As mentioned before, the second novel by the Happy Smiley Writers Group is set to be released during the kick-off in the Singapore Chapter of the National Novel Writing Month.
In line with the launch of the book and Happy Smiley Writers (sort of), we conducted a Science Fiction Workshop for the students of NUS High of Science & Mathematics and Raffles Institution.
To summarise, it was Sarah, Raven, Xianghao (Notkieran) and the self within the classroom conducting the session while Avariel stood guard outside with the books we brought along – Happiness at the End of the World and of course, Bubble G.U.M.
We went through a few slides explaining the mechanics of Science Fiction and tips on writing science fiction or maybe perhaps genre fiction in general. After which we ended off with a writing exercise which proved quite interesting.
Science Fiction is not exactly my forte, people who have seen my writing or read what I tend to write would know. Even my story within Happiness at the End of the World, “Code: Voyance”, was still Science Fiction with some mystery and action involved. In fact I don’t feel easy if there’s no confrontation in stuff I write.
Despite that, I believe that with all these anthologies that Happy Smiley Writers are doing, involving various genres of fiction and working on these forms of genre and speculative fiction will not only expand horizons, but give us more versatility.
Being fluent in crossing genres but also having one that is your forte – very much like the outstanding people from history, is it not?
Generally speaking though, I felt that the students there were pretty good – inquisitive, creative – I liked the Pac Man story plot that they came up with during their short writing exercise. The important thing about creative writing, like most creative activities one would love to engage in, is that you enjoy doing so.
It is not about who comes up with the best plot or whether your plot is Pulitzer or Soap Opera material at the first go. Capitalising on creativity but maintaining the balance of creative integrity but at the same time, keeping food on the table is one long and winding road.
The key is to not waver. Workshops can only help you so far. The rest is up to you to work on.
P/S – Big Thanks to NUS High School of Science & Mathematics (Eric, Anders Brink, XH) and Raffles Institution for making his workshop possible. =)