From yarn-bound storybooks to novels written in longhand, here's my story.
When I was a toddler, I would "read" storybooks to my baby brother, turning the colorful pages which were almost as big as he was. I know because my mom caught it all on tape with our bulky, black Magnavox camcorder. I was in love with stories and just wanted to pass along the joy whether I knew what I was doing or not .... I guess I still do that.
My mom, an avid reader, taught me to read at age four, and I've been her bookworm son ever since. I ate up every book within my reading level in the house, and the public library became my favorite place to visit in the world. If it ever came down to choosing between the local park and the kid's section of the library, the library was my usual vote.
By the age of seven, I was ready to enter the publishing world. I wrote a story about the adventures of a frog, cleverly named "The Adventures of Frog," and mass-produced it (two copies) in pencil on school-lined paper. It was fully illustrated and featured several stories about Frog. I gave it to my mom for her birthday.
When we were older, my older sister made up a story about King Macaroni and the Banana Split, an origin story for the classic dessert, which apparently was invented in the land of Macadamia by old King Macaroni himself. I loved the story and wanted it to be made into a picture book, so I began working on the illustrations for the story, eventually writing the story down as well.
Fast forward to age 11. My favorite subject in school was Language Arts, and I was ready to use a computer to bang out my next bestseller. I borrowed my mom’s laptop for a couple hours at a time and wrote out like eleven or twelve pages. This was quite an accomplishment, and I even laid out an outline for the entire novel, certain that I would finish it ....
I still have those eleven pages saved as a monument to my first novel ever.
My next novel project was called Twilight's Cry, a novel about survival and spies—I basically tossed Hatchet and Stormbreaker into a blender and came up with this novel, which I intended to make into a trilogy. I actually finished this novel (gasp) in longhand. Yep. Like two hundred pages, all written by hand. I think I went through at least three pens and five notebooks. I wrote it twice, a rough and final draft. My right hand hurts just thinking about it.
When I bought myself a word processor, my writing exploded. I started a dozen different stories, novels, ideas, and didn't finish any of them. I kind of got addicted to writing the first chapter of a novel without ever finishing it; it was just too much fun. That said, I still got a lot accomplished, including finishing my first typed-out novel ever, Sacrifice. Which I have since named Rebirth. Which someday I will revamp into an awesome story—I still have a billion notes on that.
The best thing to happen to my writing was a course I took in high school, called the One Year Adventure Novel. It shaped my writing, my story/idea structuring, my voice, my message .... Even though it's a fiction writing course, it even applies to what I'm writing this very moment. With that course, I learned how to create engaging stories that keep you glued to the pages. It's launched my skills from raw potential into something more developed.
I'm curious: What has your journey looked like? How have you come from the love-at-first-sight moment of your art, your passion, to where you are now?