Brian Ruckley's News & Views

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Tomb of Beledon

It's a bit disconcerting when forgotten relics of your distant past unexpectedly resurface from the bottom of dusty drawers - stuff you'd forgotten, which abruptly reconnects you with the child you once were.

In this case, I got my hands on some stories I wrote in my pre-teen years. Clearly, I was doomed to plough the fantasy furrow from an early age, since I evidently had a thing about maps of imaginary places even then:

This is from The Tomb of Beledon (a title which I think only really works if you imagine it being spoken by James Earl Jones). The plot concerns a chap called Michael who survives a plane crash only to find himself on a strange island full of tunnels and villages, hostile and out of place wildlife, malign and possibly supernatural forces ... yes, if only I'd had some contacts in the TV industry at the age of 12 or 13 or however old I was, Lost could've been on your TV screens a whole lot sooner.

I wonder what the me of all those years ago would think if I could reach back and say 'Keep at it, kid. All this scribbling will pay off one day. Maybe hold off on the exclamation marks a bit, though.' (The thing's got a rash of exclamations all through it, like some unfortunate skin condition. Even some of the chapter titles are exclamation marked.)

The thing is, I suspect mini-me would not be particularly surprised to hear he was going to get stuff published one day. At that tender age we - those of us lucky enough to have safe and stable and comfortable upbringings, anyway - tend to live in worlds of possibilities and imagination; the barriers and the obstacles and limitations and difficulties, not just in writing but life as a whole, tend only to become apparent as we climb the ladder of years. Still, it'd be nice to whisper a few words of encouragement in the junior me's ear. It's all you can say, really, to any aspiring writer, whatever their age: Keep at it. Get better. Try. And go easy on the exclamation marks.