I’ve loved writing and the written word ever since my school days. I used to relish the challenge of essays and lengthy exam responses. Over the years I’ve honed my skills on a slew of erotic vignettes (they spiced-up a diverting if unconventional relationship), more letters of complaint and pleas for better service than I could ever recall (I am an acerbic and uncompromising Angry of Tunbridge Wells) and a couple of lengthy and impassioned diatribes (hours wasted deconstructing failed relationships).
Today my paid-for work includes writing sales proposals and every type of business communication. If it needs words, I can rise to it. Space issues or word counts? No problem. Formal or cheery? Technical or salesy? Humorous, ironic or earnest? Whatever you want. I find it absorbing to develop documents in different styles which address all sorts of audiences. Absorbing enough, but if I’m honest, it doesn’t exactly excite me.
I’ve lately become intrigued by the idea of writing stories. I want to find out if I can evolve my commercial writing abilities to craft entertaining, saleable fiction. I began by writing three short stories and I submitted one to a magazine competition. It won first prize and with the cheque for £200 came the first, very small sign, that this story-writing idea might not be a totally absurd notion.
So I pressed on, and now I’m around 45,000 words into what I’ve been calling my writing project. It’s very much a work-in-progress – a learning-in-progress. If it were a marathon, this would still be the first fresh-faced mile or two; to call it my novel still sounds far too agonisingly pretentious.