How I Got My Start In Writing

I’m still not sure what I want this blog to be about.  I am not defined by any one thing, so it’s hard to focus this blog on a specific topic like hip preservation.  That’s what I thought this blog was going to be about originally, but I have a lot of thoughts in my head, so I suppose I’ll write about things as they come to mind.

As a child I loved to create little books mostly about ponies and unicorns, although I guess that’s not uncommon for children.  I was obsessed with unicorns and convinced at one point that I was a unicorn in a past life, so that’s why they were in most of my stories.  I believe it was the movie, The Last Unicorn, that inspired my fascination with those mythical creatures.  I played quite a few role-playing video games (RPGs), and I suppose that helped foster my creativity.  Video games have always been a safe haven for me.  I think my first RPG was Final Fantasy II, and I was five years old, so I just watched my dad play it.  Even at such a young age, I remember it being a magical experience.  This ties in to my obsession with Japanese culture, which I’ll write about in a later post.

In college I thought about majoring in English, but I knew I wanted to go to pharmacy school, and I was very good at science, so I majored in Chemistry.  I studied pretty much every moment I was awake.  Studying was my life, and there was no time for video games, TV, reading fiction, or writing.  There wasn’t much time for a social life either, so don’t even ask me how I dated several guys in college XD  Pharmacy school was more of the same, but I was married by that point so my life was more stable.  Once again, the competition drove me to be the best of the best.  Then I tore my right hip labrum overstretching for ballet and everything changed.

When I first injured my right hip, it felt like I stepped off a ledge and plummeted into a bottomless pit of sorrow.  Flailing my arms, I tried to grab onto something, but the edges of the cliff had been eroded over time, and I fell further into depression.  I shut down and stopped eating.  I withdrew so far inside of myself I thought I might lose myself forever.

On a whim I picked up a video game, Crisis Core (released in 2007), the prequel to one of my favorite games, Final Fantasy VII (released in 1997).  I fell in love with the characters and the rest of the world seemed to fade into the background.  The prequel is like a greek tragedy where you know everyone dies, and yet there is nothing you can do to stop it.  The game ends with the hero, Zack Fair, bleeding out on a cliff, and he uses the last of his strength to give his friend, Cloud Strife, his sword and tells him to go live in his place.  Cloud has a psychotic break because his only friend in the world died (his hometown and mother were burnt in a fiery inferno), which starts off the game Final Fantasy VII.  Zack was so much more than a video game character to me.  When he died it felt as if something had broken inside of me, as if my heart had shattered like glass into a thousand pieces and could never be put back together again.  It gets more depressing than that.  There are several layers of angst to the game, but since most people reading this aren’t into Final Fantasy VII (I assume) I’ll spare you XD

 

Zack Fair, the most awesome hero in the history of video games.

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Cloud Strife, the angsty antihero that ends up saving the world out of revenge.

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While searching for forums on the game I found fanfiction.  For those that don’t know what fanfiction is it is basically fiction using the characters from your favorite movie, book, game, anime, TV show, etc. and writing a story with them.  It’s great for beginning writers because the character development has already been done for you.  I started writing for the Final Fantasy VII fandom (under another pen-name), and finally there was something for me to grab onto and pull myself up from the abyss.  I poured my angst into writing and found a voice in a world where it felt like I had none.

The biggest fanfiction site is fanfiction.net  And another emerging site is Archive of Our Own, but it’s still much smaller than the former.  Right now I need to finish up my massive fanfic novel, which is at 200,000 words currently.  My writing was pretty awful when I first started 5 years ago, but I am an avid reader, and I absorb much of what I read.  I consider myself a work in progress.  A fanfiction friend of mine introduced me to the author, Cormac McCarthy, and that was a huge turning point for me.  He paints such a vivid picture with his poetic prose that his stories come alive.  His writing evokes the same feeling I get from watching a fiery-red sunset bleed into the horizon.  It fills my heart with inner peace and a sense of fulfillment.   A story can be great without poetic prose, but that’s just my preferred style of fiction.  I also love William Faulkner, Margaret Atwood, Timothy Findley, and a bunch of science fiction authors.  I’m also a huge fan of science fiction.  The prose is generally pretty plain, but the stories are amazing.

I would like to write a few original stories.  I’m currently writing fantasy fanfiction, and I have an idea for an original fantasy story, but I probably need to read some fantasy stories to get a better grip on the pacing and story progression.  A few of my friends are writers and/or have a lot of creative ideas, so I will likely need their help in writing it.  It feels like the more I learn and the better I become the more I realize how little I actually know about writing.  I could wait until my writing satisfies me, but then I would never write an original story XD  I’d also like to write about my experience with anorexia, hip problems, and chronic pain because I feel these conditions are misunderstood by many, especially in young people.  I’m not sure how I would do that.  I write mostly fiction, so perhaps I could create a fictional story with those elements.  Would probably be depressing as hell though.  Most of what I write is angst though, and I tend to make even mundane topics depressing when I write XD  I like stories that have a sad ending laced with hope, so that’s what I write most of the time.  Fits the style of poetic prose nicely.  I also write comedy because I love to laugh, but the prose is much more plain for those pieces.

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2 thoughts on “How I Got My Start In Writing

  1. So awesome that you are pursuing your writing. It is something you are passionate about and have a talent for. I’ve always liked to write, but before starting my blog, I rarely took time to actually write anything other than emails or dry, boring science literature for school or work. It’s an art, and I have so much to learn. I like poetic prose-y type books, too, so I’ll make a note of those authors and add to my post-PAO reading list! Also, I don’t have much knowledge of Final Fantasy but I really like this Sting video that uses Final Fantasy footage. The song is A Thousand Years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcigPwiCgx8

  2. Oh, that video showcases clips from Final Fantasy X. There are 14 Final Fantasy games, so it’s not really that final XD The numbering system kind of jumps around because Japan released several games that never came to America. Final Fantasy VII probably has the biggest following of the Final Fantasy series because the storyline was epic along with the characters. Your heart bleeds so much for all of them, even the antagonist, Sephiroth. And that’s sort of the cool thing, no one is completely good or bad in the game, it’s just all different shades of grey.

    This is one of my favorite Final Fantasy VII AMV’s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXw5hlJQbWA The song is epic and she did a great job with putting it together. If you liked that one this is another really epic Final Fantasy VII AMV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I970-xOXFHU The latter one is more of a Cloud tribute. The videos might not make sense since you don’t know the story, but the guys are pretty 8D It’s okay if you don’t like them either or don’t want to watch :$ I’m pretty obsessed with Final Fantasy VII, so they seem good to me, lol. And I love pretty men XD There is a Japanese term for the American term “pretty boy” and it’s Bishōnen, or shortened to bishies. Cloud and Zack are more or less modeled after the style of Japanese pop stars, so they qualify as bishies. That’s what also makes the Final Fantasy games great, bishies XD

    Cormac McCarthy writes mostly depressing novels. Might want to save that for after you’ve healed a bit XD I’d say his most accessible book is, “The Road.” It’s one of his most recent novels. The rest of his stories tend to be more depressing. “The Border Trilogy,” is very depressing, and there’s not much hope in it either :/ The beautiful thing about, “The Road,” is not only the poetic prose, but the hope that keeps the father and son going as they make their way in a post-apocalyptic world. It’s a beautiful story though 🙂 They made a movie out of it too.

    I think you might really like Margaret Atwood. She’s a feminist and tends to have strong female characters. My least favorite of her was, “The Handmaid’s Tale.” I read it when I was 15 so I don’t really remember what I didn’t like about it, but I didn’t like it. It was sci-fi too and I believe a dystopian universe, which I love, but I just didn’t like it for some reason. My favorite Atwood novels are, “The Blind Assasin,” and “Oryx and Crake.” There’s a lot of subtle humor in Oryx and Crake, and it’s got some sci-fi in it. Most of her novels are not sci-fi, but she mixes it up a bit every now and then 🙂

    My favorite book of Timothy Findley was, “Headhunter,” because it blurred the lines between reality and psychosis. He just did it really well. There’s usually someone with schizophrenia or some mental illness in one of his books. He must have had a relative that suffered with it. Some of his books are out of print, so I got them from ebay or used.

    Any good reads you recommend? 🙂 I’m up for new things. So many books, and so little time XD

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