Memory meltdown: why I turned onto Writing Street

Sorry for the long post this time, but I think this story has to be told now. I wont usually post anything this long.

Writing has been there for me, even when I don’t want it to be. I love to write, although I’m not sure it loves me back. I frequently develop writer’s block and I always ask myself if this is the right path. I mean, how insane am I to think that writing is my entire future? Pretty crazy. So, maybe I haven’t started to plaster the brown walls of my bedroom with fragments of short stories and maps for my epic fantasy novels, but I have confined them to a large cork board above my desk. I often wonder how I came to this: why I chose writing over trying to become a doctor or an urban planner, yet I already know the answer.

My writing roots

I started writing back when I was in fourth grade. I can remember the exact moment when I found my love for writing. Everyone in my class had to write a short story on a single sheet of poster paper and illustrate it. I wasn’t very creative at the time, after all, I was just beginning to discover who I really was. I wrote a pitiful piece based off of something I had read. It was basically the same plot line, just with myself as the main character and with a new setting. My teacher thought it was great, and I thought that if I continued writing it as a series of short stories , I would be able to impress her even more. So I wrote three short stories based on the same characters living on the same small island in the Caribbean. I shared them with the class to much applause, although my glory was short lived.

One of my classmates, his name was Ricky, was also a young writer. The fact that he was a writer didn’t bother me. I mean, there are lots of writers, right? It was the fact that he was better than me. His stories were twice as long and sophisticated as mine and practically stole the show. I didn’t share any more stories that year, and I stopped writing altogether. Worst of all, Ricky was my friend at the time. We still got along and even I couldn’t get enough of his stories. (I say at the time because it has been 5 years since I have seen him last.)

Fifth grade started off a bit rough for me, although it was the year that I really started to find myself. I remember that I was given detention the first week because I forgot my homework, which was a mistake I didn’t dare repeat. A few months into the school year we were asked to pair up at a laptop and write anything we wanted. I was paired with my friend Nicole as we created a story based off of a game we played at recess. It told of a wolf named Shining Radar-Tracker, a cat named Firetail, and a penguin named Gloria. They met at the Four Trees (total rip off from our favorite series at the time, Warriors) so that they could find some legendary salmon near Avalocalmysticwater. This idea paved the way for a book as I began to write on my own again.

The result was a 63-paged, handwritten book on wide-ruled paper. It had the same characters, although it featured a darker plot involving the fight against an evil tiger named Avakt and his armies. That same year a wrote a fan fiction during class based off of a game I played at the time called Club Penguin. I still have both of these, fortunately, so that I may look back upon them (and want to take an ax to them at every other word).

Sixth grade proved a breakthrough year when I was able to finish a 105-paged sequel, which followed Firetail’s search for his ancestry and his encounter with the vampires of the south. My writing had improved a tid bit, although it still lacked the essentials to a good story.

In seventh grade I began to work on a prequel, which only made it to around page 40. I had developed a severe case of writer’s block, which was the first time I had ever experienced it. Seventh grade was also the year that I became my “modern self.” I ditched the glasses for contact lenses, began to grow my hair longer, I dressed in band t-shirts and I gave up my country music roots for the great anthems of rock.

My quest for a novel

Of course my ambitions for writing got the best of me when I entered eighth grade. I wrote an outline for a new sci-fi series but never actually proceeded beyond the first 12 pages of the story. School took a turn I didn’t expect when I moved to honors classes and began to make new friends. Writing was lost in all the changes.

In ninth grade I tried to restart the sci-fi novel, but never did. Instead I proved my writing abilities through in-class short stories. I proved to be pretty good at early literary analysis and theme essays, but when second semester came around I was ready. At the start of every class we would write a short story about the topic or theme that was given to us. I have the notebook of these somewhere in my closet. (My closet isn’t a mess! My 9th grade stuff is just stored in a bin that I would have to sift through.) I might share these at a later time.

My personal writing during the year was nonexistent. I still called myself a writer, although I thought I was lying to everyone and myself. This mindset carried over into my sophomore year. The only writing I was able to accomplish was a rewrite of the first chapter of the sci-fi series, which also went unfinished. I didn’t even have to write much during english class, so my skills got a bit rusty (the exception being AP US History essays, which were rather boring.)

My current writing

I was expecting my junior year to be in the same vain as the past three. I was lying to my friends and teachers when I still claimed to be a writer. Perhaps it was better to say that I was a writer taking a vacation. But, so far my junior year has gone quite well in terms of writing.

In November I took part in my first National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo ’13). The goal of NaNo is to write 50k words in 30 days. I was nervous about starting it, already predicting that I would fail. After all, I hadn’t written more than 10 pages in a novel for about three years. I did surprise myself, writing 50,016 words in only 28 days. This proved beneficial in a few ways.

1.) My current novel, Prophecy of Misharedra, is the longest thing I have written thus far

2.) It was the first time I had written a novel using a computer and not by hand (and I love it now)

3.) It is the best piece of work I have written

4.) I got cool winner’s goodies

That leads me to now. I am currently rewriting the novel (and at just over 10,000 words so far) and as soon as a finish a chapter it is being reviewed my a friend who is editing it. I also have another friend drawing a book cover and various illustrations.

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Author: Chase Charaba

Hello there! I'm Chase, an ambitious, aspiring young novelist and YouTuber who hopes to get a novel published one day. I'm also trying to produce the highest quality YouTube videos by constantly learning new ways to film and edit. I've been involved in journalism for 5 years, including 1 year as co-editor of a national award-winning high school newsmagazine and 1 year as the co-editor of an award-winning college newspaper. I write mainly epic/high fantasy, but I also mess around with science fiction, horror, and realistic fiction.

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