A Life Of Fiction XXIX

For those of you new to this WordPress site, this site is about me and my writing – and a little about my role-playing, as well. It gives readers a chance to sample my work before purchasing it on the Kindle store; and gives me the chance to say a little about the genesis of each novel, or about the process of writing in general.

Two posts today, as I haven’t been able to post recently…

The names have been changed to protect the guilty: I have just started planning the second volume of my autobiography, after putting the first volume on Kindle. The first volume has the title Extracts from a Life of Fiction, Volume One. Unless I have forgotten – something which is more than possible – there should now be an extract from it on this site. The second volume will have the unoriginal title of Extracts from a Life of Fiction, Volume Two. But if you have a volume one then you should really have a volume two. I have no idea whether there will ever be a volume three or not. But somehow I doubt it. I think that I should be able to fit everything which I intend to say into those two volumes.

These two volumes will not be an ordinary autobiography. These are books from somebody who does not like reading autobiographies. I am not the least bit interested in all those celebrity memoirs which clog the shelves of my local bookstore. I don’t want to read about those people. Even if somebody like Stephen King or Terry Pratchett wrote an autobiography I doubt whether I would read it. If you want to know about an author I think that you should read their work. It is through our novels that we have our say. You can tell a lot about what C S Lewis was like by reading the Narnia books, for example.

The only biographies which I have read, in fact, are a dual biography contrasting the lives of Custer and Crazy Horse. That was interesting. For those who want to check it out, it is Crazy Horse and Custer,by Stephen E Ambrose, published by Pocket Books, ISBN 0-7434-6864-3.

So what is an autobiography from somebody who dislikes autobiographies? It is one where the names have been changed to protect the guilty, as I have no desire to be sued for libel, under Britain’s rather unjust libel laws. No living person is identified by their correct name, and I hope that I have obfuscated matters enough so that they will not be recognisable to people who know them.

I have also taken liberties with reality. Some of the events are described the way that I remember them; and remembrance is not truth. If you have a car crash, and you ask onlookers to exactly describe events, you will get slightly different stories from the onlookers.

So this is a fictional account of my life. Ninety percent of the book actually happened, and to me. But a few events are what I would have liked to have taken place; or they are very strong thoughts portrayed as life. I have edited out some things which might have got certain people into deep trouble.

So why, you might ask, why write a semi-fictional autobiography in the first place. In actuality it was something which I began some twelve years ago, when I was still finding my feet as a writer. I wrote a bit, planned a bit, but then put it aside. I had only really begun it because, if anybody is going to tell my tale, I would prefer that it would be me.

I did around the first five thousand words on it. Then, as I have said, it was put aside for years – around ten years, in this case. I probably could have carried on with it, if I had forced myself. But I don’t think that writing should be forced. It should flow. By putting it to one side I gave myself plenty of time to think about what I had written, and what I still had to scribble down.

By the time that I finally returned to my fictionalised autobiography I was ready for it. I had planned it out in my mind, and I knew what I was going to write. All that I had to do was to sit down and churn the words out. But that bit is easy, as long as you know what it is that you are going to write. Then it only becomes a matter of time, and not one of inspiration.

Well, that first volume is down, and sent out into the ether, somewhere on Kindle. Now it is time to plan out and write Volume Two…


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