Celebrating East African Writing!

Blow your reader’s mind away.

This editor has at certain times sworn never to read romance novels, the likes of Mill&Boon, Harlequin and so on. Truth be told the said swearing has been in the presence of a certain very harsh presence. Now I just admit to reading Bayou Murder Mysteries. But have you ever wondered why it is that those popular fiction writers sell so incredibly much?


Word of the Week


Bayou: a body of water typically found in flat, low-lying areas; either refer to extremely slow-moving stream or river, or to a marshy lake or wetland. Bayous are commonly found in the Gulf Coast of the southern United States, particularly the Mississippi River region, with the state of Louisiana being famous for them. A bayou is a minor braid of a channel that is moving much more slowly than the main stem, so becomes boggy and stagnant. Many bayous are home to crawfish, shrimp, shellfish, catfish, and alligators. Beautiful country apparently, and prime material for murder stories, serial killer hideout, and predator (human and animal) terror.


Don’t get me wrong, I am not telling to jump over into the Romance department, or perhaps base your murder mysteries on the Bayou. So what am I saying?


Going back to those Romance novels that I never read but might have read one or two some, say, 10 years ago. I remember quite distinctly reading a novel, I am not sure now who the writer was, but I damn sure remember the story. It was about two boys, best friends, who when they were about 8 or 9 experienced something from the twilight zone. Holding hands as they ran down a hill, one boy fell through a port hole into an alternate reality. ( I might have mentioned I am also a science fiction junkie.)


In the alternate world, the boy is found on a mountain and accepted by the people of that land as the ‘chosen one’. He is raised as a warrior, and becomes a force to reckon with for the enemy nations around the people that take him up. His ‘new’ people appoint him King. In the ‘our’ world, the boy who is left behind develops schizophrenia and is hospitalised through much of his life, until one young psychiatrist woman decides to investigate what might have triggered ‘real world boy/schizophrenic’s illness.


So she travels all the way to Wiltshire, England ( where the Stonehenge monuments stand). While wandering around the area, she falls right into the very same port hole that ‘alternate boy/warrior’ fell through. Inadvertently she has fulfilled a prophecy that stated that the king-warrior’s bride would fall from another world. Although she falls in love, eventually (romance novels have this formula of convolution) she decides to return home. A great wizard facilitates this return, and in tears she leaves her great lover.


Of course the story is not over. Psychiatrist lady goes back and convinces everyone, I can’t quite remember how, that ‘real’ world boy is as sane as anyone. She facilitates ‘real world boy’s return to normal life. Turn out he is quite a genius/mathematician. One of the person he meets is a physics professor who is researching time, space in the realms within physics. Corny, but when psychiatrist woman meets physics proffesor, turns out he is the exact image of the great wizard who shuttled her back.


I am guessing you can see the other double we would be looking for. Tribulations, trials, blah blah blah, and we have everyone getting what they want. A king-warrior for the other world, a quite cop for this world, a great wizard for that world, and a great physicist for this world. People get their lovers, even work out how to merge it all up, and the story concludes with the reader in tears. No, not me, it was just something in my eye.


By now you are wondering what in the world this meandering is about.


Simple: There is what the writer wants the story to be. And there is what the reader wants from the story.


Take some quiet time to contemplate. What is more important? What the writer wants? What the reader wants?


Trust me you will never grow as a writer unless you figure this out. Your answer is what will determine the path you will take in your writing career. And I am not giving you the answer. I have my answer. But you are very welcome to share your opinions in the comments section.


I am instituting a new feature. We are going to call it Word of the Week. I would really appreciate your input in this because if you leave it to me, you might end up with words like egomaniacal, lecher, and lupine which are not bad words in themselves but are words that describe my feelings towards a certain very irritating iconoclast. So why dob’t you send in your suggested word of the week to Please label your subject: Word of the Week. Must have word, definition and etymology.


And now to this week’s readings:


We begin with another Adam vs Eve debate- Long Distance relationships: Human being is a love freak, who is in love with the self and not the partner. They are innately selfish, narcissists. Proof? The number of extremely beautiful women married to extremely ugly men?


Then we have another of Mwangi Ichungwa’s out of this world mind-blasters – The Meet: Lucifer burst out laughing, a markedly creepy sound in the leather and wood cocoon they were cruising in. “You said shit!” He leaned out of the window, “You hear that world? Christ said a bad word!”


You think we are done with Mind-blasters? Here is another one by Gideon Chumo – Pains Shortlisted: In fact, nowadays I yell because I think God won’t hear my petitions otherwise. Fate smiles my way and I am called for an interview. Bon chance! I encourage myself and think of my creative talent as I build my air castle before the interview panel.

Would you like to blow our minds away next week? Please send in your piece, not more than 1250 words long, in word attachment to before Friday 4pm. In the meantime, please read, critique and vote for this week’s stories. At the end of the week, the votes will be tallied and the story with the most votes will posted on the Storymoja Website as the Story of the Week on the Friday of the same week.

Thank you and have a wonderful week!


This entry was posted on February 22, 2010 by in Writing.
%d bloggers like this: