Marshall Chapter of the Missouri Writers' Guild
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Jacob Hatfield has lived more than half his life in Marshall. Hatfield has worked at the Marshall Public Library and is currently the news clerk at The Marshall Democrat-News, garnering all the "written word" knowledge available in that position. A self-taught artist, Hatfield hopes to combine his skills in writing and drawing to create stories in graphic novel form. He is an officer and active member of the Marshall Cultural Council. For many years he contributed to the design and layout of the Guild's annual chapbooks.
Writer -- Past, Present and Future
I'm hard-pressed to remember when I first picked up a pen and placed it firmly on a sheet of paper, starting what is at least a lasting passion for stories and writing. Perhaps it wasn't as straightforward as that. Perhaps the stories came alive in my head before escaping onto paper.

Early on, the stories tried to leap onto the page, ending in a discombobulated mess. I felt like Dr. Victor Frankenstein setting out to create the beauty of life, and ending up with an odious, fiendish monster.

That, of course, is an over-dramatization of my early attempts at writing. My youthful years were scattered with short-short-stories about dragons and knights and adventures of the grandest variety.

But since beginning to work at the local newspaper, I've been more exposed to proper style, setup, and even sentence structure, which has, in turn, greatly enhanced my literary endeavors. This is not to say I've lost in any way the fervor of telling an extravagant tale, writing of the thrill of the hunt or the beauty of a sweeping landscape, but I have now found a better way to convey these things.

Now when I see a story and its many attributes in my mind, it takes more the form of a string of well-placed words, instead of a collage of visuals that make no sense on written on paper.

And yet visuals continue to play an essential role in my stories. I hardly come up with anything to write about that doesn't connect to a picture inside me. And these pictures will usually spill onto paper, as well.

For the future, I have plans to turn my writings and art into graphic novel stories and get them published; I plan become a millionaire; and I plan to build a house by the sea. But you know what they say, "Man plans, God laughs," so I try to laugh along.
Jacob Hatfield -- February 2009
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