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What got you started? (I was a geek)

3008 Views 46 Replies 35 Participants Last post by  KGorman
Okay I knew I had a talent for writing when I won an essay contest in late elementary school


I didn't know how much I LOVED writing stories until I started creating SIMS stories. And I still do for the fun of it.

Why did you start writing? And/ or was there any other SIM geeks out there?
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I read, online, the unauthorized English translation of an enormously popular Japanese light novel. Having finished it, I shook my head in disbelief - terrible story, terrible characters, terrible everything. Crikey, I said to myself, or words to that effect, even I could write a better book than that.

I was proved wrong, of course, but, still...
I realized I had found a legitimate excuse for wanton alcoholism and perpetual barefootedness. I saved all my receipts for booze this year and intend to write them off as a business expense. For once, it will be ME > IRS.
I was desperate and needed money. Pretty stupid reason, huh. Yeah, I'm just as surprised that it worked.
KristenDaRay said:
I didn't know how much I LOVED writing stories until I started creating SIMS stories. And I still do for the fun of it.

Why did you start writing? And/ or was there any other SIM geeks out there?
I may have done the same. ;D
In fact, I remember always making up my own little narratives and stories for what was going on with the characters in a bunch of video games I played. And with my toys before that. All of my plushies had backstories and unique personalities. I wouldn't say that's what got me started on writing though, it was just sort of a symptom of it. As long as I can remember I've always loved books and wanted to write my own some day.
What actually got me to publish my first title was probably realising how lucrative and accessible the erotica market was. ;)
I always liked to read fantasy books, watch fantasy movies and play fantasy video games, but I never thought there were enough beastly, physically dominant female characters particularly in lead roles. Most of the ones I saw were quick, agile and skilled but I wanted to see some with awesome feats of physical prowess like the men. So...

I wrote my first book to hand out to clients after they attended classes where I was the instructor.

Someone suggested I offer the book for sale, and it did pretty good just off of my webpage.

The rest, as they say, is history.
I needed a good excuse to never leave the house and my computer, but I was sick of doing work for clients.  :)

I'd never written a word of fiction, outside the occasional school assignment, but I used to be an avid reader. In 2009, I opened the free paper and saw an enticing ad for a writing course, called "Life Into Fiction," and I signed up.
As far as I know, I've always been always been writing and telling story, way back even as young as 5.

It wasn't until I was around 12 and read The Hobbit and had to do a sotry for class (which was inspired by a mix of The Hobbit and Narnia) that I realised I wanted to be an author and would lvoe to make my living doing that.

26 years later and many many unfinished stories (plus a few finished ones), it still hasn't happened but I don't stop dreaming.
KristenDaRay said:
I didn't know how much I LOVED writing stories until I started creating SIMS stories. And I still do for the fun of it.

Why did you start writing? And/ or was there any other SIM geeks out there?
*raises hand - shifty eyes* ;D

I am hopelessly addicted to my Sims. I started writing my first Sim story around 2008 in Sims 2 and I never stopped. I'm in the process of starting up a new one in Sims 3 at the moment. Even if it takes time away from my real writing - it's just so FUN!

I already knew I was supposed to be a writer before I started writing Sim stories though. I'd been through my creative writing degree and everything. I was just, um, procrastinating or something. Post degree, post baby, didn't know what I was doing with myself. I absolutely credit the stories to jump starting my creativity again. I learned so much about storytelling and writing for an audience.

But if I could be any geekier, I actually got my calling way back in the day while doing Final Fantasy fan fiction, lol! :D
I have always been an avid reader. I started really getting into books when my fourth grade teacher read us Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. After that, she read us James and the Giant Peach and A Wrinkle in Time, and I was completely hooked on books. I quickly graduated to fantasy by reading Stephen King's The Eyes of the Dragon. I began thinking that writing could be a fantastic career. What better than to create new worlds to explore?

I became hopelessly in love with fantasy after getting into the Dragonlance books. Raistlin Majere is easily my favorite character in any story and the biggest reason I wanted to start writing. I tried writing a few books when I was 16, but it didn't work out. All of my characters seemed too much like Raistlin and his fellow companions. I gave it up for a while and got interested again when I was in my late 20s.

That's my story.
Considering what I've put some of my SIMS through, writing a story about it would probably be a bad idea.
KristenDaRay said:
Why did you start writing? And/ or was there any other SIM geeks out there?
I started seriously writing in the 90s, but took a break for a few years when I had twins in 2002. Writing Sims stories and posting them on a forum and LJ was my way of easing back into writing again and getting over my fear of having others read my stories.
I love hearing about what finally got writers writing.

I read an article about Amanda Hocking and Darcy Chan.  That's all it took to start the fire, and then when perfect strangers bought my books and wrote to me about them, that's what set the inferno to blazing.  Exactly one year and 1,344,472 words later, here I be.  :)
Back in the Dark Ages (1972) when I was a freshman in college, I took a mandatory English Comp course.  I was a pre-med student, although as it turned out I never went to med school.  But that's a whole different story.  One of our assignments for the English course was to write a description of a classic painting.  I got the paper back with an A and a rather shocking note written at the top.  My paper was graceful and frankly, gifted, and wouldn't I consider a career in the humanities.  I scoffed.  In those days I believed, like most kids in the space race era, that anyone not in the sciences was slacking.  But I never forgot that note.

I began working on a novel in my spare time while I was working in the pharmacuetical industry, and after my kids got into high school.  When I was laid off, I decided to use my severance package to finance a writing sabbatical.  It's now twelve years later, and I've never gone back.  I'm still not selling my fiction much, but it's what I really want to do.

Another interesting thread on this board talked about whether a formal education helps with your writing.  Someone said that your writing reflects your view of the world, and that is shaped by your education.  Having a scientific background definitely influences your world view.  It's not just that you could write medical or scientific thrillers if you wanted to.  It's that whole idea of testing your hypothoses and not accepting ideas that conflict with your observations.  Facts are not just cherries that you use to garnish the sundae you've created. They are the underpinnings of the way you see everything.  Or to put it more simply, I've got a very finely tuned bullsh*t detector.

That combination of writing ability and a scientific mindset means that I can never be satisfied creating just an interesting story if it doesn't pass my own plausibility test, which is very tough.  But when it does.  Ah. 

Now if I could only figure out how to sell the stuff.
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Good thread…

Just last week when visiting with family, my mother passed around my very first book. No, it wasn't Superman's Cape. Instead it was a book I'd written in the fourth grade called Sally the Silly Super Ball. The pages were laminated in plastic and had chunky air bubbles to draw your attention away from the words. And I added stiff cardboard with shelving paper to bind the pages as a front and back cover. It was horrible… but my first.

Over the years I'd always written poetry and songs and an occasional short story. Late 2011 I pulled together enough of a story to complete a novel and then found KindleBoards. By early 2012 I decided to publish. Not sure if I would have ever published Superman's Cape or An Order of Coffee and Tears if not for Kindle Boards. I simply didn't think I had anything anyone would want to read.
The encouragement I find on this board motivates me to share what I enjoy doing. Writing. I love to write.
I was a rabid writer pretty much from day one. My parents, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all writers, so I perceived writing as my Grand Destiny. In any event, it didn't seem to be something I could avoid-- I scribbled down stories and ideas almost every time I sat down. When I was seven or eight, I wrote a sixty-seven page opus (the page count was padded greatly by pictures, and the story was something of a ripoff of The Hundred and One Dalmatians). In middle school, I wrote a 200-page novel about a Triple Crown winner named Odyssey and his female jockey (something of a ripoff of The Black Stallion). I always had ideas percolating and stories half written, but those two projects I actually completed. In middle school, I also wrote vast quantities of M*A*S*H fanfic with a friend (though we had never heard of fanfic and didn't know that was what we were writing), complete with Mary Sue self-inserts.

When I was sixteen, I read my first romance (Deceive Not My Heart, by Shirlee Busbee), and that got me started on my current dark path. ;D I wrote a (very, very bad) historical romance in college, which was summarily rejected by the three publishers I approached. I tried again, though, and managed to sell the next one. After that I never really stopped.
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When I was 7, I wrote "A History of Old Tucson."  It was only a few pages long, but I considered it a masterpiece.  Friends and family were impressed that it was written by a seven year old.  I don't know what ever happened to it.  It's long gone.  I wrote off and on all through my life, fiction and non-fiction.  My school assignments were written in a literary form.  I think I received quite a few A's due to the style of writing rather than coverage of the material.  Back in the 70's I took a creative writing class and started writing stories for magazines.  In those days there were many monthly women's magazines that included short fictional stories.  I collected a pile of rejection slips, most of which noted they did not accept unsolicited manuscripts.  Life got busy and I played out my role in two more careers.  When I stopped working full time in residential real estate sales, I decided to write a memoir.  It is not published and won't be any time in the near future, but my husband says it's the best writing I have done.  I then wrote my 1st novel, which I published for Kindle.  I have two sequels underway in my laptop, and pages and pages of notes for future books.  Everyone says writing more books improves your craft.  I hope so.  Although I believe it's readable, I am aware there are weaknesses in my first novel, especially in the first two pages.
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I was about seven and we learned about Greek myths at school.  They fascinated me with their battles and feuds and the sheer fantasy of it all.  They brought out my imagination and I was desperate to learn more and so I started writing my own stories about Hercules and Zeus and the other Greek myth characters.  I've never stopped writing since. 
For me, it happened on a beach.  I turned 28 that day and I was just walking along and it was so beautiful and I was so happy and all of a sudden I started thinking about my mom, her cancer, my sister.  She'd had her mastectomy the day after my 14th birthday (she waited so she could celebrate with me and not be in recovery since it was going to be a long road home and she was already so sick most of the time.)

That was one of the best/worst birthdays ever.  But I remember it so clearly and still wear the three-stone sapphire ring she gave me -- mind, body, spirit -- she said it represented. 

I started imagining a different way things could have ended ... and my very young sister at the time.  I took some notes on the plane home ... character notes, really.  And a few days later I started writing ... and basically I haven't stopped since. 

But in all serious, I write because I can't imagine another way.  I love it and it makes me happier then I ever dreamed.  This past summer my job was downsized, and rather then being sad and terrified, I was excited.  I now am a full time writer ... all because I started thinking on a beach. 
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