Yvette Tan's Poetics
Without further ado, here are PGS horror issue guest-editor Yvette Tan's poetics, which she shared during the 50th UP National Writers Workshop (happening right now). An excerpt:
I was not always a writer. Growing up, I thought I would become an artist, or perhaps a fashion designer. I loved reading but wasn’t fond of fiction, preferring to peruse the Disney Encyclopedias that my parents bought for me. Of course, I was drawn to the volume on myths and legends, that told of Greek, Roman and Norse mythology. But that’s history, not fiction, right? I also liked reading non-fiction books about espionage and detective work, as well about dogs and, for some reason, mushrooms.
My first books were what today would be called graphic novels. Me and my best friend would, after watching the latest Maricel Soriano comedy, draw scenes from the movie and imagine ourselves as Maria. My first “written” book would be a manual on self defense, written when I was in grade four and bound with wrapping paper. I was terribly shy, and still am, and so didn’t show it to anybody. Unfortunately, one of my classmates found it and leafed through it and instead of making fun of it like I feared she would, looked rather impressed as she handed it back to me.
I remember the first time I decided I wanted to be a freelance writer. It was in grade five, after realizing that “freelance” meant “no boss.” That being a freelance writer meant actually writing did not enter my mind at all.
The reason I started writing fiction was, in one word, boys. In high school, my friends and I were big fans of the New Kids on the Block, something that we will swear up and down never happened and if it did, it was during a moment of insanity. My friends would make me write stories that had them and their favorite New Kid as protagonists. Later, a friend introduced me to fantasy books and I would write high fantasy stories, the Western kind that had wizards and whatnot.
None of this has anything to do with what I write now.