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writing

jmeadows was asking about why and how people became writers, and a number of responses I've read on the topic are quite interesting. I suggest that you try answering this too! You're all writers--at the very least, you have a livejournal.


I wrote the paragraphs that follow and then realized they're all about *what* I wrote, not about *why* I wrote. And as I think about it, I don't really know why... I always was telling myself stories--when I walked to school, my mind would be in a story, when I'd go outside to play, I'd be playing some story. For instance, I remember going to a creek in the woods and pretending I was a girl named Panther who was the head of a gang of kids who lived in the woods--that sort of thing. Or, to take another example, my sister and I were given dolls from around the world by my grandmother. We kept them on our dresser tops. I called these dressers "Mount Ching" and "Mount Wong" (don't ask me why I picked Chinese-y names; I have no idea), and we'd play that the peoples of these kingdoms met each other, had wars, made peace, etc.

And, my dad wrote books (not many, and they were for grownups, but they were there on the bookshelf).

So maybe the fact of always having stories in my head and of having a dad who was a writer made me start writing down stories.

The first story I remember writing was about animals in a forest that had to go find a different forest to live in because hunters came. It was an illustrated story, and it had chapters (each about a page of looseleaf paper long); I was in fourth grade. I was so proud. Then I remember writing a story about an Italian immigrant family. I wasn't hindered by the fact that I knew nothing at all about immigrants. This was in a period when I was making my writing as tiny as possible--like a quarter of the space between two lines of looseleaf paper. In fourth grade I remember also writing a play with a prince in it and a princess and some other characters. I was having a rough year, didn't have many friends, but I plucked up my courage and invited a couple of other girls to work on it with me. And they said yes! But we didn't end up putting it on.

In seventh grade I remember being really into Space 1999 and writing a fanfic (though I wouldn't have called it that back then) that explained how I was going to end up on that space station. When I was 15 I wrote my first really long novel--I wrote it by hand, then typed it over on a typewriter, put it in a binder, and sent it off to Atheneum, because they published most of the fantasy stories I liked. I got a nice rejection letter back. Then I wrote and finished an even longer novel that had to do with Celtic folklore, but never finished typing it up. It's still in manuscript form in a desk in my parents' house. The other one, the one I sent to Atheneum, I have here now. Maybe I'll let my kids read it--except I have to go back myself first and see how BAD it is.

In college I started lots of stories, but didn't finish any. And then after college I pretty much stopped writing, except for poetry now and then. During my time in England, I got an inspiration for a great adventure story and worked out all the details and started writing it, but found it harder and harder to write as I got further and further removed from my time there. Maybe one day I'll finish it. Now I'm working on the story about the world where different areas are perpetually in different times of day. And this one, I'm going to finish, though I can tell from reading jmeadows's and amberdine's journals that that's only the start of the struggle--getting published is something else again.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
amberdine
Aug. 9th, 2006 06:01 pm (UTC)
You darn well are going to finish that novel. [grin]

I will have to send you Labyrinth Unfading when I get through its next round of revision. The plot is totally swiped from the last episode of Space: 1999. Not that anyone will be able to tell... I hope...

Cool stuff. Thanks for sharing!
heyes
Aug. 9th, 2006 06:41 pm (UTC)
(this won't seem related at first)
While writing the current story I have been obsessing over Space: Above and Beyond. A gruesome and highly militaristic marine corps. space show that was about ten years ahead of it's time *cough battle star cough*. I wonder how much of it has influenced the ghosts?

I can answer the why, but not really. I guess I feel like I have something to say, I feel responsible for those imaginary friends of mine, like I can't just let em vanish in the dark recesses of the mind.
heyes
Aug. 9th, 2006 06:41 pm (UTC)
Re: (this won't seem related at first)
(hoo-rah!)
suzan_s
Aug. 10th, 2006 09:08 am (UTC)
Back in the day, when I was trying to be a "writer", I got several pieces published (magazine and newspaper) and completed a young adult fiction novel but never got it published. I still have creative burst of....."WOW, this would make a great book"....but I don't like the research that goes along with it. I am very happy with my painting at the time being. I do know that really creative people MUST create or we go nuts!!! Was that an answer?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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