Has it really been so long since I last posted?

Well it was Christmas and New Year. Over the New Year I met a couple of new contributors to the Asylum series. It was nice to put faces to names and discuss steampunk stories.

It was also nice to have people say that they had enjoyed the book and had found it difficult to put down. On the basis that No-one will ever get rich from these publications, every complement is pure gold.

One thing that is still coming up is the difference between what main stream publishing is producing as steampunk and what the steampunk community either wants or creates itself. Whether this is true for other genres, I don’t know. I do know that steampunk is a very creative culture. Take time to read the Textual thread on the Brass Goggles forum and you will see plenty of writers with a whole range of experience; discussing ideas, asking and giving advice, and putting work up for criticism. This is a gold mine of information to anyone wanting to write.

Writing classes have been mentioned a few times along side the issue of new writers dismissing and not learning the rules of writing. I suspect that this could be one of those great dividers, but I really feel I should say something.

Speaking as a British Citizen, who has undergone teacher training to a very high standard (UK state funded education standard), I can say that the 60 million people in the UK have been taught (or are being taught) the rules of writing. The National Curriculum contains everything that course in writing popular literature will have. Whether the recipients of education appreciate this, or even understand this is another matter. But if you live in the UK, you will have been taught the rules of writing and the building block methods of constructing a story.

So why aren’t there 60 million writers in the UK? In simple terms, not everyone enjoys writing. They have other things going on in their lives, and that is how things should be. We can’t all do the same thing all at once – it would be madness. But for those few who want to write and would enjoy it; just do it. You have had all the teaching you need and you have the building blocks necessary. You are already at the point where the only thing that will develop your skills further is writing itself.

This isn’t to say that writing classes for adults are a waste of time, you get to meet other like minded people, you can be reminded of things you have forgotten and you can try your work out on a captive audience. Learning is a wonderful thing and it never stops.

I have always said, when I stop learning; bury me! That counts for writing and everything else in life