A Novel Idea: Journey Through my Writing History
This week, A Novel Idea relaunches. Some of you may remember me participating back in the day, so when Ashley asked if I wanted to help her with it, I was thrilled. I'm excited to bring it back!
This week is a bit of an introduction to talk about our writing styles and what we like to write. For me, this is a hard question to answer because I write a little bit of everything. To start off with, I'm going to discuss my writing journey and how I've gotten to this point.
Writing is what brings us togethah today.
Without further ado, let's blast to the past!
Sky's Official Writing Timeline
I was born. I also wrote a story about an ant who was separated from his family. My grandma helped me write it, and she laminated it. I felt so cool. That feeling was what hooked me on writing forever. Thank you, Grandma.
After being raised on a steady diet of children's books, I wrote one of my first stories: Dogs and Cats Castle. It was a short picture book that I wrote and illustrated myself, which my mom stapled together. I then proceeded to read it aloud at my fifth birthday party.
I wrote a large amount of stories in WordPad documents on an old desktop in the basement of our townhouse. None of them went very far, but I continued trying. I also wrote a long generational saga that was a loose Madeline fanfic, and I wrote it in a Wizard of Oz journal, which helped it feel like a real book. I also wrote a couple of Narnia fanfics (before I realized there were more books than just The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and made up quite a few characters who doubled as my imaginary friends. As I got older, I finished my first chapter book. I don't know if I ever titled it, but it was a mystery inspired by The Boxcar Children in which children solved a kidnapping. Said children were all cousins and were all named after states.
I sat in the grass outside and decided that I wanted to "get serious" about this writing thing. So, I came up with my first serious writing project: Talryn's Tale. It was your run-of-the-mill medieval fantasy with a secret sibling plot and a girl without a home. Though I never finished it and doubt I'll rewrite it, it still remains close to my heart.
I met two of my closest friends, Ashley and Georgie, and started writing various writing projects with them. Around this time is when I got my start in writing non-fiction, and I devoted much of my time to blogging and running an online magazine called Kids of Faith. My first time doing NaNo was in 2009, where I participated in the Young Writers' Program and made my goal of 30k. I participated in the adult NaNoWriMo in 2010 and accidentally got to 50,000 words.
My NaNo 2009 project. The first one!
I got my first writing mentor, which encouraged me to get even more serious about my writing than I ever had been. Additionally, I wrote Reese's Pieces, which was my first full-length novel that I finished. I also got a free proof copy from CreateSpace. It is an amazing feeling to hold your book in print.
I took a trip back into fantasy and started Silver Tears, which occupied my time quite a bit. It led to plotting a full series and then writing a prequel, Broken Wings, in 2012. I also met some of my closest friends through establishing a NaNo support group called The Tea-Spitters. In 2011, I began Because I'm Irish, which signaled a new era of enjoying both my characters and writing in a way I didn't know was possible. I continued writing. Some of my current writing projects I'm still working on were born during this time period, like The Angel Novel, Because We Can, and Petrichor.
I kept blogging, started The Fangirl Initiative, and continued to grow my nonfiction writing career. I also came up with a ton of new novel ideas, rewrote my first novel, and kept plugging away at my dream. Thus, we arrive in the present.
What does the writing process look like for me?
While I've had my share of outlining, my favorite thing to do is discover the story as I write it. Sometimes my stories come to me by a picture on Pinterest or a situation in real life. Or a song, or a show, or a movie. Anything is fair game. My immediate move is to create a Pinterest board. I use Pinterest for plotting probably a little too much. Once I feel the book is "ready" (this is an arbitrary term), I begin writing. Some books languish a little longer than others, and some are finished sooner than others, but I still love each and every one of my writing projects.
What do I like to write?
I've written fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary. I would sum up my favorite genre as anything weird. A town overwhelmed by crime (Petrichor). A girl kidnapped by a boyband (Because I'm Irish). An evil scientist's plot to overthrow the world and also ruin my main character's life (Lost Girls). Books about space, magic, and chronic illness--anything is fair game. However, I also really enjoy writing simple contemporaries, which give me the chance to slow down and write about something more relateable to real life.
And finally, why do I write?
As my old blogging bio said, "I write for the same reason I breathe. If I didn't, things would get difficult." I write because when I don't, I suffer and don't feel fulfilled. I write because I love it with a passion. I write because it's impossible for me to stop.
Why do you write? Did you do A Novel Idea? If not, link up here!