13 February, 2012

The Origins Blogfest

This blogfest is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, DL Hammons, Katie Mills, and Matthew MacNish.

About the blogfest:
On Monday, February 13th, post your own origin story. Tell us all where your writing dreams began. It could be anything from how you started making up stories as a child, or writing for the school newspaper, or even what prompted you to start a blog. How about stories about the first time somebody took an interest in your writing, or maybe the singular moment when you first started calling yourself a writer. It all started somewhere and we want you to tell us your own unique beginnings.

My writing dreams didn't so much begin in a sudden "I'm going to be a writer!" moment as evolve over time. The beginning of that evolution started one summer's day (nope, not even a dark and stormy night) when I decided to write a short story involving a 12-year-old boy, a Lord of Mortals (who wanted to become the Lord of Immortals, of course, and was willing to kill to do it), glaciers, and the underworld. Max planned page count? 10-20, longhand.

A couple months later, it had expanded into a trilogy. I wanted to pack everything possible into that trilogy; time travel, shape-shifting, telekinesis, cryokinesis, gryphons, exotic islands, and a showdown between good and evil.

Did I ever finish the trilogy--or even the first book? No. (I might try my hand at MG again and work on it; however, that's another post.) But I managed to write out over 120 pages and the writing bug occupied my brain for a while.

Then I didn't write much; the bug seemed to have abandoned me. A few short stories, a poem or two, several stalled attempts at more novels I never followed up on. But in 2009 I came across the Space Opera novel The Dragon Never Sleeps by Glen Cook at the library. At this point I hadn't read much Science Fiction (so this involves my SF origins as well), nor did I have a great desire to. But I fell in love with the cover of the book and decided to take it out based on that and the blurb.

(I'm partial to covers with ships; and yes, I know the cover is the shallowest reason for choosing a story.)

I loved the world-building in The Dragon Never Sleeps. I've forgotten most of it now (the only thing I remember for sure is that there were War Avocats who were as strange as they sound) and it felt like there was a lot of technical jargon I had to read twice to fully understand, but the story still hooked me--regardless of the fact that I wanted to chuck many of the characters into a black hole.

And so I decided to write something I really wanted to read myself, despite the fact I knew I couldn't create something as good as a published novel. I built off of (read: copied, though I went back and changed the glaring similarities) the world and happily typed away a random scene, which eventually morphed into the 1000+ page story I now call The Trilogy. During those 1 1/2 years spent writing The Trilogy is when I began to identify myself: I was not just someone who scribbled away on the back porch on a whim, but a writer who spent time on the craft. Mostly in the form of wrangling plot, arguing with stubborn and silent characters, and looking in despair at the mess of a setting I'd created, but still.

A writer.

And there you have my origins story.

What's yours?

-----The Golden Eagle


Emily R. King said...

I didn't finish my first book either, but it instilled a love of writing that hasn't gone away.
Thanks for sharing your beginnings!

Old Kitty said...

Yay for this amazing book that inspired you to carry on with your initial burst of writerly inspirations!! I hope you do get to re-do your MG novel in the very near future!! Good luck!! Take care

Donna Hole said...

Every dream has to start somewhere :) Being inspired by a great story of your own, and then a published novel, is cool. Even if the first wasn't finished, at least it taught you some writing discipline and kick started you into finding your nisch.

You are a writer :)


ali cross said...

I have never heard about your "origin" Eags, so it was really cool to read about it. Thanks for sharing it! I love that you finally found the right and ability to call yourself a WRITER. That's an awesome thing :)

Christine Rains said...

Awesome story. It's fun to think on the things that inspire us like book covers with ships. It tickles your muse and you're lost to the stories.

Pat Hatt said...

Truly never know what will inspire. As a rhyming cat, who knew?..haha

T.D. McFrost said...

This was a cool story. I liked that you didn't want to be a writer from the start. That seems real to me.

Thanks for sharing.

Scarlett said...

I LOVE the showdown between good and evil! It's my journey to show that neither are always as they appear, and that we ALL are capable of both.

Ahhh, what's in a name? And what's in the cover of a book? They put a lot of work into the cover of a book, for a reason, as we authors do in the titles of our work. Often, it's the eye candy that peaks our interest! Especially when you're standing in a book store with so many thousands of titles to choose from.

So glad to *meet* you Mr. Writer You!

nutschell said...

Loved reading your Origins story! I certainly have to find myself a copy of this book. Sounds like an interesting read, considering it inspired you to write!


Scarlett said...

Ahem, Ms. Writer You!
My pardons. *grin*

K.T. Hanna said...

That's awesome :D I love your story (and the story that sparked your story).

I know I never finished my first big one either - but I did steal the characters and transplant them :D

Julie said...

Love this story. And how wonderful that the Cook book inspired you so much. I've no doubt your Trilogy is amazing.

MISH said...

You've portrayed your Origins story as very simple & realistic... BUT...
there's no denying your obvious passion for the craft.

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Good post about that story that wouldn't let you go! Nice to meet you through the blogfest.

Marsha Sigman said...

Love your story! I have unfinished stories from wayyyy back when myself. It's a learning experience.

Ishta Mercurio said...

I love how you went away from writing, but then came back to it. It's like what they say about setting a bird free and waiting to see if it comes back to you.

L.G.Smith said...

This is a common theme I'm seeing today...wanting to write because a book someone read opened up a new world to them that they didn't want to leave. Awesome origin for your writing.

Jay Noel said...

Wow. How interesting that it was this one book to change your life forever. Amazing.

That cover is pretty kick a$$.

DL Hammons said...

From a 10 page short story to a trilogy...ambitous much? :) You may not have known it then...but you were hooked, and destined to become a writer! Thank you for sharing today. :)

Siv Maria said...

Nice story, who knows maybe one day you will finish that book. Thanks for sharing writer friend :)

farawayeyes said...

"I wanted to write something I wanted to read myself." I love that.

I never thought about it the same way, but I guess I write what I want to read also. Thanks!

AveryMarsh said...

Great story. I'm going to have to go check that book out now. The Hunger Games was the one book that reignited my passion for writing. It's weird how certain books can do that.

I still haven't finished my first attempt at writing a novel but I hope to change that this year. It's also suffers from a bad case of too much.

Thanks for sharing. :)

Stuart Nager said...

Nice, really nice GE. You've accomplished so much in a short space of time. My origin? It's #125 on the Origin's juke box ;)

Thanks for the share. Looking forward to the Evil Genius.

Susan Kane said...

Mine began with 'Little Women' (I was in 3rd grade) when I decided I would be like Jo March. Since then, I have been a writer.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Golden, you are so sharp, when you do craft the manuscript you'll submit, it will be briliant!
Thanks for participating in the blogfest.

Juliana said...

Sounds like an amazing book and your story is really great too.
I didn't consciously made the choice of being a writer and a book did inspire me down the road.
Good luck!
Thanks for sharing ;)

Li said...

Oh, I dunno, I often choose books by their covers :-) I definitely think you should re-work the MG story!

Natasha said...

I love this idea and I'm glad you're gonna get involved in the Tag Me-Tag You post. I love learning more about other bloggers, and that is an awesome book cover by the way. xxx

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I love reading all the different books that inspired people to become writers. Nice to know your origins.

Chris Fries said...

Great Origins story -- for a first-time piece, yours sure had a lot of cool stuff in it!

And I'm not familiar with "The Dragon Never Sleeps" but it's an intriguing title. Plus it's got ships on the cover, so I will definitely also have to check it out!

Tara Tyler said...

an evolution into writing =)
great beginning story!

Alleged Author said...

Have you ever thought of writing the rest of that trilogy?

J.L. Campbell said...

Sounds like you had a whale of a time creating your stories. Love the fact that you wanted to include just about every thing in your story.

Rusty Webb said...

Awesome. For the longest time I refused to buy a book that didn't have a space ship on the cover. I think I have that Glen Cook book on the shelf right now waiting for me to read.

Great story.

Jessica Salyer said...

Thanks for sharing your origin story. Only after 1000 pages did you figure out you were a writer? I'd say you were one long before that.

Belle said...

It was great to read how you started writing. Another blogger said she was also influenced by a book, 'The Stand,' to begin writing. I will say when I read 'Rebecca' by DuMaurier at 13, I thought how wonderful it would be to write a book.

Melissa Bradley said...

I'm partial to covers with ships myself, especially star ships and schooners. I'm going to have to find this book that inspired you. It sounds amazing.

Anonymous said...

Awesome origin story... congrats on doing so well.

Josh Hoyt said...

Cool story! I think it is fun to be able to look at where we started and to see how far we have come.

M.J. Fifield said...

I know they were two different projects but it's funny how we envision a story as being ten pages long and then 910 pages later, we're still writing. =)

Covers draw me to books too.

Anonymous said...

I had a few unfinished manuscripts before my first finished one. It still felt good to know that I can at least begin and that I have ideas.

I'm enjoying these origins post. I'm also seeing many book recs. I'm curious to see what books inspired others.

Beth said...

Great origins story! Mine is too long to share here, but suffice to say that it started with mediocre writing at a young age, and continued as I realized how much I truly loved to write.

Ciara said...

I love this blog fest and learning about everyone. Don't feel bad, we all judge a book by it's cover. It's just the first thing we can judge. It is an important aspect of the creative process.

Jayne said...

I think I felt very out of control of life and wanted to be in control, so I started writing stories to please me. I probably wanted to emulate my favourite authors at the time, too. The first series I remember writing was when I was around seven. I used to like drawing and writing stories around the drawings. I still have lots of those stories - some were long, some short. All were fun. :)

Laura said...

good story - you only need to read the post to brand you a Writer!

Rek said...

Love your origins...you are an excellent writer from what I have read of your work, advanced writing for your age. hope blogging is around to see you publish one day.

Anonymous said...

I don't think any reason is shallow for picking up a book. People do judge books by their covers. I know I do. And I was inspired by the book Relic to begin writing my own novel.

Charles Gramlich said...

this is one Glen Cook I haven't read. I will try to get this one.

Jen Chandler said...

Wonderful origin story! I had a book that really pushed me into writing. Everytime I see that book, I remember why I'm doing this.

Happy Tuesday!

The Golden Eagle said...

Emily: I think a lot of writers started out by writing something, enjoying it, and returning to the craft with another project.

You're welcome!

Old Kitty: I'm glad for The Dragon Never Sleeps, too. Without it, who knows what I'd be doing instead . . . LOL.

Thank you! :)

Donna: I think I needed that kick.

Ali: I'm glad you enjoyed reading it!

It is. :)

Christine: Thanks!

Anything that makes the muse happy is bound to inspire. :)

Pat: What's your origin story? :) I'm sure a rhyming cat must have something to say about that.

LOL. I really didn't mean for that to rhyme . . . you're rubbing off!

T.D.: Thanks. :)


Scarlett: That's true--I didn't mean to discount cover art, I only meant that I was judging things by appearances. And it's true, they're often something that influences reading decisions. :)

It's great to meet you, too!

No worries--you're not the first to make the mistake.

Nutschell: Glad you enjoy reading it!

I hope you like it; more than I did, at any rate! The Dragon Never Sleeps inspired me, but I wouldn't say it's one of my favorite books.

K.T.: Thanks! :)

I love characters that endure; I'm working with some like that right now.

Julie: I'm glad you like it!

Aw, thank you.

MISH: Thanks. :)

Heather: It's nice to meet you, too!

Marsha: I'm glad you like it!

They are--and there's always the option to go back to old, unfinished stories in the future, which is nice.

Ishta: Well, this bird returned to writing. :)

The Golden Eagle said...

L.G.: Definitely a good theme, though, I think. :)


Jay: I'm very glad I came across in the library; and it was only by chance, really. It was positioned right so I saw the cover--if it had been shelved one book over I probably would have passed it by.


DL: LOL. Yeah, that was a bit of a jump, I realize now. :P

You're very welcome! Thanks for hosting this blogfest; I'm really having fun reading people's stories.

Siv: You're welcome! And I may just return and finish that story; I think there's potential in it.

Farawayeyes: Awesome. :)

Avery: Thank you!

But they're great when they do. :)

Good luck with your novel!

Stuart: Thanks!

I'm off to check it out. :D

Can't wait to read your entry!

Susan: It was a while ago that I read Little Women, but I do remember that Jo March was quite the character. :)

Alex: One can always hope . . . hopefully it won't be terrible, at any rate. :P

It's been a lot of fun!

Juliana: Thank you!

Sounds like our stories are similar. :)

Li: LOL. I do, too.

I'll be sure to let you know when it's available. ;)

Natasha: Watch for it. :)

Susan: I agree! And it's interesting to see what the book might say about the person it inspired.

Chris: Thank you!

Hooray for ships. LOL.

Tara: Glad you liked it. :)

Alleged: Yes, I have. I might sometime, once I've written more.

J.L.: LOL. That I did--too much, probably!

Rusty: So I'm not the only one who loves covers with ships!


Jessica: You're welcome!

Actually, it was somewhere in among those 1000 pages that I started calling myself a writer. I started writing it as a normal person and emerged AS a writer. :)

The Golden Eagle said...

Belle: I'm glad you enjoyed reading it!

I've never heard of the book, but it's wonderful when a story inspires. :)

Melissa: Awesome!

I hope you enjoy it.

Tfwalsh: Thank you. :)

Josh: It is!

M.J.: LOL. Yet somehow it doesn't feel any different, does it?

Medeia: Definitely a good feeling; there's nothing worse than stagnation.

Beth: Thank you!

Sounds like an inspiring story. :)

Ciara: True; but now I actually try reading the blurb before I take something out of the library, unlike what I used to do. :P

Jayne: And that's what counts. :)

Laura: Thanks!

That means a lot to me. :)

Rek: Thank you so much.

I hope it is, too. I'd love to share the experience with all of you!

Stephen: I still do as well.

I don't recognize the title offhand, but hooray for book inspirations. :)

Charles: I really need to read something else by Glen Cook--I never tried anything else by him after I read The Dragon Never Sleeps.

Jen: Thank you!

Seeing the cover of this does that for me. :)

Trisha said...

I love your story, Eagle! I have a similar beginning, in that my first ridiculously long work was an epic fantasy largely ripped off from other fantasy epics (The Wheel of Time, Shannara). Only in my case, it's still not finished. It's over 300k of words right now. hahaha

Arlee Bird said...

You did some pretty ambitious writing to start out with. Writing like you do is a good way to hone your craft.

Is product placement tacky?
Tossing It Out
Twitter: @AprilA2Z

The Golden Eagle said...

Trisha: Thanks!

Think you'll ever finish it--or maybe write in that world again?

Arlee: I usually start new projects with big ideas. :P Not all of them pan out, though . . .

Deniz Bevan said...

Great story! I like the way you tried to pack everything in to the first one :-)

The Golden Eagle said...

Deniz: LOL. I think I tried too much in that one; though I guess there's no physical limit to how much you can add to a story. Just a publication one.

Thanks. :)

M Pax said...

That's what I ended up writing, too. Things I'd want to read myself. I started several novels I never finished. I usually finish them now...I say with 2 1/2 written ones in my folders.

The Golden Eagle said...

M: I have around that many finished books, too. I'm trying to rewrite the third at the moment.

Jeremy Bates said...

Dreaming and Imagination can create such a good and awesome story.:)