I like to write, and have written stories fairly consistently since around the time I was eight or nine years old. I attempted my first fantasy novel (unpublished) when I was about ten, and I developed it on and off for about seven years before abandoning it.
The Nightmare Begins
My first piece of “fan fiction” was written when I was five and in kindergarten, when I wanted to tell a story about the characters from the “learning to read” workbooks. I didn’t know how to read yet and it didn’t stop me from trying to write.
Without having developed any real discipline for writing, my creative storytelling manifested in other ways — and to my own detriment that manifestation was nigh-compulsive lying. My mental health suffered a until I was about nineteen, after I abandoned my first novel and attempted a second (also unpublished).
Roleplaying (mainly Dungeons & Dragons) got me involved in creating shared stories with other players, and I also wrote a bunch of Invader ZIM fan fiction with my brother in the years between 2002 and 2003.
Building Good Habits
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) inspired me to keep trying, and so I tried again in 2005, failing utterly to keep a consistent pace and burning out after about two thousand words. I tried in 2006 and failed again. I tried in 2008 and failed again.
Something changed after that, and I started trying to write every single day. I kept notebooks and tried to fill one each month. It took several attempts, but I made writing a habit. I attempted NaNoWriMo in 2009 and met the goal of fifty thousand words in thirty days. My novel was called The Shadow Out of Mind. (Also unpublished.)
While disciplining myself for NaNo 2009, I had started preparation for a webcomic, which launched as Rumors of War in March 2010. (You can read it on this website!) While I met the word goal in NaNo 2010, The Dragonslayers, its “sequel” Dragonpact, and its “prequel” Broken Arcades, barely qualified as synopses, let alone novels.
Honing the Craft
In the summer of 2010, I wrote a short story called “The Creature In The Quarry,” which received a lot of criticism but inspired me to look harder at writing short stories. In January 2011, I wrote “Fruben Daleborn and the Demented Shopkeep.”
A couple months later, I wrote a series of flash fiction pieces I called “vignettes,” using the characters from Rumors of War. I started “To Catch A Goat,” a piece of serialized fiction, which followed minor characters who had been introduced in the comic.
After I failed to keep up the comic and serial fiction, I attempted a Rumors of War novel (technically my second) for NaNo 2011 called Seeking Order, but finally abandoned it after writing only about twenty or thirty thousand words.
Looking to the Future
I continue to develop my writing “craft” and focus now and again on specific problems I’ve encountered in my repeated attempts to complete a novel. Each time I feel a little closer to overcoming the obstacles that stand between myself and publication. This blog is itself an expression of my desire to be a professional writer and novelist.