The Story

I first started creative writing for fun when I was in middle school. I’d write poems and illustrate them. They were rubbish. Anointed with such expressive and insidious titles as ‘the ghost’ and ‘the spring’,  I felt Stephen Spender quaking with envy in his grave.

In university, a lifetime ago (quite literally if you’re younger than nineteen) I opted for a creative writing module. Luckily, the marks I got for this didn’t count towards my final grade. I scraped a third (and only Auden would be proud of this). My efforts were trite, old-fashioned and derivative.

I had some semi-serious work to do and more specifically, some voracious reading. By doing so I learned a lot. In the next decade I read everything I could stomach. I read the complete McEwan and I tried to do the same with Amis, but as much as I admire his diction, his stories struck a cold chord with me. I read Self (didn’t like him much either), Coe, Cusk, Smailes, Atwood, Doyle and Warner, to name a few. In short, people writing today. And it wasn’t just fiction I learned from; there is inspiring writing everywhere, if you know where to look.

I read poetry. Good poetry. Esther Morgan, Sarah Salway and a million others buried deep in obscure anthologies and seldom read regional journals were devoured in spare moments on the tube. I amassed a pretty book display of well designed literary pamphlets, and I started writing flash fiction and poetry for myself. Soon, I was having the odd piece of short fiction published. Working hard, I nurtured my skill and honed my craft.

And last week I landed an agent for my debut novel and my small writing space opened up…

To be continued…

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About Suzy Norman Writes

Suzy is a freelance features writer and novelist. Her novel 'Duff' will be published by Patrician Press in 2015. It was also shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize 2014.
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4 Responses to The Story

  1. Charlotte says:

    Congrats, Suzy! Best wishes on the next step of your journey. I’m on the same path as you – agented, but not yet published.

  2. ashleyperks says:

    A newcomer to your writing, I am naturally, unfamiliar with your work. I am, however, hugely supportive of anyone who actually gets down and does it. Good luck with the debut, debutente! I blog around these parts too. I’m following you anyway, so if you hear a sharp rustle and feel a breeze on a still day – it might just be me…following. No. Don’t look round. I might be invisible. Or not. Go well. @StRemeze

  3. cameronlawton says:

    Congratulations on getting an agent.

  4. Thanks so much all and Charlotte, very best of luck to you too!

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