Monday, June 21, 2010

A beginning

Where to begin a blog? That is a good question. I’m not much of a blogger. I prefer to write prose or to interact with other people. Unfortunately blogs tend to show the worst side of my writing because they are written quick and dumped out to the net. My appologies if my short comings, which I normally edit out of my writing, show through.

You’d think, with four generations of journalists in the family, that some inkling of talent at that type of writing would show up in me, but I’ve never seen it. When I write fiction, I can get in place where the words flow and the characters interact almost on their own. When I write on a more journalistic bent, such as will be found in this blog, I feel awkward and clumsy.

In any case, this blog isn’t about being the perfect blogger, it is about my fiction writing. First some background. I grew up in the 70's and was greatly impacted by Star Wars and a host of late 70's media. The result of which is me ending up with the tools to forge strong fictional stories. In other words, I’m good at making things up and going with the flow to a logical conclusion. It also means I’m really into Science Fiction and Fantasy. I started reading early. In my assessment test in fifth grade, I had an eleventh grade reading level. I devoured Mysteries at first, and then Science Fiction. I came to Fantasy late and I started with Terry Brooks.

But I also love history. I still have this set of history books from my childhood that I poured over. My grandmother, having been a journalist and an amateur history writer, shared that love of history with me and in addition to my many fictional interests, I have delved back through time. The end result is that I know what it takes to research a past setting as well as I know how to create a future or magical setting.

My writing started out as what would now be called fan fiction. It probably was called that back then too, but I didn’t know that. I’d take one of my favorite Science Fiction settings and characters, and I’d build a story around my own guest characters. Basically I hijacked these other worlds to tell my own stories. I did the same thing with Star Trek: The Next Generation, but I went one better, I made a script and submitted it. It got rejected so I tried again. Instead of molding their setting around my story, I made sure to just insert my characters into their setting. I crafted an excellent work... but I used one of their recurring guest characters which earned me an automatic rejection. C’est la vie!

I let writing go for a long time after that. Too long. I found an outlet for my love of characters and settings in role playing, but it just wasn’t enough. Having been in the mode of scripts, my next writing project was a movie script. It took place in the here and now without a wisp of magic or science. I quickly followed with a romantic comedy because I understood those were more marketable. They booth gather electronic dust on my hard drive.

In 2001, while I was at work, an idea came to me. It resulted in a string of words that reached 95,000 and became my first novel. It has its issues so it also is gathering electronic dust, but it opened the door to a series of Science Fiction novels. Not knowing when I might write one worthy of selling, the series is episodic so that each one stands on its own. The second in the series was interrupted by an idea for a Fantasy novel. That has probably been my best work yet I am currently shopping for an agent as I prepare to write two more novels, one another in my Science Fiction series, and the other will explore my interest in history, covering a good deal of the twentieth century.

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