Links: About “the story” | original fic
I’ve been writing since I was seven. Or, at least, that is when I wrote my first story. I kind of go in spurts. My life history is dotted with months/years of writing and then nothing for years in between.
In grade school I got praise from my English teacher for being creative with a writing assignment. My 8th grade class had taken a trip to Washington, DC–one that I did not attend. The assignment was to write about the trip. For the handful of us that didn’t go we had to pick a topic from her list and write about it. I chose “friendship.”
The next week I sat through essay after boring essay detailing every moment of the DC trip, from sitting around the Washington monument because it was closed to the public to the boring nights in the hotel room. All read in a monotone. Even the kids that didn’t go had similar papers to read. They all did essays on their chosen topic and read them with little enthusiasm.
About to go into a coma with 5 minutes left in the period the teacher called me up to read my story. I never even thought about it when I got the assignment. I was told to write about friendship so I wrote the first thing that came to mind.
The story was written in diary format about a girl who is new at her school and tries to make friends only to be burned by them a few weeks later (that actually happened to me when I started at that school in 7th grade). Unlike me, the main character makes friends with one of the boys in her class and they become inseparable. The whole point of the story was that friendships endure beyond time and space. I forget the details now (that was over 20 years ago).
Anyway, the bell rang before I even finished it and everyone jumped up to leave. I shrugged and handed in the paper (4 pages hand written on both sides). I got it back a few days later with a huge note in the margins about how creative it was…the most unique “essay” she ever had for this particular assignment and to keep up the good work. Needless to say, I got an A.
In college I took a World Lit Class my freshman year where the teacher encouraged us to write creatively. I hated the class (I just wasn’t into reading ancient literature at the time) but loved that teacher, so much so that I took World Lit II with her the next semester.
Papers in her class always had 2 options. You could write the 5-10 page research paper on whatever we were studying OR…and there was always a creative option. One was to write our own fable. A on that. Another was to pick a myth we had studied and continue it in our own words. A on that one, too. I couldn’t believe how many kids refused to do the creative option, instead writing 10 page research papers on Aesop. Blah.
My fable took me all of 20 minutes to write. I bet they spent all week on their paper.
The next semester I took a creative writing class. We spent half the semester writing poems (I am not a poet) and the other half working on two separate short stories. I enjoyed the class even if I procrastinated and had to write both stories the last few days they were due.
I also took a mail course on writing children’s literature that produced one very creative, fun and imaginative story about a little boy named Jasper, a dragon and a checkers tournament.
I didn’t write much after college. I lost the interest or was too busy. From 1997 until 2005 I wrote almost nothing. Then in May of 2005 I discovered fanfiction. In a two week period at the end of May I wrote two stories totaling over 50,000 words. I was hooked after that.
Another few years passed without me really writing much. I started a few longer stories but never finished them. And I wrote a few really short snippets for Firefly but that was it until fall of 2010. Some time in 2008 I discovered Stargate SG-1. Yes, I was woefully behind the times there (the show having been off the air for some time) but I became hopelessly addicted. In 2009 I bought the entire series on DVD and had a viewing marathon. All 10 seasons and both movies. When NaNoWriMo rolled around in 2010 I had no doubt I was writing SG-1 fanfic. Up until then I had written nothing since NaNo the year before. While working on plot ideas I came up with a little tidbit idea of a story and wrote it down and posted it online.
My 2010 NaNo is still unfinished (at around 56k words) but it will be epic when it’s done. Eventually. But that little foray into SG-1 fanfic sparked something in me. I wrote another story right after that and then on Christmas Eve I was inspired to put something out there for all the Stargate fans. After the new year I started playing around my livejournal more and more. I realized there was a HUGE Stargate fan presence there. I finally found a home. Since the start of 2011 I’ve written something like 150 THOUSAND words. That’s something like 80+ stories, most of them SG-1. I participate in all sorts of writing challenges now and am working on several longer pieces. And I still hope to finish my NaNo from 2010.
Amazingly, I’m planning to write original fic for my 2011 endeavor. Sci-fi, of course, but original. I don’t think I’ll ever write as much as I did in 2011 but it sure was a blast. I hope to put out a few really good stories in 2012.