Monday, July 14, 2008

Writing on furlough

Seven months hence, I finally brought myself to write again. Of all my life’s activities so far, I have a passion for two things. The second is graphic design. The first is writing.

I’ve realized this early on but I find myself preoccupied in earning my keep by way of my second passion. I’ve found a small but steady market for my talent in this that has kept me financially afloat. This affords me to buy my bread, and butter it as well.

On the other hand, my first love and passion has a huge market but with an equally enormous supply of talent. As in any industry, monetary returns are high for established writers regardless of the degree of talent. Lesser mortals in this universe of the written text must content themselves with the dregs.

This is more evident in my chosen genre – fiction. In recent memory, I’d consider JK Rowling as the most elite among those in the top tier. Although I considerably doubt any superlative adoration for her talent, I do like the tale and the characters she wove in her Harry Potter series. Albeit fiction with a hodgepodge of rehashed themes, I cannot deny that they are an engaging read. They have moments or sparks of creativity here and there. My only point is that she found a market and her niche, and built an empire. If it pleases her, she could now very well afford to hone her talent into a higher degree of skill.

If talent in creative writing is to be the basis then Gabriel Garcia Marquez, for one, would be leagues apart. His brilliance and stroke of genius has been defined by his singular commitment of magic realism to text in our day and age. This sublime marriage of the supernatural and fantastic with the mundane has not been etched in our literary consciousness since our ancestors earlier on recited and then later on read our folklores, myths, legends and epics.

Next on my list of modern fiction icons is JRR Tolkein for creating Middle Earth and commencing my ongoing amazement with fantasy. Then there is Stephen Donaldson for weaving text to craft Thomas Covenant. Orson Scott Card is at par for Alvin Maker and also for extending his reach to science fiction bringing Ender to word and hence to life. Of note in my list is Anne McCaffrey for transporting me to Pern and other planet types and, like Card, for introducing countless possibilities in and between fantasy and sci-fi writing.

(I have to take a client’s call. Please hold this point for a moment. I’ll resume in part 2 of this post.)

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