I’d listened to True Loves by Hooray For Earth several times before those lyrics finally hit me. They made me think about the first time I fell in love and all the times I’ve been deeply in love since, and I had to agree: that’s kinda how it feels. I also realized that it was the same feeling I had as this writing bug made its presence fully known.
I’m kind of odd, or maybe not. I’m not completely sure. You see, it takes me a while to realize when someone or something has won over my heart. A failing of mine that I lament. But about this writing thing—I’ve crafted tales, made up elaborate stories, since I was a young child. My mother has reel-to-reel audio tapes of me going on and on about monkeys feasting on tortillas and other happenings that are perfectly logical to a child of six or seven (you younger people scratching your heads can google reel-to-reel audio). And in high-school, I crafted several beginnings of tales, some science fiction, some fantasy, though I don’t believe I actually finished any of them. The first taste of ‘real’ writing didn’t come until college, or university, depending on your country of origin. I had been going for a BS in computer science and had convinced the dean of the department to allow me to minor in English (English is now one of the standard subjects in which a CS student can minor, but at that time, I had to get permission). I left college having acquired the degree and several good friends. At any rate, one of the electives I took was Creative Writing. Most of the assignments were short stories. The mid-term and final were longer stories, perhaps twenty pages. What a joy that class was. But even so, it took me eighteen years to consider writing as a serious pursuit. One day I decided to give it a go.
There was no method at first. I was essentially puking words out onto paper. Which is perfectly okay. Corrections can come after. Well, those first pages eventually got scrapped. But the process had begun! And as I continued to write, it got easier. The story started filling out in my mind. Links started forming between characters, events, actions, and reactions. As I continued to write, I also took some time to formally plan the world: social and political structures, the rules of the magic system, character histories, etc. I kept track of things in several documents, almost appendices. And I created a timeline in a spreadsheet for easier reference (It’s surprising how often characters had occasion to reference events, and I needed to know how many days, months, etc, previous they had happened). It was exciting, frightening, and crazy fun. And somewhere along the way, the quiet passion became a blaring claxon echoing through the parking garage of my life.
P.S. The writing became my debut novel, Dragonlinked, which is currently available in eBook format for Kindle at Amazon.com. I’m going to see about using Amazon’s subsidiary, CreateSpace, to release it in Trade Paperback format as well.