Being a writer has always been a dream of mine. I've not focused any of my studies or education on it, as it's the same as wanting to become a movie star. My education and career goals are set on computer programming, however I recently decided I'd start reading and writing more so that I can take it up as a hobby. And if one day I write a whole novel, then I can try and get it published. My question is, do I have the ability? Where do I go from here? I've taken no writing lessons, and my only English qualification is GCSE grade B. What would you recommend? And of course, constructive criticism is always helpful. Here's the start of a story I've been writing (I'm just making it up as I go along, it's not serious).
The panic-stricken man fumbles for his car keys. Surely they could not be here; not now. His paranoia calmed only briefly by the finding of his keys, he proceeds to unlock the door to his pristine Chevrolet and jump inside as quickly as his feet will allow. Surely they could not be here; in his complex. Such a thought turns his bones to jelly and his blood vessels to vast pipelines of heat and sweat.
The car in reverse, he finds his rear lights illuminating only a small opening in what is a humongous car park from which he must escape. If there's but one thing he must do the very next day, it's fire the idiot that parked his car in this particular spot. Of course, this is assuming he lives to see the light of the next day. No, such a thought is preposterous, and if only he could be free of this damned place quicker these thoughts might not be crossing his mind. He turns the corner sharply as his car is taken out of reverse. The blackness behind him is consuming.
It's at this point the man realises that the dull yellow lighting is stuttering out behind him as he speeds towards the buildings exit. The exit... where is the exit?
“It should be here... it's got to...”.
The realisation dawns upon him; the exit, in fact, is not where it should be and he is hurtling towards a thick stone wall at no less than 35 miles per hour. The next thing that the man shall see is the wall inches from his face as he is projected through the windscreen, the seatbelt that is his protection mysteriously unbuckling. Out of the corner of his eye glares the expressionless face of a figure in black. There's no time to brace for the impact, only blinding darkness.
The muggy warmth has left the windows misted from corner to corner. The house was always like this when his wife decided to cook turkey. It was no longer a food of tradition for Alan, as every Friday was now turkey night thanks to his wife's insatiable desire for it. He didn't mind, in fact he didn't see why the food was considered such a “once-a-year” type of thing. Such traditions are silly, anyway.
Nevertheless, it was time to step outside; he couldn't handle the humidity. Alan didn't always get so light-headed, but tonight wasn't the night for a 30 degree fire-lit room. Tonight wasn't much of a night for anything, as far as he was concerned. He'd just been fired. Not only that, but he'd been fired for something that he wasn't even responsible for. The job of a computer programmer is to design the software and rely on the “lab rats” to test the program for any flaw. It would require the mind of a genius to be able to pick out every single flaw simply from studying the code. So when the bug report came back as a 90/90 pass, he didn't expect that the program would make any machine not on the latest service pack inexplicably crash. No, it wasn't his fault, but he took the blame anyway; a common re-occurrence in his life thus far.
And so he stands outside, in the freezing cold breeze – a relief to his head and his mind. Now he can think straight, and ponder the best way to break the news to Cathy. One thing is for certain, he has to tell her tonight. She doesn't take too kindly to secrets, especially ones this big. He pulls out a cigarette straight from his top pocket, another trend that inexplicably doesn't catch on. After days like today, it's the best relief he can hope for to have a cool breeze brushing through his short hair as the inhalation of cancer makes its way down into his lungs. He'd never been one for poetry but there's something strangely poetic about the double-edged sword that's both pleasure and suffering. The concept is demonstrated so simply in the case of a cigarette. Still, what's the point in living a long life if you're not living it right. Right?
Throwing the cigarette butt into the snow that litters the front porch, he goes back into the house and closes the door behind him. The turkey is lain out on the dinner table and Cathy is sat awaiting patiently.
“I thought you were going to quit that” she mutters, disheartened.
“What? Oh, well yeah, I will... at some point... listen... I've not had the best of days”.
He had decided it's better to just tell her the news; prolonging it only causes more unneeded tension.
“what's wrong Al?”
“I've been fired... Fucking lab rats didn't test my software on the... listen, it doesn't matter why. We'll sort this out, I promise, I just need a little time to think...”
Cathy says nothing, only stares silently for what feels like a decade. The silence following his words is unbearable. Why isn't she saying anything?! Pushing the cutlery onto the floor Alan storms out of the house and into the pristine snow. His socks soak through and send a shocking cold upwards from his feet.
“God damn it!”
He puts on his boots and walks swiftly away, leaving the door to their overtly large house ajar, a single ray of light making its way across the street.
Not knowing where he's going, he stumbles in the dark over curbs and drains. The street lamp adjacent to their house has been broken for what seems like months, but in actuality it's only been 3 weeks. Finally he reaches the next street lamp and can see where his feet are taking him. Anywhere but into that house; the mugginess, the thick smell of turkey, the relaxed feeling that the whole place exudes. Such a place doesn't sit right, not tonight. It's as if, for Alan, the world must represent his feelings. If he's angry, the world must be angry too. He's sure a shrink would tell him the need for this is symbolic of the need for acceptance, or for the world to understand him, or for the loneliness deep within his soul to be set free. Bullshit, if you ask him. All he needs right now is a walk. A walk, and another damn cigarette.
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07-28-2012 09:31 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
- United Kingdom
Do I have the ability to become a professional writer?
08-13-2012 01:39 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jul 2012
I love it. The metaphors are beautiful.
08-19-2012 03:19 AM #3
I think it must be difficult for a young writer to be accepted by readers. You must have reputation first.
I don't know how to explain this but what happened to J.K.Rowling is kind of a miracle which doesn't often come to anyone.
You know there's an usual way that writers can start their career is from being a journalist.
08-20-2012 08:20 PM #4
Do an English Course. That's what I'm doing in college. English and New media. There are sooo many avenues I can go down from it. Such as publishing, Journalism, Public relations, editing teaching web design etc. A friend of my sister's did the same and he is now a gaming Journalist Check out wattpad.com a reading and writing community for people of all ages. It's amazing to get you up and running as an aspiring writer/author. It's not nearly as impossible as acting etc. Trust me.