I first started writing when I was in elementary school. I can safely say I’ve been writing for over 20 years now, off and on. I’ve always enjoyed creative writing. I don’t mind writing essays, particularly if the topic interests me (see the entire rest of my blog…), but it’s always been especially hard if the topic is not interesting.
I remember when I was little, my dad worked for Alltel in the IT department, and we had two computers in the house for literally as long as I can remember. (I have vague memories of DOS, and Windows 3.1.) I believe it was after I got Windows 95 on my computer, that my dad also installed a word processor on it, Word Perfect. And I wrote a short story about a ghost in it.
Before that, I’d hand-written little stories, about a princess and a unicorn, about dinosaurs… I remember a school assignment, I think it was dealing with size and ranking words, like big, bigger, biggest, etc., where I took up wayyyyy more paper than I was supposed to writing about a cat that somehow got to be the size of the solar system. Yeah, I wish I could remember the detail on that one a little more.
I remember the very first dream I ever wrote down, or pieces of it anyway. I was probably pre-teen aged, so sometime in middle school. I was walking on the bike path near my dad’s house, and these giant playing cards, a la Alice in Wonderland, pulled me into the woods and told them I had to help them defeat the Yeerks, from the young adult book series Animorphs by K.A. Applegate. And I remember being in a department store, hiding from the Yeerks, and accidentally finding this wormhole, which was really how they were getting to Earth.
I’ve also always had vivid dreams. Some of them have just been dreams, but some of them have evolved into much bigger ideas for stories that desire telling. I had a dream in high school about a vortex that would come down out of a cloud, and suck people up into it, and then retreat into the cloud. And then it would do it again, but bigger, and get more people. And nobody could see that it was harmful except me. Another dream I had was much more dystopian. A group of evil scientists that specialized in genetic engineering were able to take over the world. Some of us were kept alive, possibly for future experimenting. I made friends with one of the elite guards, who had been genetically modified, and he helped me escape. (That one turned kind of weird, because I was sharing bits of it with friends at the time, and they were all, “oh oh put me in your story!”)
A few weeks ago, I had another vivid dream that I wrote down. It had a setting (that I have to flesh out a bit more), some interesting social dynamics (living in a commune-like place), conflict at a high level, and my favorite, magic. But most importantly, it had an ending. An ending that I absolutely love. So, I wrote my dream all out, and I can already tell there are parts that are going to get chopped, and of course tons of stuff needs to be added. But this idea would not leave my head after I originally wrote it down. I kept turning it over and over, thinking about how to approach [x] conflict, how to introduce [y] information, how the magic in the world works, etc.
So I sat down and started writing. I am currently at 4,926 words, and I only have the first two scenes done.
I’m not giving myself a length minimum or maximum. I don’t want to box myself in. I just want to see where this goes, and how long it takes to get there.
I brought the first scene to my writing group on Tuesday. I was pretty nervous about it. I haven’t brought a ton of stuff to read, mostly because I’m not convinced most of it is any good. But the second scene has the two protagonists discussing theoretical magic, and I get a bit science-nerdy. And there’s a bit of that in the first scene, so I really wanted to make sure that it wasn’t some totally boring blathering that people were going to gloss over.
Turns out, it wasn’t. I got some really positive responses to it as a whole! And lots of people saying they really wanted to see where this goes. So that’s very exciting 🙂
And without giving too much away, I’m going to leave you with the almost unanimously agreed upon favorite sentence, by, to my surprise, many people’s favorite character (I mean, I’m glad people like him already, he’s going to really throw a wrench in things later, so that’s going to be totally fun):
“This is exactly the kind of new-agey throw-you-in-the-deep-end kind of bullshit we argued against before letting him start teaching the Advanced track, and he thinks he can get away with it anyway?”