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Review 5.18: Authors tips for how to excel in writing

Authors tips participants at EU-China International Literary Festival how to excel in writing
By Bob Abor

Many participants are benefiting from the on-going 4th edition EU-China International Literary Festival Second Session in Qi Hao in Beijing. During the second session of the event which took place in the afternoon, audiences had the opportunity from hear from and interact with two famed writers from Europe and China.
The two renowned authors- Svjetlan Junakovic from Croatia and Su Tong shared with attendees their writing journeys so as to inspire them to reach the level they are.
According to Mr. Tong, his writing career started in the 1980’s while he was still at the university. He recalled that this was an era of literature explosion in China, where peoples’ lives were fulfilled by reading, not by internet and movies as it is the case today. “Every normal human being was writing, even mathematicians were,” Mr. Tong said. He noted that one of his colleagues was not a good writer but he wrote a beautiful piece. When asked, he said he borrows a lot of ideas from other authors. This was a big inspiration to Mr. Tong would who became one of the most popular authors of short stories notably Wives and Concubines, The Myth of Meng, Binu and the Great Wall among others.
For his Croatian counterpart, Mr. Svjetlan Junakovic the path to the dream profession was rather rough. Although he made a lot of good drawings, he was frustrated by failure to gain admission at the academy of drawing. Luckily, he went to study in Milan in Italy, thanks to his parents. He drew a lot picture letters and sent to his colleagues while there. Mr. Svjetlan would go on to use sculptures to tell stories even though people’s opinion at the academy about it was very negative. However, he says he got motivated when he visited a museum in France and found that the topics and drawings were wonderful.
Being an exceptional author requires that you distinguish yourself from the rest. How did they do it?
According to Mr. Su Tong, if someone asked him in the 1980’s that what your hobby is, people would say creative writing. “I’m a pretty good writer, which is why I keep writing. I also write what I want,” said Mr. Tong.
On the other hand, Mr. Svjetlan enjoys drawings and is motivated by the desire to make his work accessible to many audiences as possible, a reason he publishes in many international languages such as English, Spanish and Italian among others.

On whether complexity of human relationships and life experiences influences the creative process influences, Mr. Tong disputes this claim. He clarified that much as suffered from severe illness that nearly claimed his life, it never determined his work. “It is sometimes hard to describe because lots of children feel sick but they don’t all become writers, may be they become doctors. There is no correlation between the two. I think a lot and aloud,” he said.
Talk about themes
Why picked children as my theme- Mr. Svjetlan
It is import because you have illustration, text and the idea. The text also helps parents to tell children more about the book.
Theme the characters-Mr. Su tong
Mr. Su Tong noted his novels are very different. From internet it says I made a lot of reference about women but the real Su tong is different. 5 of my novels have been adapted; maybe that is where it has gone wrong. He feels ashamed of it yet he can also write about men. Interrelation about human is very central to my work.
How do you create your work that is fascinating in different part of the world?
Don’t think about what is important for audience, publisher. Just publish what you can do. He made a book from his experience, when he made a big mess in the kitchen. He wrote 2 different books from one story- Mr. Svjetlan Junakovic said.
Mr. Su Tong agreed with his colleague that creation is different from promotion. The partners were lucky to promote your work, he said. One of my works was promoted by Zhang Mo but doesn’t mean that it is my best work. Authors cannot control promote. He is only popular in China.
Q&A session ran as follows;
How to get the attention of young readers in the digital age? Asked Martin, UK
Mr. Svjetlan Junakovic advised parents not to give their children a lot of exposure to the new technological devices. He also emphasized that the book still has its own passion much as its sale worldwide is declining.
Mr. Jiahe Liu asked Su Tong whether he considered the creative process critically since from the 1990’s he used a lot of inconsistency, irregularities and strange words.
“It is true that I created a lot of short stories when I was small in 1990; some of them have the same background while others are different. I wrote more than 150 short stories. I want to have a new boundary and creation,” replied Mr Su Tong.
We have a lot of movies and interactive media. What is the legitimacy of book reading in this world? New media
Mr. Svjetlan said that nothing can replace a book. The most important thing is for authors to be creative, use colors and illustrations. Nothing can replace our imaginations.
Chinese, acknowledged the problem. Some times when you go to the bookshop you see people buy old books and are tangible. Books give use different feelings and ideas. The market will be smaller but will not disappear.
Bao Lei asked Mr. Su tong the prime time of his creation was in 1990. How about now?
He acknowledged that may be it is true, adding that for the writers writing a long novel is very physical, and you work every day. The structure may collapse and you must re write. But short stories can be done in a month.