I started writing Something Special in October 2017. It seemed miraculous when I hit 5,000 words, and even more so when I reached 20,000 words. Eight and a half months later, I had achieved something I had been attempting to do for years: I finished a book.
My passion for writing started when I was young. I have rough memories--you know, the kind that are hazy around the edges--of scribbling loops in a journal, filling every line. “Writing stories,” I probably told my parents. The loops were cursive E’s and L’s over and over again, and every time I went back to it, the story had changed. From there, I started (and subsequently stopped) writing a million stories. In my head, none of them had the lasting power. I have over thirty started works on my hard drive, but none of them had a driven plot to carry us to the end.
In short: I was boring myself.
At the same time, I had this yearning for more. More world building, more character development, more words. I wanted beautiful words. I wanted ugly words. But instead of writing, I read. I read everything I could get my hands on, greedy in my thirst for prose. My own stories took a temporary backseat.
It wasn’t until I took a fiction writing class in college, and later prose writing classes, that I realized there was a difference between good writing and decidedly not good writing. There was a difference between quality editing and when it had been sloughed off or skipped. I became a bit of a book snob, and my hunt was suddenly refined: I needed good prose. I needed a good storyline. I needed to feel a range of emotions, but I needed good grammar at the same time.
My junior year of college, I did a directed study with a professor I admired. He was known for his brutal editing, to which I said, Bring it on. I was overeager, and, as one of my fiction writing professors once told me, it takes a combination of humbleness and confidence to succeed as a writer. I wanted him to critique my writing because I was sure it was good. Unfortunately, it got edited to death because I didn't understand that editors focus on specific genres for a reason. (The sad part is, it was good before I wandered too far away from my original plot. Maybe you’ll get to read that story one day.)
Anyway, my point is: it’s taken me about 20 years to go from scribbling in a journal to completing a full length novel. I’m so happy I’m here. I got to this point with the help of my best friend, for an idea that wouldn’t die, and because I never stopped reading and learning.
Stay tuned for updates on Something Special and future works.