Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Over the past two years I have been beavering away at a creative writing thesis. It will be handed in next week and I will be free at last! One of the benefits of doing the course, with ECU Mount Lawley, has been to focus on different areas that can help develop my understanding and utilisation of devices within the craft of writing. Deadlines are both a curse and a blessing. The curse part is obvious, but the advantage has been to push me along and make me take serious note of some other writers in the field. Also, I have managed to make time to do regular writing, without which, my second book would never see the light of day. Right now I have completed 10,000 words towards book two, and I've seen how a number of writers I admire have used different techniques that may help my work as well. The best part of the entire course, however, has been that I have been introduced to the wit, talent and eviscerating tongue of one Samuel Clemens (AKA Mark Twain). Not only does he approach revered European sights with irreverence (such as becoming bored with yet another Michelangelo work proclaimed by his guide), his humour has a wonderful way of masking the fact that he manages to include a great deal of detailed description. Everyone should go out and get a copy of The Innocents Abroad and start reading it immediately! Another aspect I enjoyed was the introduction, when his big break is described. Sweating away on a typewriter to write a commissioned book about his European cruise, juggling potential litigation from the paper he originally wrote articles for (and which had paid for his berth), a visitor to his apartment described it as the depths of disorder and disarray. As I've been working on an essay that doesn't want to quit, I can relate to the household disorder that joins an intensive writing period. Somehow knowing that was how he operated has helped me get to the final stages of my own assignments. Next week it will be handed in, my house will no longer resemble an episode of Hoarders, but I will still have my memories of 'meeting' Mark Twain. Thank you Samuel Clemens, thank you.