I think that if you keep writing at some point you’ll write your first story; the first piece of fiction that truly belongs to you, not only in terms of style and technique, but also story-line and characters. Simply put, at a certain stage in the development of the artist, he learns to write from the heart.
It’s that moment when you write something that’s truly good: a story that your taste tells you it’s good. Just as good as the stories you’ve always worshiped, when you write a story like yourself, not like someone else.
The first time I wrote like myself was when I was sixteen, and I had to write a short story for a competition. I spent 33 hours writing this novella, and I don’t remember sleeping. It was overwhelming. I was mesmerized by the power of what it meant to write something you care about… there’s nothing to break you at that point.
The world outside your window becomes a shadow of a shadow, and people become ghosts, voices faint echoes.
For the first time, I knew what I had to do with a blank page, because the image had been engraved on my brain for so, so long. It felt like setting up a domino. I had done the hard work months and years in advance, and in a quick succession, it was all there… on the page.
I won the competition, and for a long time I believed it to be the only true piece of writing I’d ever write. Mostly because I soon got back to what I was previously doing, which was to write pretty but empty words with the clear goal of making people feel the beauty I was so desperate to show them.
It’s a tough thing to master, I suppose. Writing your story the way you want to is difficult when you’re worried what others will think about it.
The thing about writing is that it’s not when you feel words bleeding out of your heart that you create real art. If you try too much, if you want it too much, you’re probably going to fail. I know I did, countless times. You need to be somewhere in between worlds: the real one outside your window, and the one you’re building on the page.
But that, I’m afraid, takes longer to master than anything else related to writing.
After collecting virtual dust for almost seven years I decided to translate this novella into English and release it. Now, something interesting happened. It felt like someone else had written that story. My style and technique were different, mainly because now I such shorter sentences and paragraphs. It felt odd to read something that felt so foreign.
It was me, but it wasn’t the me I’m now.
Anyway, I tried to preserve the same vision and style of the original piece. If I managed that or not, you’ll be able to judge it tomorrow, when An Emperor’s Will goes live.