I fell into writing almost by accident. It’s not something I gave conscious thought to when I was younger. Reading a lot probably started me on the creative path, though. Having stories read to me by my parents were probably also a stimulation for my own growing imagination. I know that I started telling myself stories when I was very young. A lot of it was, come to think on it, a reaction to life’s situations.
The very earliest stories I remember making up in my mind were of a German Shepherd dog called Daisy. She was not an ordinary dog by any stretch. Daisy was large, with prick-ears. Her coat was short, thick, tan and black in colour. However, her most distinctive feature was her tail. It was broad and flattish like that of an otter; the most striking feature though were the four spikes on the end of it. Like a Stegosaurus’ tail. Interesting, you say?
Well, I know she manifested in my mind because I wanted an imaginary friend who could protect me from school bullies. At around the same time I was reading Jack London’s Call of the Wild and so the main character from the book, ‘Buck’, evolved into Daisy’s brother and companion. Added to this was the fact that they were talking dogs. Talking animals were a big thing with me then, and for many years, especially after reading Wind and the Willows, Animals of Farthing Wood, the Brian Jacques Redwall series and others like it.
Of course, the tales of Daisy and Buck evolved to include, amongst others, a talking Siamese cat called Ming, two unicorns, Moonbeam and Sunbeam, and a talking Malamute. I even had an ongoing dialogue in my head that included the Phantom of the Opera. Don’t ask me how that came about… my stories didn’t always make sense.
Later on, when I started high school, my stories changed to include my high school crush. And is, I will admit, the catalyst for the still ongoing story that goes through my head today about the Rebels’ of Scotland. I’ll tell you about them another day – they have a whole history surrounding them.
My writing was always a release for me, in a sense. I just wanted to get the stories out onto page. I used to handwrite everything, still have a lot of my notebooks filled with my writing. But, now I do the majority of my writing on my laptop. I guess that then made it easier for sharing? Though initially I only had one audience. Myself.
I write first and foremost for myself. It’s an extension of my stories in my head. But, when I started writing fan-fiction I started to think that maybe people would like to read the creative ideas I came up with. And, so now my audience is the wider internet community. Initially just the Simple Plan fandom and now I want to reach more people. Though my number one audience is still little old moi.
Writing for me is a very fluid process. Sometimes I have no idea what I’m writing until it falls out of my head onto the page. Stream of conscious writing is something that’s great when I get a brand new idea. Usually happens at two in the morning, though. Other times, I have an idea for a story and plan out the characters and the ending before doing anything else.
But, mostly my stories start with the characters. They’re not always fully formed when they appear in my mind; but, I know a little about them. I usually learn more about them as I write, and they always surprise me, as the characters in Shadows Creed did. This does effect the length of time it takes me to write my stories.
My longest Simple Plan fan fiction, Adeline’s Choice, took me four years to complete; and the aforementioned Shadows Creed, took over three years. But, it’s a process I enjoy, most of the time, except when I get writer’s block and then I have to either stop or take a break. Or, I start something brand new. As long as I enjoy it, that’s the most important thing.
That’s the thing about writing; for me, I enjoy creating different worlds and exploring the characters of people and how they respond to different situations. Or using the same character and writing them into different situations, as I’ve done with my Simple Plan stories. Pierre has manifested in many different ways in my stories and that excites me. Though I’m enjoying creating my own original characters as well.
So, I guess the main reason I write is for entertainment and enjoyment; though after I’ve written a story I can often see a message coming out from what I’ve written. And, though that was never the initial intention of my writing, it’s always insightful. And I believe all my stories have some theme or other, I just don’t usually set out to write that way.
Now, though, I do want to write stories that are meaningful. I don’t want to write something that doesn’t impact people. Because, really…I write stories because I want them to impact myself, so why not others as well? I read to open my mind to a world of imagination. Which kind of reminds me of this one story I started writing, which I may share with you at a later date.
So, why do I write? To entertain and to spread some joy in the form of creative, imaginative expression. (Even if the story is sad….I don’t always write happy endings…but that’s life, right?)