Monday, April 9, 2018

100 WRITERS _____ Write what you love, and as time unfolds it will do the rest

That's me in the top photo, reading a comic book instead of working, heh.
NOTE: This post is part of my 100 WRITERS project.

For many years, before I started Super Cool Books, and created all these thrilling stories for kids, I was also involved in other forms of storytelling. As luck would have it, this also sometimes involved writing thrilling stories for kids.

Here are two old projects that I came across in my storeroom recently. One is a comic book, the other is a drama series on video. They're from between 2004 and 2008. And wow, I recently realised that they did help prepare me for the kind of cool stuff I'm creating now: mystery stories, lively adventures, groups of good friends running around and tackling challenges together, always getting caught up in lots of mind-expanding experiences.

The Agent Penny comic book series was created for Citibank and the Learning Society in Singapore, to promote financial literacy through fun stories. We did three books. Life Savings (2004), Operation Finance (2006), and Budget Bootcamp (2007). These featured a bunch of young cadets at the Kids Wealth Foundation. They were training to help other children with their money challenges, and they had their own financial missions too. It was great fun to write.

The other project is Team TerresTrails. This one promoted earth sciences. The main characters went around helping their mentor Professor Hex Periment in his research. But they would end up in all sorts of dangerous situations. And they'd use their scientific training to set things right again. We did three episodes. Kids would watch the videos, and then try to perform the same experiments in their school laboratories. The actors included some young celebrities who were familiar faces on television.

One significant thing that connected these two projects was that I worked on them mostly on my Treo 600 smartphone. I bought it in November 2003. This was the first proper smartphone I owned, and you could write notes, send emails, take photos, even store PDF documents on it. What a fantastic device. I would carry this phone in my pocket. Whenever I was on the train, or at a cafe, or waiting between meetings, I would take out the phone and fill it with ideas for dialogue, story development, and special effects. Because the buttons were tiny and stiff, I had to input the text rather carefully. This taught me to edit my thoughts quickly before I typed them in, and as a result I got good at capturing big concepts with very few words.

Here’s a photo of that Treo 600 phone. And if you scroll down further, you’ll find more photos from my Agent Penny and Team TerresTrails projects. Some pictures are a little blurry, I took them off my computer screen.

What sort of stories do you like to write? If you look back on your past projects, what patterns can you observe? What keeps inspiring you, through the years? If you’re stuck creatively, these questions could open up fresh insights that will lead you on to your next writing adventure. Write what you love, explore the world around you, apply your imagination boldly, and let the river of time take you to your creative destinations.

I wish you all happy writing! :)

— D

Keen to write your own stories, and have your books published? Get free resources and support through my 100 WRITERS project. More information here

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