Saturday, January 30, 2010

A History of Writing

I promised last post that I would give you my history of writing and here it is.

I have never thought of myself as a writer, I have always seen myself as a storyteller. I like telling stories and I like conveying the power of those stories to an audience. I have, for the most part, always communicated my stories orally because I hated the physical act of writing. I am very long winded but my writings are usually very short and to the point.

Recently, my wife Sarah and I traveled to visit my parents and I uncovered the scrapbook that my mom made of my early childhood. Inside were perhaps a hundred stories that I had written in school. Most of them were four sentences long and nearly every one of them was about me becoming either a famous basketball player, a famous football player, or about one of my favorite sports teams winning in some unbelievable fashion. (ie 99999 to -2)

As I got older I kept writing about sports but I started writing 2 page stories that were modeled after the Matt Christopher books that I loved so much growing up. His books were simple, there was an average player on an average team, the kid had some personal problem that was in some way tied to a flaw in his game on the field. The kids figures out his personal problem with the help of a parent or coach and the team goes on to win the big game. So I took on that story and wrote with me as the main character. I believe that one eventually made it to about 8 pages but it was lost when our very old, second hand, barely functioning when we got it, computer crashed. I know it was a great loss to the literary community but we must press on.

Then I fell in love with fantasy. Well that is not entirely true because I have always loved Disney movies, and two Rankin/Bass animated fantasy movies (Flight of Dragons and The Hobbit) But I fell in love with reading and then writing fantasy. The reading started with the Dragonlance series, which I believe that I have read at least the first three books over 100 times. And my love of writing fantasy started at the computer playing Warcraft II The Tides of Darkness.

I LOVED Warcraft and I still play it today. (but sadly not with the same passion) After beating the game I decided that I could not let it go, and so I wrote a story about it. Of course I was the main character. This was a masterpiece of literature. It was around 17 pages long and had 30 chapters. It was not even close to finished and had what may be my wife's favorite line in any book ever.

Here is what happened: My character was tied to a pole and is about to be executed, and suddenly this beautiful woman who my character (aka me) had never met (but who was based on someone who I had a crush on in real life), and who was the leader of the group walks up to make the final decision as to what is going to be my fate. Ok here is the line, "And then she kissed me!" (DRAMATIC PAUSE)

I know, I know, it makes no sense that she would kiss me without any preamble or without knowing my character at all but I was twelve and I had never really kissed a girl and so I was working with what I had. (and my wife loves it because she says she can see me as a dorky tween sitting at the computer and writing it) Fortunately, I still have this manuscript and maybe someday I will go back and turn it into a real story.

That ended a my major writing periods until I discovered that I really was ready to delve into romance myself when I was in high school.

Romance is one of my major driving factors in my writing. The adult fantasy series that I am writing truly began when I was in high school. I started writing this series to help me figure out my romantic entanglements. When I wrote out my feelings I often felt better about my life. Of course I never wrote them out as I felt them, I put them in stories set in this fantasy world and I populated the world with my friends, crushes, and even people who I did not like. I did destroy all of these stories (and I can assure you that all of those real people have been taken out of the current story and I have not included any of my current friends family or acquaintances in the stories that I write today.) because they were about my real feeling about my real friends, but I think these stories helped me realize that i would like to write. I always felt better after I wrote. So since that time I have been working on building my fantasy world and perfecting the story arc that I have in my mind.

And that is it really. I am now a writer and this is the history that I have to pull from. I think it will be hard from me not having much to draw from. I mean in these stories I am not the main character and none of my friends are in the story either. Everyone must be made from scratch. On top of that my writing skills probably are not great, as I have not been honing my craft for years like so many writers. But the advantages I do have are that this world that I am writing about is entirely my own so it can be what I want it to be. And I have been crafting my story and my world for a decade. Maybe through the help of my friends,my editors, my critique partner, and my wife, we can work together to turn what has been forming in my head into a beautifully written story.

Thanks for reading and your COMMENTS are more than welcome. See you next week when I will talk about expectations.

1 comment:

  1. No matter how different our writing styles and processes, I think the thing that all fiction writers have in common is our love of telling stories. I'm not sure someone could write a successful (fiction) book if they didn't like to tell stories. I too loved to write stories from a young age- I can't remember a time I wasn't daydreaming a new story into being. I still do it, and don't think I'll ever stop.