Archives for posts with tag: Stephen Fry

It’s no secret that I’ve been reading The Fry Chronicles on and off for at least two years, reading it in between school literature, recommendations and the endless list of books on my “to read” list. I honestly don’t know why it’s taken so long, it’s just that it ended up in my bookshelf collecting dust for long periods of time. A few days ago I thought, I can’t possibly have 14 books(I counted), fourteen books, sitting in my bookshelf that I’ve started to read and not finished. A few of them I’ve read the first chapter of, a few to the half-way mark. And I thought, I have to finish them. I won’t be able to start any others until I finish at least a majority of them.

It became a matter of where to begin. Now I can say that I have finished a book that is not an assignment for the first time since I read The Hunger Games a little over a year ago. It was not The Fry Chronicles. It was Chris Colfer’s book, Struck by Lightning(Land of Stories is among the 14, by the way). But then to be fair I’ve been reading that all summer.

Stephen Fry’s book is not as quick a read. Still I’ve read 100 pages in just a few days. I’ve just begun the last quarter. And now we get to the point of this rambly, self-indulgent post(I also feel like I’m emulating Fry at the moment, but maybe that’s just because his voice lives inside my head right now). It struck me to go back and look at the first few pages, before the introduction. The boring ones with quotes and copyright and all that. And a dedication that I didn’t see or didn’t think much of when I started reading this book on a car ride home from Malmö(or possibly Copenhagen airport, I’m not sure) two years ago. I might have just cried a little bit. A few tears, just a few. Because the dedication is “To M’Coll”. Vague enough that not everyone will get it, but clear enough that the ones who pay attention will. Isn’t M’Colleague Stephen’s nickname for Hugh Laurie? Am I completely insane? Isn’t that what it means? I assume that it is, and if so, that is the most touching two words I’ve ever read.

Where can I get a friendship like that?

When I write, which is not as often as I should, I mostly write romantic short stories. Often with an LGBT theme. Sometimes I also write fanfiction, but it’s been a while and as much as I love reading fanfic, I can’t see myself writing more in the future, beyond the occasional drabble(which is fanfic speak for a story between 100 and 1000 words).

A genre I would like to explore is science fiction, dystopian societies, maybe, but only if I get a really good idea. Without that drive such books often feel forced and unoriginal. For some reason, I fear being unoriginal more than I fear almost anything else(at least when it comes to writing).
A quote from page 170 of Stephen Fry‘s The Fry Chronicles sums that feeling up perfectly:

“It is probable that our fear of being unoriginal, of looking cocky, of being obvious or of being seen ever to have chosen the line of least resistance caused us difficulty in our comedy careers.”

Here he is talking about his and his partner in comedy, Hugh Laurie‘s views on the subject of being unoriginal. It’s something that I’ve always felt, a sort of urge to not follow the stream in what everybody else thinks and how they act. When I was little this applied to playing games and what I said in the classroom. Today it applies to my writing. And in a sense I do think it can cause difficulty, as Stephen Fry says, because this obsessive need not to do as everybody else does can take up all the energy, instead of that energy going in to the writing itself.