For my first blog post (ever!) I thought I would go with something simple. I want to share with you my journey as a writer who is close to releasing their first novel.
Like many writers, I started scrawling words over anything that was available at a young age. Including myself! The first real memory I have of attempting to write a story was when I was in year 3 at school (approx 7-8yrs old).
It was meant to be a short creative writing exercise but for me, it ended up as a marathon where I wrote down the story of 20, 000 Leagues Under the Sea. I went through so much paper that the teacher refused to give me anymore!
I was a bit of a slow learner at school and found it boring. That creative writing class was the most fun I had had at school up until that point. After that, I would bug teaches throughout my years at school about doing more creative writing classes. Sadly, creative writing is rarely taught in schools, at least where I come from.
Throughout my childhood, I wrote many stories, though all have been lost to the mists of time (or more likely, my mother threw them into the bin while cleaning my room). The only book I still have from my early teen years is a non-fiction book I wrote about prehistoric life. I even spent months illustrating it! To this day I lovingly hold onto it and sometimes flick through it and remember the years I dreamt of dinosaurs, trilobites and primordial forests teeming with life.
I continued to write, on and off, throughout my teens and early twenties. I still have two books I wrote from my late teens, though the handwriting is so bad it’s close to illegible! With the never-ending march of technology, many of my old stories saved to floppy disk are now lost. Not that I ever finished any of those stories, but it would be nice to go back and read them.
That was my problem all along
(until recently). I would start a story with no plan whatsoever then get lost in all my ideas and give up. Other times, I would get bored and concoct a sudden and silly ending.
Five years ago, I tried again. I wrote about 5000 words of a book then gave up. I wrote another 5000 words or thereabouts of another book, a year later and again gave up.
Then about two years ago, I was really into survival/crafting video games like Dayz, 7 days to die and Mine Craft (among others). I started to get inspired but it was not enough to get me writing… Until a podcast by Dan Carlin about the Mongol Invasions finally pushed me over the edge and into the madness of writing once again.
I am still falling almost two years later. In that time, I have written two 100,000 word novels, a 40,000 word short novel, started three novellas. All for the same series! Then there is Heir to a Lost Sun, another 50, 000 word short novel.
That is a lot of writing for less than two short years! When I started my writing crusade, I knew little about the craft or of the ample resources available online. I spent the first year and a half toiling away by myself with little knowledge of the outside writing world. It was not until a chance discovery last September (2015) that I heard of a local writing group.
This group led me to NANOWRIMO, a writing event that happens each year where you have to write 50,000 words in a month. Since then I have been to writer workshops, and learnt so much about the craft my head is like to explode!
I made the mistake many first time authors supposably make. I bit off more than I could chew. I attempted to climb Mt Everest without the fitness or climbing gear required to survive it. But somehow I made it to the peak and looked around and thought, “gee, it’s nice up here. Sure is cold and lonely though,” so quickly climbed back down.
I somehow pulled off my first novel (which I am still editing) with no planning and little understanding of the craft. I dived into the deep end and emerged unscathed. I am proud of that book, its sequel, its prequel and the vast world I created for it. I hope one day to finish the series then release all of them at once. They are grim, post-apocalyptic adventures set in the near future.
As those books are my magnum opus I do not want to release them until they are finished, professionally edited and proofread. The task will be huge. Once done it will be four 100,000 word novels and three shorter novels/novellas.
So instead, I decided to write another magnum opus in the form of Heir to a Lost sun using all that I had learnt. I planned for one, maybe two books of around 30, 000 words each. Instead, the characters and the world went on strike until I agreed to up the word count and make it a trilogy! They are sick of only being figments of my imagination. They want freedom. They want others to hear their stories like I have heard them.
I am close to finishing the first draft of “Heir to a lost Sun.” After that, it’s time to deal with all the notes I left myself and then editing then beta readers… Then more editing… Then more editing… And more…
I hate editing! What writer doesn’t?
However, it’s all worth it in the end. I look forward to seeing my name on a book; even just an E-book and hearing how other people enjoyed reading my story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
When the trilogy is complete, I will have the books printed so I can hold one in my hands and say, “I wrote that.”
Because that, to me, would be AWESOME!
Thanks for reading:)
PS: To learn more about me read the “About the Author” page.