Becoming An Iron Writer:
Understanding The Process!

by Tank Girl


G’Day Mates

Recently I challenged for the right to be one of Pan Historia’s Iron Writers. I am not here today to talk about winning and losing, though I do maintain the view that when you try, when you reach out to see… you can not ever lose. What I do want to talk about is the process.

There are many writers who look at this event with a certain level of apprehension. Fair dinkums there mates, as it is always a big step to stand up and challenge yourself. I know, I hear you… “Wait Tank, aren’t we challenging an Iron Writer?” In the obvious sense, sure, you are, but in the real grit of it you are challenging yourself. The Iron Writer is there to provide a Base Line for your efforts. I chose JS Stemwinder because I felt that he would provide a Solid Base line for me. I knew that he was going to play hard, which was hopefully going to inspire me and impel me to try my absolute best.

JS Stemwinder was both my competition and my ally. I knew that he wanted me to do my best as well. Next to me, it is most probable that he was my biggest supporter through the twenty-four writing hours. I will also point out that friends here at Pan, as well as people who I did not know yet, were kind in voicing their support as well. It was all Win out there as far as you could see, but hey, that’s Pan Historia.

Once you have made up your mind that you want to try, that you want to see what you can do… then there is the question of how to set about it. I think that part of the trick is to know your strengths, and your weaknesses. Though you can not pre-write, you ca consider which genres you wish to use. I recommend that you also refresh your mind in what makes up those genres, the key elements etc. When you have a plan of approach, then at least you have a good footing to start.

That’s crucial. Get started. Once they give you the Secret Ingredient, start thinking about it. The dictionary and thesaurus are your best friends. Clio… is that research? Look up the word, find out all that it means, all of the usage… and refer back constantly. No one knows everything immediately.

The Iron Writer is a fast event, and it is expected that you will write five different styles of stories. The trick I would say is to know how you want to end a story, then write the beginning. The middle part usually fills in nicely. Due to the word limits, I found this prevented extraneous verbiage and extreme long-windedness. It worked for me anyway… others may have other methods. Would not hurt to ask would it?

Repeat that process five times and you are off to a great time writing.

Hands up... who noticed my “severe” typo? Yes, it was there in “Sea of Gold”… my opponent noticed it, but I was very fortunate ion that I had made the same typo through the whole story. Not sure what the judges thought, but hey… maybe they thought it was deliberate? I just wanted to say that mistakes happen. You can proof read your work until the cows get on the bus and go to the movies… mistakes are going to happen. So let them. Sure, proof read, edit, correct and touch up… but also remember to get on with it.

I had a great time writing my stories. I truly loved the feedback… and even before the judges’ scores were in I felt that I had done well. I was pleased and satisfied with my efforts. I did not allow my desire to win the title to interfere with what true winning is. I had challenged myself, I had completed my task and I was pleased with what I had done. That’s winning. True, I also won the event and am now an Iron Writer here at Pan Historia. Very cool that. So it was a win/win.

I recommend the event to any one and every one. The Iron Writer Event will make you a better writer. It will help you to be stronger and more orderly in your thoughts. It will show you that others here at Pan want you to do well. Even if you do not win the title, you simply can not lose in the effort.

Where TG's Great Iron Writer Challenge Went Down!


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