The Writing Journey

People sometimes ask me how I got started writing. I think it really started with reading. I grew up in a home where my mother modeled the love of reading.

In elementary school, I was fortunate to have teachers who took time to read to the class after lunch recess. (A perfect way to calm down a rowdy group after a lively game of volley ball). I looked forward to this time of day, as they read to us about children in other countries, cultures, and time periods. My understanding of the power of the written word to transport and inspire began in those classrooms decades ago.

It shouldn’t surprise you, then, to hear that I grew up to be a teacher and that one of the favorite parts of my day was reading to my own class after lunch. I literally had to force myself to read only one chapter because I could have easily read to my students all afternoon! I could look out at that sea of young faces and tell which ones were also caught up in the story and equally disappointed when we rejoined the present world and turned toward our math lesson.

When my own children were small, I didn’t have a lot of time for writing, so I wrote short stories, poems, or skits. I guess it was just enough to satisfy my yearning to create. But, I definitely wanted more.

Once I retired, I worked part time as a reading teaching for a few years before I decided to write in earnest. I remember the day I first sat down in front of the computer. I knocked out that first paragraph

My husband and I love to go to movies, so it was a natural next step for me to try my hand at screenwriting. I loved the action and I could see in my mind’s eye just what my characters would say and do—how they would interac. However, I soon learned that without relocating and forming connections in a world of actors, directors, and producers I was going nowhere.

So, that brings me to the present. It is a stimulating time for me because I have found that writing fiction fulfills that inner longing to create and bring to life characters that not only I, but other readers, can enjoy. By the power of the written word, they come to life. They live, they breathe, they have a voice. 

I live in their world, as much as I do in mine. My characters become my friends and my constant companions. And, yes, I do still harbor that secret hope that some day they will live for all to see—on the big screen!

Please write and let me know how you started your writing journey.

**Summary of earlier post.

Classic vs. Fan Fiction

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This week’s post seeks to explain the difference between classic fiction and fan fiction:

Classic fiction: a creative narrative worthy of academic discussion. These can be novels or short stories, but must have literary merit. Many of these were written in the 19th century. Most noteworthy are works by Charles Dickens and Jane Austen as well as epic poems such as The Divine Comedy and The Illiad.

Like myself, you are probably aware of classic fiction. But, fan fiction may not have been on your radar. Here is what I found:

Fan Fiction:  the author uses familiar characters and settings from novels, movies, and/or video games from the original creator as a basis for their own writing. TV shows and movies sometimes use fan fiction (Example: The Twilight Series).

Note: Fan fiction is rarely authorized by the original creator or publisher and rarely professionally published. Some people like reading about characters they know and love in new scenarios, but others may feel these are not creative and—even more so—are a form of plagiarism.

Did you know?  Many classic works of literature are actually classified as fan fiction. For example, Inferno by Dante and Paradise Lost by John Milton.