Sudden Writing Inspiration

Here I am, minding my own business by watching movies, listening to good music, and rewatching Sons of Anarchy over my winter break from college, when I feel that urge to write.

Whoa. Stop right there. Write? I never write during winter break. Winter break is for doing nothing productive so that I can rest before doing another three months straight of college.

This was a new writing urge, however. I didn’t want to start working on my Egethor series again, which is the series that I’ve been working on for many years now. I wanted to write something different, some removed from the series and even the epic fantasy genre.

I wanted to try my hand at a novel that fits somewhere in the realm of dark urban fantasy, somewhere in the realm of superheroes, and somewhere in the realm of science fiction. Can these three genres be mixed? I dunno, but that’s what’s happening with this new project of mine.

It’s an old project really, one that I tried to write in 2014 and early 2015 before giving up on it. However, I was hit with a new idea and I ran with it, outlining the beginning of a new novel. When I finished jotting down the idea, I realized that the idea fit perfectly with what I had envisioned for my Eskaden series, but it would take it in a whole new direction. This new direction would fix the problems that I encountered in my original draft, which had caused me to stop writing it. There’s new life in the story, and I’m really excited to see where this goes.

I’m currently 1,700 words in, and I’ve already explored areas that my original draft did not. Let’s just hope that I make it past the original draft’s 18,000 words.

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Motivation Monday #2

Happy Monday! Here’s another inspirational quote to get us started for the week.

Hopefully this one will motivate you (and me) to write something today.

“It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.”
– C. J. Cherryh

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.

My list of favorite book series

As a writer, I am also sort of a fanatical reader. I have my favorite authors and books and become attached to the characters and the plot lines to the point that I will try to seek out the unreleased material on the internet and enter discussions about possible movie adaptions. Books are definitely more than just words on pages, they are the gateways to new worlds.

I am a rather fast reader and have plowed through entire series in just one or two days. I also love to reread my favorite novels, even though I already know how it ends. Because, for me, it isn’t the destination of the book that is interesting, its how the writer takes you there.

So, here are my favorite series of all time:

1.) The Belgariad by David Eddings: The fact that I love David Eddings work is no secret. When reading my novels his influence can be seen in how my world works and how my characters interact. The book series, which was published in the 80s, follows a young farm boy named Garion who lives with his Aunt Pol and works in the kitchens. Garion is the boy in the prophecies, however, and he has to help retrieve the Orb of Aldur and slay the evil god Torak. No spoilers here, its all listed in the summaries on the cover sleeves. I just recently read the series over winter break. I had read other books my David Eddings before this and I found the series so enthralling that I read all 5 books in 3 days.

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2.) The Mallorean by David Eddings: Ah yes, another series by David Eddings. This series of 5 books takes place directly after the events in the Belgariad. Accidentally, I read this series first. I purchased the books at a yard sale for a buck each and fell in love with the writing. It didn’t matter that it was the 2nd series. Eddings gave enough background info to where I knew most of what was happening. This series follows Garion, the boy Errand, and their companions in a new quest against darkness.

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3.) Shannara by Terry Brooks: Okay, I could have split this overarching series into each of its fantastic and very different subseries, but then it would be hard to choose which is the best! With over 20 novels in the series, it will take the reader a long way. It is of course an epic fantasy series, but with an interesting touch. It takes place in the future. Three of the subseries, the Word & the Void, the Genesis of Shannara, and the Legends of Shannara deal with the transition between modern-day Earth and the Four Lands. The series really focuses on the downfall of society, the war between magic and science, and innovation. Even better, Brooks lives in Seattle. I started reading the series when I bought six of the books at the same yard sale mentioned before. Now I have read all of them except for the two newest books that came out in the past year. The first novel, the Sword of Shannara, was published in 1977 and the last subseries is currently in the works.

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4.) The Lord of the Rings by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien: What can I say, LOTR is probably one of the most influential works of the 20th century. I read the books, including the Hobbit in ninth grade after being a fan of Peter Jackson’s movie adaptions for many years. Infact, I saw the Return of the King in theaters when it came out, despite my really young age. Tolkien has inspired practically every modern-day fantasy writer, and as a result his influence has become a bit overused. I don’t mind though, as long as I try to steer my books away from becoming tolkienesque.

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5.) Halo by various authors: Yes, they are based off of Microsoft’s best-selling video game series. But one thing that I have found by reading these are that they are even better in book form. The games follow one perspective (two counting the Arbiter) in a combat-only role and usually only in the presence of some sort of forerunner technology. The novelizations follow other storylines, such as the gap between Halo 3 and Halo 4 through the eyes of the ONI and the troubled peace with the Covenant. Even if you dislike the games, I would give the novels a try.

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