Writing in hiccups

I was thinking about history. In Italian (my mother tongue), there’s one noun for history and story: storia.

There’s no differentiation. It’s all narrative. Which I think makes its own sense, depriving history of its status as something separate, detached by a narrative that, as we know, is and can be constructed, performed, manipulated.

I was thinking about science fiction. How science fiction is the history of the future. A future. Imagined, perceived, feared, doesn’t matter. I like this idea, history and future in one. Antithetical and all-encompassing.

This image from Watchmen pivots on an imagined/fictional past of an imagined/fictional history diverging from a ‘factual’ one (please not the inverted commas, and the what ifs, and how history is contextual and in flux) in a film based on the graphic novel of the same title.*

*written by Alan Moore, art by Dave Gibbons. Go read it, it’s complex and a great part of it just wasn’t translatable on film, and whether it’s to your liking or not, it’s worth reading anyway


 In other news, my schedule is still erratic. Finishing the Master was a starting point, not a point of arrival, but while you’re sweating on essays and studying theory and experimenting with your own writing, the focus is on the dissertation, the going through, the ‘finishing’.

In my case, the Master collided with moving to a new city (with no previous support network in place); buying my first house and all the related responsibilities and choices; witnessing my mother’s passing (expected due to cancer, but the when and how…death is a stranger, uninvited, unknown, heartbreaking); my partner moving in with me.  In the space of two years,  quite some baggage to deal with and carry through. Not to mention what doing the Master meant in terms of accepting in myself the wish and need and pleasure of writing, and making it public (so to speak).

I’ve been lucky, in my life in general and in Edinburgh: I had great tutors at Napier, made true friends. But I see now how it all has come and crashed on me somewhat: I should not feel guilty about losing my focus, and instead work to regain it, because the passion and the pleasure of writing are all still here.

The strongest feelings are not necessarily loud, or dramatic. Sometimes they get whispered, and people don’t hear them. Doesn’t make them less strong.

So, onward, onward, always onward. With a smile.



Filed under Writing

3 responses to “Writing in hiccups

  1. “The strongest feelings are not necessarily loud, or dramatic. Sometimes they get whispered, and people don’t hear them. Doesn’t make them less strong.”

    I like this. I am sometimes accused of not allowing my characters enough emotional reaction to events. When there is a crisis I am often the one who stays detached (strong or practical or cold, depending on who is commenting!). So it is difficult to write about people whose emotions show immediately. It doesn’t mean I don’t get upset. I just sometimes bide my time. In case I need to act. Emotion makes me useless.


  2. Same here. Even though I recognise I can be quite an emotional person (I cry every time I watch Lilo and Stitch!), in crisis time I shut down and deal with whatever is there to deal. Time for emotions later, eventually, possibly in private. I’m the youngest in my family and yet I’ve always been the go-to one in case of emergency.

    Characters wise, I always found a lot more interesting what characters do in the aftermath of something emotionally relevant to them. The little things revealing the depth of what they felt and the long lasting effect on them.

    I think there’s a certain superficiality about reading/wanting to see immediate, loud emotions: a simple (not necessarily less true, of course) response, quickly consumed by readers/spectators.
    That said, I suppose it depends on the character, what would be natural for each specific character to do, so maybe establishing previously what the character’s natural tendency is will make his/her reaction more acceptable?


  3. Oh you poor dear 🙂 I hope you gain your focus again when the time is right. I remember being frozen when my grandmother passed away when I had a project to do. I had to pick myself up a week later.

    It was so hard, and I’m proud you graduated 🙂


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