Our Writing Careers
瑞典作家、电台主播Helena von Zweigbergk首先分享了她的写作缘由。虽然她最初的职业是记者，但是从七岁开始，她的内心就一直渴望能够写小说。她提到自己在孩童时期非常的文静害羞，喜欢阅读和观察别人的行为，这也为她之后成为作家埋下了种子。而她真正开始写作的契机是因为当时在瑞典犯罪小说受到了读者热烈的追捧，而当她被问到是否能写作一本关于犯罪的小说时，她同意了，也由此开启了她的写作生涯，那时她是四十岁。她随后创作了四本犯罪题材的小说，围绕着一位女性监狱牧师进行。
At 8:00 pm on November 23, the third event of the third edition of China-Europe International Literary Festival was held in Shenzhen Yanjiyou bookstore. The event, entitled “Our Writing Career”, invited four writers from Romania, Sweden and China to talk about their literary works and the reason why they started their literary careers, and to present their suggestions to aspiring writers. The event was hosted by Mr. Tang Xiaolin, a literary critic from Sichuan.
The Swedish writer and broadcaster Helena von Zweigbergk first shared her writing motives. Although she started working as a journalist, she has the greed inside her to write novels since she was seven years old. She mentioned that she was very quiet and shy when she was a little girl, and liked to read and observe other people’s behaviors, which also laid the foundation for her later becoming a writer. When she was forty, she was asked if she could write a novel about crime because at that time the crime novel was enthusiastically sought after by the Swedish readers. She agreed and thus embarked on the career as a writer. She then created four crime novels around a female prison chaplain.
Helena mentioned that her current writing focus is on the intimacy relationships in the family. She said that we are so used to such a relationship that we often turn a blind eye and ignore what we do to others and what others do for us. But for Helena, the people who are close to her are very important to her, so observing and talking about this relationship has become the urge for her writing.
Wu Jun, a writer famous for setting her novels in Shenzhen, has a similar experience. The reading experience in her childhood was the reason why Wu Jun was inspired to create. She said: “The characters in the novel are connected to my life and heart for some part, but other parts are missing, so to add this part is also the driving force of my writing.” When she came to Shenzhen in the early 1990s, she also started working in the journalism industry. At the time, she worked in the Cultural Affairs Bureau and had to publish a monthly magazine in addition to interviewing. However, it was so difficult to solicit works from others that she had to write for the magazines by herself. She went to 18 towns in Shenzhen to interview the workers in the assembly line. This experience has also influenced her later writing, and her work pays more attention to the underclass in Shenzhen.
Wu Jun also lamented that although a journalist also writes, but the career does not necessarily have a positive impact on writing novels. She has more experience of limitation and restriction from such career. Helena, who used to be a reporter, shared the same feeling. She mentioned that when she first wrote the role of the prison chaplain, it was difficult to get rid of journalism and she thought she should conduct a lot of research on how a chaplain functions. Nevertheless, the journalist career also provided her with a lot of writing skills.
The writing experience of Romanian writer Doina Rusti is somewhat tortuous. She said her original writing style was not favored by the publisher, so she didn’t write novels for a period of time, but instead focused on academic writing and translating works written in ancient Greek and Latin. However, she did not give up writing. In the subsequent accidental submission, her work was recognized by the publisher and was successful, and she also ushered in a new development of her career, constantly expanding her identity from a writer to a director, producer and screenwriter.
Shenzhen writer Dai Bin used the humorous language to mobilize the atmosphere. In retrospect, he had the idea of creating novels because he was not a serious person and had a lot of interests and hobbies. When he found out that the beautiful girls on the streets liked poets, he picked up the hobby to write. In 1995, he published his first work, a detective novella, on the magazine The Ancient and Contemporary Legend. After coming to Shenzhen, in order to subsidize his life, he re-started his writing and began to publish his novels in newspapers such as “Dapeng Bay”.
In the Q&A session, a listener who just started writing said that she had colorful dreams but she could not record them in the same interesting way and that she wanted to know how she can write with vivid language? Helena believes that the novel should not draw readers’ attention through words, but should be close to life and close to the heart. Dai Bin said that in order to convey the fantasy of dreams, it should be written in a casual tone, just like telling a story with your confidant. Wu Jun suggested that the dream should not only be described, but should be extracted and processed in roder to be published. In the end, Tang Xiaolin concluded that good works should have their own characteristics and express the writer’s own feelings. Otherwise, it would be like “wearing the same clothes as another person” and cannot attract readers. In addition to giving free rein to their imagination, the writers should also learn the good expressions of others while they are reading.