Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Writing

Well, to continue the Chaffy news, I do now officially have a Regular Column for Chaff. Which also means I'm on my way to completing that task — two down, ten to go. Kinda sucks, since there aren't ten weeks left of the Massey year, but that's OK... I'll just finish it next year. I've made a start, which is the important thing. Or the first important thing, anyway.

The only problem, in fact, that I'm having with the column so far (I know, second week and already I'm having issues!) is that I'm not serious enough. Chaff, being a student magazine, is pretty much full of juvenile crap and retarded humour. I'm writing this column with a view to learning how to do it "properly" in case I ever want a job as a reporter, kind of a preparatory thing, learning experience, all that good stuff. And so my poor editor is going through and inserting silly jokes at random places in the column — which sucks for him to have to do that, and sucks for me to see my column thus maligned! So this week I had to try to turn perfectly serious subjects into causes for ridicule and juvenile humour. Ugh, it's hard.

And on that note, I totally sold myself out this week. I have an assignment due on Monday — a travel writing story — which we had to do a draft for and then the final thing. So I wrote the draft, we workshopped it in class, and people reckoned I was too harsh on Sarah, a character who was a complete bitch and quite stupid in real life. So I rewrote the story, and portrayed Sarah in the light of something approaching angelic — I showed a couple of my classmates the rewritten story, and they much approved. I showed Dan the rewritten story, and he read it without comment.

"I kinda sold myself out, didn't I," I said shame-facedly. He just looked at me.

"Yeah, you really did."

Damn it. Oh well, hopefully my lecturer likes it more now. I care more about getting good grades than keeping the story true to life and true to what I wanted to show. I did consider changing my story to show why I thought she was such a bitch, but it would have taken a lot more words and I was way over the word limit anyway. Ah well.

In other writing news, it's that time of year again! NaNoWriMo is now a bare month away, and foolishly as usual I signed up to be ML for Palmy again. I've already asked my editor if I can write a feature article on NaNoWriMo — he's more than happy — but I still need to write to "real" newspapers and see if I can get a bit more publicity than we achieved last year.

I wonder if we could get NZ Book Month to promote it? Damn, probably a bit late for that now, considering NZ Book Month (3-30 Sept) finishes on Sunday. Still, that's an idea for next year. We'll see.

But on that note, if you haven't bought the Six Pack Two, go buy it now! Currently Number One on the bestsellers list in New Zealand, available from all major bookshops, and best of all it's only six dollars for six excellent short stories from six up-and-coming New Zealand writers — some unheard-of, some well-known, but the point is you're supporting New Zealand talent and writers for six measly dollars.

Disclaimer: I haven't actually bought it myself yet, but I do hear the stories are excellent — better than last year's one. Plus I haven't heard of any of the writers previously so I'm not actually sure if any of them are well-known. Although I'm pretty sure Dave Armstrong is.

But I can tell you that (a) it definitely is six dollars, (b) it definitely is numero uno on the bestsellers list, and (c) it definitely is supporting new New Zealand writers. Those are the key factors, so go buy it now! (I will buy it, I just have no money right at the moment. No, not even $6. But I'm gonna buy it when I do!)

1 comment:

Writing Angel said...

That's the hard part about writing in a school environment where it's graded. It's the same with art. It's all subjective and like you say you're writing to what one person likes, the person giving the grades.

I did buy the Six Pack for this year and it's great. Nice thought about contacting NZ Book Month about NaNoWriMo too. They are keeping some features up all year round now including blogs so we may be able to get some converage yet.