Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Don't Give Up

The first time I ever decided to write for pleasure and not because I had to was four or five years ago. What was it that made me decide to write? It was a book I had just read. This book was Eragon by Christopher Paolini and I loved it so much. I mean, there were dragons in there! That could be ridden! What could be more awesome than that?

I loved this story so much, loved the idea of riding dragons so much that I wished I could be in the book and that dragons were real and I had my own dragon that I could ride and talk to and how awesome it would be to have my own quest to save the world and everything. But since none of that was real and I didn't foresee any world saving quest coming my way I decided to do the next best thing.

I bought my very first journal for writing stories in and created a character and my own dragons and my own world.

Now, looking back on it, it wasn't very good, at all, but back then it was so awesome! It was so fun! I had a character, her name had changed many times, I think at first it was Esmeralda or something and by the end it had become Arza, my dragons were modeled after the Chinese dragons with manes and horns and everything. I drew a map, there were elves, and there was a country that was the dragons, there was an evil empire ruled by an evil dragon king and no one knew he was a dragon, a couple animal species that had human intelligence and speaking ability, and there was magic, of course.

Much of my first story was modeled heavily from Eragon, but even so there were some good original bits in it, though not many. And going back to read that stuff, it makes me cringe. Not just because of the story itself but the writing in general.

When I started writing I didn't even know I should put quotation marks around whatever my characters said. I didn't know where paragraphs should begin and end. And I'm pretty sure I didn't have a firm grasp on when to use a comma.

And even back then I knew I was doing something wrong. When I realized I didn't know how to start or end a paragraph, or even why a paragraph existed, really, I picked up some of my favorite books and reread them until I knew what a paragraph was. I realized I needed to put quotation marks around what my character say, I learned when to use a comma, I learned how to write by reading and it was probably the best thing I could have done to teach myself how to write. Picking up some book about grammar or something would have done little for me.

After awhile though, I started to come up with my own original ideas. It's funny that I can't recall what my first original idea might have been, I don't really remember when I started coming up with my own ideas. It seems like something I should remember. Perhaps I have it written down in one of my old journals somewhere.

So, in short, I was a terrible plagiarizing writer when I first started that didn't really have a clue how to write. But it was fun and I learned how to write by reading my favorite books. And now, I'm aiming to be an author.

So never be discouraged to write just because you're unsure how to write. Just do it anyway and you'll learn what you need to know. If you don't have original ideas at first, don't worry, they will come. You just have to pay a bit more attention to you're thoughts and daydreams.

Good Wednesday everyone!


Misty said...

This is fabulous. The story of REAL writing...where everything is fun and exciting. Absolutely LOVE this post!

Michael Offutt said...

Have you seen "How to Train Your Dragon"? If no, then I highly recommend it as I think you'd enjoy the movie. The main character gets to ride a dragon around and there's a love story element too.