I have been writing since Junior High. I was in eighth grade when my English teacher asked me to read my short story to the class about a teenage girl in trouble. Everyone believed that what happened to the main character actually happened to me. It didn’t. I just had a very vivid imagination. It was then, that my English teacher told me to always keep writing and sharing my stories.
Over the years I have written many stories, mostly short stories, screenplays, and comics.
My Magik the Corgi stories started around 2007 with a written screenplay called Kianti Magik, that I wrote and rewrote until it got accepted in the 2012 Squaw Valley Screenwriters Conference. I worked with a producer from LA on it and greatly improved the first act, or the beginning of the story. Although I found value with participating in the conference, I also felt discouraged afterwards, unsure how to change the most important part of the story, the middle, where most of the story takes place, and also the longest part of a screenplay. At that time, I wasn’t as discerning about criticism. Although the feedback helped my story, it also confused me. I put the script in a drawer and didn’t look at it for a long time. That is when I also started freelance writing for other people. That gave me an opportunity to rewrite an educational comic so that it was better suited for teenage girls.
In recent years, I have continued to write short stories and scripts for my own comics, having particular fun turning my night dreams into short stories, then short screenplays and comic book scripts. One night over dinner when asked about my writing, I told two friends that I love writing short stories and turning them into screenplay and comic book scripts, then sometimes back again, that it’s fun and easy. One of my friends looked at me with an open mouth and said, “It’s not easy for everyone to do that.” I realized at that moment that I could value my abilities and creative gifts a lot more. I also pondered, “How can I teach others, especially kids, how to value their own creations if I can’t do that myself?” It’s been and continues to be a process.
Now I’m learning to draw my own comics by jumping in and just doing it. I’m willing to make mistakes and learn from them. My motivation behind this is twofold. First, I’m visual, and have a lot of stories I want to share. Secondly, I have always taught children to write their own stories and give creative voice to their individuality by teaching them how through sharing my own short stories. Now, I am doing the same with comics. By diving in and drawing my own comics, I can teach from what I know about (comic writing), and also from what I am learning about, drawing my own comics. I hope it will evoke humor, a sense of playfulness, and acceptance of mistakes as part of the creative process.
When I taught at the Hanlin Academy Chinese After School, I had the children write short stories, and turn those short stories into plays and comics. When you can do that, you learn so much about writing, and about your own story. It evolves and becomes more, so do the writers.
My parting gift at Hanlin Academy was desktop publishing the children’s plays and comics. It was really satisfying and inspiring to watch them read each other’s work. A lot of it was funny. It created a sense of camaraderie and teamwork, and a desire to create more stories. Sometimes I witnessed a child being inspired by another’s story, and creating their own, or being inspired by themselves and wanting to write more. That was very fulfilling.
My desire is to continue to create my own stories, especially comics, and through sharing them inspiring children, teens, and maybe even some adults to create their own stories.
Let’s have some fun creating together!
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Copyright © 2018, Vlatka Herzberg, all rights reserved. You may not reproduce materials without permission from Vlatka Herzberg.