idea and one of which I would never change because through our little Pearl of Souls comic came Heartstone Odyssey. I’d never even considered comics before but it didn’t phase me completely. So I agreed to it, one day in class being shown the script of a wolverine comic and off I went!

Pearl of Souls comic was a good practice for me. It showed me how to write a comic (or how I thought to write a comic :P ) and gave me a new little project to focus my attentions on. But it was different this time, instead of cramming up in front of the computer I was cramming it all into a little notebook with Kathryn sitting by my side. I was learning (not consciously) about how to make up stories with someone else, but also learning that there was also someone these to also love the stories.

Before this and during my school years the only person I’d ever trusted enough to admit that I liked writing was my Dad. I showed my fanfictions to him gained encouragement (to my embarrassment at the time) and eventually showed my teacher. But even then, I’d still hide my notebook if someone walked into the room. I was shy and a little scared at being laughed at, so when I entered college at Sheffield and brought myself into a world where other people also loved stories it built up my confidence, want and need to do more of them.

Christmas 2008 came and I finished the Pearl of Souls comic. Kathryn and I both loved making the script, character designs and probably squeeing over David Tennant pictures a little too much that we’d both decided we wanted to do another one. But the difference with this one was that it wasn’t going to be a Doctor Who fan comic.

It was going to be completely original and mine. (And Kathryns too, she’s the artist by the way :P )

The next year saw the death of my fan fictions. I briefly had a couple of months where I wrote another (to which would be my last proper fan fiction) called Whitechapel. Jack the Ripper and Doctor Who… need I say more? But that swiftly came and went after I’d batted out the 20,000 words for the competition I entered it into. And afterwards I’d decided it was pointless to try and do more of them like that. It was pointless to try and write something that was a literal fanfiction and not something that I could develop into something that was mine, and if I’m lucky get a career out of.

My confidence grew even more as the developments of Heartstone Odyssey got bigger and better, so of course more original stories, scripts, comic scripts and films followed. I developed as a writer and learnt about the storylines and characterisations. I started buying books and seeking out advice of other writers I knew of from the internet and just people in my life.

I’ve learnt and developed, through out the whole thing. I learnt of new ways of writing, of different ways to describe things and those six senses that currently drive me round the twist. I began to worry I wasn’t very good, I then learnt to stuff that worry and get on with it. Then came the annoying bouts of writers block and how to deal with it. Then there were story competitions, deviant art accounts, reading and looking at the way the author writes things down themselves…

The list could go on for hours.

At the end of the day, I’m sure it’s pretty clear to whoever it is that may be reading this.

I love writing.

And whatever it is I’ve learnt I’m about to learn even more. I’m not the perfect writer and I will never claim to be so. But I’m going to study Professional Writing at university, starting in the next two weeks. And after that, hopefully the girl who became excited with a little dream of becoming script writer (or any kind of writer for that matter) may well fully come true.

*****

To look at the seven fanfictions that were posted during my fanfiction years you can find them all posted (including The Pearl of Souls and My Fairytale) here: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1161547/

But be warned.

You may cringe.

[Cybaria’s Note]

When Lucy isn’t watching Doctor Who or swooning over David Tennant, she can will normally be found either writing short stories or scripts, or working on writing her webcomic; The Heartstones Odyssey.

If you like what you have read here, then please check out her other work:

http://shadowankh.wordpress.com/

http://heartstoneodyssey.smackjeeves.com/

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