Check out my typography story here.
So, as my bio says, I’m a writer. This did not come overnight, but I’ve always loved to write stories. This is a story of how my novel came to be and all the stories I’ve written in between.
As you can see, one of my early beginnings was a book I made myself and wrote about two pages in, including illustrations. The other pages are from the notebooks I have filled with what’s known as fan fiction, which is basically writing sequels to, short stories about, or re-writing books that already exist. I did it on a favorite series of mine a few years ago, and I think that even though I’m not a fan now of the storyline, I know these stories got me on a good start with writing.
I gave that up after a while, though (I mean, how far can you take a book that you didn’t even get the idea for?), and writing fell to the back burner. Until I started attending a Bible Study where some of the girls were passionate about writing – and they already had novels in print. Needless to say, this inspired me enough to get started again!
I’ve written before about a program called NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s in the month of November, and the girls at the Bible Study had written novels through it. When I heard about NaNo, I wanted to do it – but we were already at the end of November. No worries, I thought, I’ll just write the novel in December – still in a month, right?
Ideas weren’t hard to come by. I literally sat down one evening and wrote across the top of a blank, intimidating piece of paper, Independent NaNoWriMo Ideas. Before long, there was a plot beginning to form . . .
“Kid 1’s little sister is kidnapped, and she and her best friend, Kid 2, have to go back in time to rescue her. They meet Kids 3 & 4 along the way, and each kid has to face his or her fears in the process.”
I mapped out my characters’ appearances, personalities, families, birthdays, you name it, and got started on the story, thinking I would try to finish it within the month. This was December 2013.
Though I didn’t finish (or even come close to finishing) the then-unnamed novel in December, I kept writing through April 2014. For old times’ sake, I went through all of my Sunrise files and read the very first draft of Sunrise. It was . . . interesting.
I will not call it horrible, much as I want to, because I know a) it’s a start, and all babies fall before they walk; b) it’s something that was my best when I wrote it, and the important thing is to do your best all the time; and c) my novel would never have gotten anywhere had I not had a start of any kind, horrible or no. I am forever grateful to those who, when I sent them the raw, fragile 30-page draft, answered me with encouragement and kind words. I literally felt like I was giving my heart away when I first emailed it to a friend! It took me months to muster up the courage to offer it to my mom to read (not that she didn’t know about it), and to accept some criticism.
The start must’ve been enough, because the novel continued to grow over the summer of 2014, and before I knew it, November was rolling around again! I wanted the novel (which now had a name: Sunrise) to be completed in about 50,000 words, so I set that as my goal for NaNoWriMo and worked hard. It was the most exhilarating feeling in the world to come to the end of November and realize I did it – wrote about 1,000 words a day for a month!
But Sunrise was far from being finished, however, and it was a long process (at least, it sure felt like it) to finish the actual writing by late winter/spring 2015. Sunrise has since then been through several edits, and the summary looks more like this:
” Fynn and Jordyn McAllister’s little sister, Courtney, has been kidnapped. It’s up to them and those connected to rescue her and the world from the evil Tynan Roberts.”
It’s now a 270-page document, which has been “in dispute” in my own mind as to whether I want to self-publish (aka simply get in print) through Amazon or wait on things. After a lot of thought, prayer, and help from my parents, Sunrise is on hold for a little while as I continue to edit (although it’s a slow process) and work on getting some key constructive criticism from people who know what they’re doing. 😉 As for publishing in general, I don’t know if it will ever happen, but I know that if God wants it to happen, He’ll make it happen, and it’s up to me to obey. Pray that God will be glorified through my novel and whatever else He has for me to write.
And some links & resources for this post:
- NaNoWriMo official website, young writer’s program, and Camp NaNoWriMo.
- Spilling Ink by Anne Mazer & Ellen Potter
- Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine (and no, this book is not entirely about writing fantasy.)
If you’re a writer, I hope this post encouraged you! God bless you on your journey as a writer for Him!