Why You Should Write On The Internet

Over the past few weeks I’ve gained an insight into the world of creative writing on the internet. It’s been fairly rewarding so far; it has given me the opportunity to write so much more than I ever have before. I used to write once a week at most, but my new blog has encouraged me to write almost every day, and it has allowed me to experiment.

Before joining the blogging community I thought of myself as a prose writer who would write poetry if I had to, but now I think my skills in the two areas are pretty well matched. In fact, I would go as far as to say that I prefer my poetry to my prose in most cases. Now that is a strange feeling; it’s as if my whole world has shifted a little – I know, I know, it sounds dramatic, but really, it’s a massive change.

But enough about me, this post is about you! So here are five reasons you should publish your writing on the internet…

1 – You have to start somewhere

Everyone has to start somewhere; most plumbers start as an apprentice, every teacher starts as a student, and a lot of writers start on the internet. Don’t think that by starting a blog you’ll become a famous writer some day, it’s still going to be hard work, but a blog might just be the push you need to make a start on your first novel; it was for me, I’m hoping to have my first draft done by the end of summer.

2 – It gives you a sense of satisfaction

There’s nothing like posting on the internet, especially if you post frequently. I post every day, and although it can get stressful at times, I love it. But there’s one thing that’s more satisfying than completing and uploading a post. It’s completing a post, uploading it, waiting, checking your blog, and finding tons of notifications. Now that’s satisfaction.

3 – You’ll gain your first readers

They may not number in the millions, but I have developed a (very) slight following which means that whenever I post a new piece of writing, at least fifty people are guaranteed to receive an email about it. Out of those fifty, twenty may take the time to read it, and maybe only two will like it, but those two likes mean a lot. If no one ever liked any of my posts, I would probably shut down my blog, but I think I’ll hang on just a little while longer; it’s great knowing people read and like what I have to say.

4 – It builds your confidence

I know when I first started out writing, I was nervous about showing any of it to my parents. In fact when my Granddad dies a few years ago I wrote a poem about him which I immediately hid and now cannot find because I didn’t want anyone to read it. Today, my confidence has grown massively, I mean just look at me, I’m posting my writing for the whole world to see, and I’m loving every moment of it.

5 – You’ll improve!

Finally, and probably most importantly, you’ll improve. No one wants to post bad writing where hundreds of people can see it, it’s embarrassing, so you’ll end up pushing yourself to do better every time. If you’re like me, working under stress will make your writing ten times better, so try setting yourself a challenge. Gradually you’ll see improvement in your style, grammar, dialogue, diction, and overall, you’ll feel a lot better about your chances of ‘making it’ in the world of writing.

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Review 4: George R. R. Martin’s ‘A Game of Thrones’

To celebrate my (not so) epic 50th follower and 200th like coming in the same week, I thought I would review George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. However, I have only read the first novel, ‘A Game of Thrones’ and will only be covering that this week. I will try my best to finish a new book in the series by Monday each week so that I can post my thoughts and opinions on each novel separately; though due to the looming shadow of an exam in a fortnight, I may be delayed by one week.

‘A Game of Thrones’ tells the interweaving story of many characters, all who have at least some power (be that magical or that which comes with status and ‘good breeding’). These characters all are aiming to achieve something: Robert wants to keep his throne; Eddard wants to protect his honour; Jon wants to earn a better place in the world; Dany and her brother want to regain the throne; etc, etc, etc… It is a dark and bitter tale, one which tells the reader more about the nature of humanity than most fantasy novels I have ever read. At times it discusses how the rulers of the world can live in such affluence while others starve, how diversity can lead to cruel prejudice, how our sexuality affects our judgement and morality, and whether we would rather help ourselves than save others.

Among all these uncertainties and questions however, the most prominent is this: are our rulers fit to rule us? Robert, the king at the beginning of the novel, “drinks and whores” himself while others do his work, he is almost an absentee king. Even worse however, when Robert dies and Joffrey, his son, takes over the throne, he is wicked, cruel, and detestable. It is revealed in the narrative that Joffrey is not the true heir which begs the question, is this why he is a bad ruler? Personally, think the novel is, in part at least, a frank discussion about the disadvantages of dictatorship over democracy. Battles, murder, subterfuge, anger, selfishness, and struggles centred around who rules the kingdom and why pay testament to this theme and though on the outside it may seem glorified and honourable, the blood, grief and strife begs to differ.

So, if you’re a fan of long, interweaving fantasy narratives (believe me there are a lot of them), give ‘A Game of Thrones’ a try. If not, give it a try anyway, you may be pleasantly surprised. If my persuasive argument has failed, and you really don’t want to waste money buying a book you don’t think you’ll like, try the TV series. It’s very close the novel itself, and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Next week I will be reviewing ‘A Clash of Kings’, if you’re interested, subscribe and you’ll receive an email when I post next Monday, and one each day for my other segments. Thank you for reading.

Rain

Rain slammed against the roof of my car. Glancing out of the rear window I saw a young girl sprint towards a taxi. She was struggling due to a pair of hefty six inch heels. Unfortunately, the taxi had been booked and an old, decrepit woman stepped out of her house and took the girl’s ride home.

Looking utterly destitute, she stumbled past my car and into the alleyway across the road. I looked at my watch, Dave is supposed to be here by now I thought, where is he?

Suddenly a scream tore across the street. The girl had been pinned against the wall by a hooded man, he had already ripped her dress and was beginning to take off his jeans.

“Help me,” the girl cried, “please!”

At first I froze, not knowing what to do I just stared; first in shock, then horror, and finally anger. I remembered the cricket bat on the back seat that John had forgotten when I picked him up from practice. Grabbing it I jumped out of the car and quickly ran towards the alleyway.

“Get the fuck off” I said as the bat came down on his face. Reeling backwards, he spat out a tooth. Again I started forward, raising the bat as if to strike his chest. He ran.

With the attacker gone I turned my attention to the girl who was slumped against the wall, she was almost completely naked. I gave her my shirt and jacket before checking she was alright.

“I’m OK” she said quietly, “thank you.”

Both of us sodden, I led her back to my car, back to safety.

Review 3: Henry James’ ‘The Turn of the Screw’

If you’re looking for a short story with a bit of ambiguity, read this book. On the face of it, it seems like a simple ghost story, but with a little digging, a whole world of interpretation becomes apparent. The ghosts for example, are they real or are they apparitions of the governess’ creation? How and why does the event involving Miles happen at the end? I won’t ruin it for you just in case you decide to give it a read. Seriously though, it’ll only take you two or three hours tops, and it’s right here for all the world to see (psst, click the link and read it…not that I’m forcing you or anything).

Being one of the few people who have written a 2500 word essay on the uncanny in Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw only yesterday, you would think that I would hate it by now, which I don’t. Now that has to be a good sign. I would give you all the link to read it but I don’t think many would so there’s not much point; if you do however feel a desperate urge to hear my thoughts on the uncanny in this novel, and Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus, you are more than welcome to ask and I will post it (be warned it is heavy reading).

Before you pass my rants of as the ramblings of a strange and lonely English student obsessed with obscure literature, consider this; I’m not the only one who likes this book. In fact, even if you’ve never heard of it, I would be willing to bet a lot of money that you already like it. It has been adapted into so many films it’s unbelievable. Obviously, The Turn of the Screw is one, but The Innocents, Presence of Mind, In a Dark Place, among many others the most famous is probably The Others.

So, in a nutshell, get reading!

The Beginning – Part 1

For this prose post I have used the first section of my writing coursework, which is why I am introducing it like this, which I would normally never do. I’m not sure about what the rules on posting work on the internet are but I know for a fact none of my classmates know about this blog so it’s not like they can copy my work, even if they did this post has a date on it and would serve as proof that I wrote the original copy. Also, by stating that this is my work there’s no way they could accuse me of plagiarism…I hope. Anyway, without further ado, the opening of my novel. It’s set in a near future England after the hostile takeover of a political party like the BNP (they’re a bit like British Nazis, at first glance the website looks harmless enough, but then you’ll start to notice a bit of casual racism here, a bit of sexism there, and a bit of elitism everywhere…you get the picture) who are trying to eradicate all diversity in the country. I hope you like it.

As I held my gun to another man’s head, time seemed to slow down, at least, my perception of time anyway; the few minutes before I pulled the trigger seemed much longer than they should have been. While Abdul Latif, the alleged traitor, pleaded for his life, I examined the room; it didn’t seem like the household of an evil man, just one of many freedoms. There was a small Qur’an tucked under a stack of papers on the mantelpiece, a chain hung loosely from within, like a bookmark. A small, unframed picture of Abdul showed him teaching in an African school; it was dated only a year ago, back when the new government had just come into power.

It was at this point that Abdul’s ramblings finally brought my attention back to him; he was begging.

“Please,” he said “I’m not a bad man; I was just trying to help-”

“Don’t,” I interrupted, “I either kill you, or I may as well kill myself. That’s how it works now, I’m sorry but I can’t save you. Think yourself lucky you got me, I was told to torture you before I kill you, not after.” At this he went quiet; I thought to myself then whether I was doing the right thing. It was true that I would be killed if he was found to be alive, but what if he wasn’t found? I tried to come up with an escape plan, a way to make it seem as if he’d gone by the time I got there, or that he had got the better of me and escaped. He would be found no matter what I did, and he would tell them everything; there was no fool proof way to ensure survival for both of us, so I pulled the trigger.

As his body hit the ground I shuddered, as if his death had a physical effect on me; I felt, different. It was hard for me to justify what I had done. I did it to save myself, not because I believe whole heartedly in the party’s propaganda. A tremendous guilt washed over me, pulling me into deeper emotions, deeper meaningless rationalisations of what I had done. Again, I shuddered; moving through the house and into the basement I began to hate myself. My work was not yet done.

Good Books

As today is the last day I’m going to be spending with my family before going back to University, I’m only going to write a short post today. I thought, as this is a post about literature, it might be a good idea to share with you some of my personal favourite pieces of writing.

I think my all time favourite book would have to be George Orwell’s 1984. This was the book that made me want to write professionally (or at least try to) and has given me a lot of inspiration over the years.

Other personal favourites include: The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini; Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett; and Death Of A Salesman by Arthur Miller. All of these texts have helped me on my way to where I am now, as a person, and as a writer.

Let me know what you think of my favourites, and your own literary inspiration by commenting…if you want. Thanks for reading.

The Walk Home

I was walking home after a night out in town; it was raining and I didn’t have an umbrella. It was horrible but I didn’t have the money for a taxi. As I turned onto Oxford Road I saw a man following me, I’d seen him before at the club and now, here he was.

I panicked, I was acting irrationally. It was dark though, and I was drunk; so I ran. I kept running until I was nearly home. That’s when I was mugged.

Two big guys jumped out from the alleyway; they kicked me and pushed me against the wall. I reached for my wallet and phone as the held a knife to my stomach. Terrified, I gave them everything I had.

That’s when the man I thought was following me came round the corner; my attackers ran, they had what they wanted from me. Turns out joe, my saviour, lived in the same accommodation block as me. He helped me home.

So I was wrong, never judge a book by its cover, or a person on first impression.