Interviews from The Psyche Supermarket: Chris Winn

Chris Winn is a Game Design and Creative Writing student here at Brunel University.

What are you currently reading (or what was the last thing you read)?

The comments section on this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEhaVhta7sI

As a fan of playful or experimental writers (Crispin Best, Donald Barthelme) I found myself particularly interested in the comment: ‘Dat Cat is so dumb but in a kawii funny way if i was in a relationship and got a loving cat i’d die of it’s cuteness X3 Can’t help it i love pets’.

Writing is a product of the culture its written within (obv) and thus I enjoy when concepts such as internet/globalist culture can be seen within a writers works – for example, the phrase ‘in a kawii funny way’. The term ‘kawaii’ has Japanese roots and comes from an older term which directly translates as ‘a radiant face’, only recently changing to mean anything which is ‘cute’ or ‘lovable’. The writer is calling the cat cute, commenting on its ‘dumb’ appearance as a key part of what makes it so endearing, labelling it as ‘derpy’, perhaps, and the fact that they thought the best way to do this was to go cross-culture and also cross-meaning, deploying a neologism direct from their globalised, online, postmodern experiences is just smashing.

Can you give us a brief insight into your writing process?

I mean, I could try. Shall I talk about the writing process of my short story in the anthology? Ok.

It started with a conversation I had with a friend on a night in drinking together. We were discussing the possibility of opening up a semen collection business together. We got onto the topic of what we would both do if the police pulled us over and opened the back of the van and, well, how would you explain it? This became one of the key paragraphs in the short story and is kind of the seed (lol) from which everything else grew. I find it hard to discuss the actual writing process because I don’t think I’m a particularly good model to learn from. I believe in constantly editing my work as I’m going along, rereading everything ten+ times and trying to make it sound as fluid as possible. This means that I’m capable of producing reasonably well crafted short pieces but anything longer than three or four thousand words takes me a literal age to get through. I know that my writing process usually involves Grooveshark, YouTube and, for this specific piece, doing a lot of research into the corrects ways to store semen. I enjoy doing research as part of my writing as it provides constant mini-breaks from the writing process.

I guess that the lesson to take away from this is that, in my opinion, the worst environment to write in is one where you feel like you can’t escape your own work. If you feel like you have to write then you’ll produce something which fulfils the least viable product and that’s not a good thing. Research provides little windows of escape for my mind, keeping me constantly fresh and editing the work I’m producing as I go along, making sure I never fully melt away into a pool of writer goo.

What are your interests when you’re not writing?

I enjoy playing video games, studying video games, completing my two dissertations and editing both The Psyche Supermarket and Brunel’s first poetry anthology Crush (plug, plug, plug). I’m a student representative for Games Design, module representative for a few different things and a member of the committee for Brunel League of Legends Society. I also fence on the Men’s 2nd Team for Brunel Fencing and sometimes attend/lose random fencing competitions around London.

What do you want to do after university?

Adult stuff.

You can read Chris’ short story, alongside many others, in The Psyche Supermarket released on the 11th of March.

You can also find his portfolio at http://christopher-winn.blogspot.co.uk/

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