It struck me the other day whilst watching the new Batman film in the cinema, that perhaps what I have been lacking is inspiration with my writing. Let me explain: it is said that all writers who are good writers should actually read far more books than they write. This is very true. Writing is a job, like any other, and you get better at it both with practice but also by seeing how other people do it.
When I write stuff, I have in my head an image of the scenes and charectors that I want to write that is not dissimilar to a sort of cinama projection of the work all acted out and on location. I suspect that other authors are much the same. That’s why watching films can be as good inspiration as reading. Of late though I just haven’t had the time to do much reading or watching, and I think this has been to the detriment of my creativity. The books I have been reading have been the full set of Arthur Ransome’s “Swallows and Amazons” series (there are about twelve books in the series, and personally I find the first one boring, but the others marvellous). It’s all very well to read what are excellent children’s books, but I do not write children’s fiction. I really need to have a read through some of the sci-fi masterworks books I have sat on the shelves downstairs.
However, I do find that some books can be very subjective indeed. The sci-fi masterworks are a set of books numbering 71 at the time of writing that are supposedly the best ever sci-fi books written. But so many are stilted, waffly and downright boring to read. I guess some sci-fi does not date well, but on the other hand not everything that is considered a ‘classic’ by the in-crowd necessarily is all that good. So many people, for example, cannot stand Macbeth by Shakespeare. “The English Patient” as a film is the most mind-numbingly boring film according to all those I know who have seen it.
That’s not to say they are all bad; far from it. Some are the most outstanding books I have ever read. “Rendezvous with Rama” by Arther C. Clarke, “Behold the man” by Michael Moorcock and “Flow my tears the Policeman said” by Philip K. Dick to name but three are truly outstanding. However I still cannot finish “Blood Music” by Greg Bear and “The forever War” by Joe Haldeman is dire in my opinion yet is number one in the series. How does that work?
I think I need to settle down and watch a few DVDs if I get some time to myself. I should also but aside for a while my own writing work and spend a week doing nothing but reading other peoples’ work. In that way and only that way I suspect I can ‘recharge my mojo’