In one of my recent posts, I mentioned I’ve been writing since 1997. For me, that was 8th grade, on the merit that my math and memory are correct. That’s thirteen years of writing experience. I don’t count a lot of that beginning as much as I should.
Over the last three years—mostly in undergraduate studies—I’ve truly blossomed as a writer. Before I started at the University of New Mexico, I wrote. I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong, but more importantly, I didn’t know what I did right. Avoiding mistakes and pitfalls, while useful, does not help as much as understand what you do right, so you can do it again and again.
I have my first attempt at a manuscript still. It has survived the transitions from computer to computer over the years, and I will post some of it later. I thought it was wonderful when I wrote it, but I got stuck at the end and eventually moved on to another story. Reading it years later, I know it was not a masterpiece, but that I wrote is important. I can see into my past and even use parts of the piece if I so desire (though I doubt I will). I can look at my attempt and see where I still limp along, where I run and ultimately understand my process better.
One of the lessons I’ve learned is not to give up. Don’t ever give up on your writing. If you give up, who will fight for you? If you have an answer, you are lucky. Another lesson is that not every story is worth its salt. There are pieces that are not worth saving. Throw them into a folder—never delete!—and if you need ideas or something you can go to the ‘graveyard’ and pick and choose some of the past gems. But remember, not every story written is a good story, nor even ones that should be told. They are important to you, I know mine are to me, and they serve a purpose.
At UNM, I wrote four stories over the course of my upper division studies. One of them was a previous story that received a lot of editing, but three were original. Writing and editing for me are two complete different processes. WRiting is an act of creation: making something where nothing was before. Editing is shaping that creation into a better piece of writing. Some writers strike gold on creation. I strike rock, and have to shape and shape and shape until I get a statue. I’ve been working on one of the stories I wrote for almost two years. I’m working on a trilogy that turned five a few months ago. I submitted a story for publication two days after it was written. There is no set amount of time for revision.
Anyway, over the course of this blog, I’ll reveal more about my writing past, over and over again. However, I’ll show you where I’ve started from, and you can see some of the teasers to see—more or less—where I am now.
Jeff walked home. While he walked he thought about his life back in Helin, New Jersey. He missed his friend Kate. She was the only person who actually thought about being nice to him. She was his best friend. There was also John. He was a good friend. They always did stuff togther like play, swing, talk, they did about everything togther. His memories were held tight to him. They could never be removed, so Jeff thought.
He finally got home, but when he did there was something missing.Yet he didn’t know what was missing. He went inside and found it as normal as ever. He walked up the stairs and found it again normal. Then he went to all the rooms, but they were normal, as always. Next he checked the kitchen and found his sister unharmed. She has light blond hair and cold, icy eyes.
“Terra, what happened here?” Jeff asked.
“Jeff,” she was sobbing and her hands were very wet. “Mom and Dad protected me from a crazed man and he killed them, both,” she barely squeezed that much out. But how did he know something was wrong here?
“Terra, what happened to Terrence?”
“He was taken and locked up with Melissa and Katie.”
“Come on we’re going to go to Pastin.”
“Pastin? What are we going to do at Pastin?”
“At Pastin there is an old man.”
“What is he going to do for us?”
“He says I’m ‘The omnipotent One’”
“You, omnipotent? Ha. The guy has a sense of humor,” she said this without much grief. “Well I guess we don’t have much to lose.”
“Wait before we go let’s check out the attic.”
They went up to the attic and looked for things. Terra found a chest and a ring while Jeff found a amulet and a box with a lid on it.
“Terra let’s open your box first.”
“Okay.” They opened it and found nothing of interest. Then they opened Jeff’s box and found: a huge book, another amulet and another ring. The rings looked exactly alike and the amulets looked alike too.
“Hey, sis let’s put on the rings and amulets.”
“Okay, it sounds cool.”
As they put on the amulets and rings the jewelry started to glow. They felt a pulse run though their veins.
“Terra,” his voice sounded magical. “I think we should read the book.”
“I agree, brother. Let’s read it together.”
“Yes, let’s.” They read it in only two hours. As they read the words were absorbed by their brains. But you could tell who was the most powerful. When they finished they decided to go to Pastin. They walked and walked and finally reached their destination.
“Follow me.” Were the only words that were spoken by Jeff. They usually didn’t need to speak because they could read each other’s mind.
—From Chapter Two: Home of Alternate Worlds, c 1997 (age 12). No edits made from the original.