Friday, 8 October 2010


Where to start?? Well... I could start from the point when I wrote my first serious story, but that would be wrong. It might bore you silly, but I really think I need to start at the beginning.

I was five when I wrote my first story. Everyone else in the class had written a sentence whereas i had written an entire story. I don't remember exactly what it was about, (something to do with ducks and a pond) but what I do remember is my mum sticking it to the kitchen cupboard for everyone to see. It was up there for years, and I found it embarrassing to say the least, but looking back it gave me more confidence in myself than any teacher ever has. My mum knew the importance of imagination, and also of literature.

It is fair to say that my reading taste at a young age was anything but dark, (although knowing that I found great pleasure in Enid Blytons middle class conservative world fills me with horror,) and it was around the age of ten when I discovered the world of dark fiction. Having read all my own books, and desperate for something new, I started browsing my mums bookshelves. Dickens, Shakespeare, Milton held no interest for me at that time, and then I came across a book of short stories by a man named Edgar Allen Poe.

Poe changed my entire concept of literature. It was no longer a safe warm place to spend an afternoon, it became a place of fear, excitement, repulsion, all those strong emotive reactions that Blyton could never provoke. What I loved the most about Poe's writing was that he could take a seemingly boring situation and make it sinister, not through action, but through his flair for descriptive writing. From this I moved onto stephen king and Dean Koontz (to name but two), and again I found description and characterisation to be what drew me into the stories.

During my teenage years I experimented more and more with small descriptive passages, always looking for new ways to show something. At sixteen, for my GCSE's I had to write a story on (and how boring is this!!) a sporting event. I spent half of the exam just sitting and staring at the paper; every now and again writing an opening sentence before scribbling it out. Then it hit me. Rather than writing about a whole event I could pick something small. Something I knew about (sport really wasn't my thing,) so I ended up with six or seven pages about swimming from one end of a pool to the other underwater. The feel of my lungs as they started to crave air, the burning sensation in my eyes from the chlorine... you get the idea. I got an A*

After that life sort of took over. I still wrote a bit but it was mostly poetry. My social life became all important and I was working long hours. Still, every now and again I'd finish reading a book and think to myself 'I could do that! Of only I had the time, I could write as good as King, or Koontz.'
Hahaha I'm not alone am I? How many of you are thinking about becoming writers and feel that the hardest part is the imagination involved?? And... how many of you (like me) now realise that it is a bloody difficult technical process even if you have the best imagination. Easy... My arse.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Hello and welcome.

My name is Lisa Jenkins and I am a dark fiction writer from Swansea, South Wales. No! Please don't stop reading. Just because you prefer romance or comedy doesn't mean that this blog is not for you.

My main aim for this blog is to create a place where other potential writers can gain some insight into what it takes, technically and emotionally, to be a modern day writer.

What qualifies me to do this you may ask. If you type my name into a search engine you are unlikely to find any of my work, and that is because I have only recently had my first story accepted by a magazine and am still awaiting a publication date. What does qualify me is the journey I have taken to get to the point of publication: The problems I have faced, the advice I have received, and all the head-hairs I have ripped out in the process. There is a lot of good information out there for the new writer but you have to know where to find it, and how to distinguish it from the bad advice you will almost definately receive at some point.

Of course, in order to get this information, you will have to put up with whinging, ranting, and some (quite frankly) stupid comments. I am also hoping to get some of my better known writer friends on board, either for interviews, or to guest blog.

I am hoping this will become a fully interactive experience, so please join in with your comments or questions and let me know what topics you would like to see covered.

That's all for now. I will be posting again soon, and the next topic will be HOW I BECAME A WRITER: The Beginning. Duh, Duh, Duuuhhh