I started writing in a Pooh Bear journal, I'm not even sure how old I was, but I was barely able to draw the letters let alone spell correctly.I've kept a journal of some kind ever since. They have ranged from college ruled spiral notebooks to fancy leather bound with a clasp. They have contained my sappy and angst filled teen poetry, my first story ideas, even some of my first figure drawings of my characters.
Journaling has been a big part of my being a writerand passing on how it has helped seems like the most natural thing for me to do, so here it goes,the four biggest ways keeping a journal has helped me grow as a writer.
1. You are writing.
Oh no duh, but this is the biggest reason that it's helped me. You have a few minutes between a class and lunch. Find a quiet spot, sit down and write a little bit in your journal. I tend to prefer being tech free, especially when I don't know what I'm going to do with a new project, and my journal has enabled me to outline, experiment with concepts, and even simply write my stories away from computers.
2. It opens your eyes.
I never limit what I write in my journal. It contains shopping lists, class schedules, snippets of poetry, overheard conversations, descriptions of smells in a certain place, brain storming for class projects, alphabets for other languages (*cough*Tangwar*cough*), and so much more. This has enabled me to look at what has happened in my life and pull from everything when ever I need to.
3. Freedom to experiment.
Ever dreamed about writing poetry? Ever dreamed about writing a best selling movie? What about creating your own language? Well, so have I to all three of those. The beauty of working with a journal, it enables you to play around with your dreams. Sometimes you find out that some of them do work, and sometimes they don't.The beauty of a journal is that you see yourself grow as you play around with them.
4. Discovering your voice.
A writer's individual voice is something that each of us aspires to have, and we each do have it. The only way to discover it is to keep writing, and eventually you notice things that always end up coming out. Me? I tend to be down to earth, with a little bit of smirk thrown in now and then. That doesn't mean I found it right away. In fact, I'm still not one hundred percent certain that I've found exactly what my writer's voice is, but I have a feeling that it's something that grows with you.
This one, though, doesn't really have an exact genre it fits in.
There's a futuristic, almost contemporary feel to it, with some fantasy elements, mixed with a hint of thriller and a dash of romance.
This story particularly deals with captivity, and what happens to one's mind.
I guess you could say that this Cinderella is dealing with Stockholm Syndrome, and what happens to get her out of it.
It's all centered on one pivotal point, an invitation to a celebration.
This particular invitation, is presented to the main character by someone. . .
Almost, let's just say almost familiar.
Oh, and I have no idea how I'm going to fit in a fairy godmother. . .
Maybe she won't be in it?
But let's not forget the title.
Well, let's just say that if Cinderella kept falling asleep among the cinders, would the room with the fireplace not be called the room she dreams in?
Simple, really, but sweet.
It's been years since she last set a foot out doors.
Well, off of the family property.
Eloise Duell never thought that was strange, or at least she would tell herself that.
But today, today is different.
Abraham Cofield, an old friend from before her father died, has suddenly turned up again.
And with him, an invitation to break free.
She doesn't know what from yet, but she can't help but wonder if it includes something to do with the room.
The dreaming room.
Well, that took some thinking out, and a lot of leaving out, but hey.
It's a work in progress.
Questions? Advice? Ideas? Anything is Welcome!
And one thing that I tend to forget, is how many worlds I have and how many I've actually shared.
One of my favorites, though, is the world of Gotheg.
Named after I studied Gothic architecture in high school, I took to the name like glue.
(If you don't quite get it, I replaced the -ic in gothic, with -eg, and quite liked the sound.)
I started researching different Gothic architecture, particularly cathedrals and gargoyles.
Then I let it drop for a while. . .
Until I started playing around with a story idea that centered around a box that made things magical.
(Which, by the way, is now a completely different story. Imagine that.)
I started to play with adding viking-ish details and cultural aspects to it, and it became what I have now today.
Most of the climates are based on Scandinavia, down to the island countries.
I'm playing around with possibly adding some warmer climates to the world, but so far that's been a no-go.
That's what I have so far for my Gotheg world, which I might post more about later. . .
First comes College life, and writing my stories.
It was really weird, because a smattering of my family and I (four of us out of my six sisters and I) were for some reason in Europe when war broke out against the US.
We were in an enemy country, so we had to somehow go somewhere safe.
Which ended up being a mountain estate of someone's, a huge modern/castle-like mansion, where they were also hiding seven other foreign women.
I got a small room with this beautiful view, a tiny desk (that held the Narnia series and a notebook, all that evidently I had brought with me), and a small bed in this nook/closet area.
Days, then months passed and no one came to help us out of the country.
We settled into a routine, and we didn't get much information outside of the small rural village that was a little way below us.
It goes on, to include druid-like magic users and enslavement via these weird necklaces and lots of walking in the dark.
Let me just say that it was a very vivid dream.
And I decided to run with it.
Here's what I have!
(By the by, I'm going with a contemporary fantasty feel for this story. . .)
War has broken out.
In the southern hills and mountains of France, twelve foreign women seek refuge.
Duke Risbond, a wealthy land and business owner opens his spacious home to them.
For a few weeks, they wait for help to arrive.
Then one night, a man heavily robed sneaks into the building.
He knows his way well, and goes into one of the smaller rooms that one of the women are staying in.
She is sound asleep, and he enters a secret chamber in her room without disturbing her.
Or so he hopes.
In reality, she watched his every move from the shadows of her bed.
The next night, he does the same thing, and the woman slips in past him.
Doing so, she sets off an ancient secret that puts her own life and the lives of the eleven other women in danger.
They are now at the mercy of the Hiero Vasileios.
So. . . Yeah.
I pretty much see this in terms of a simple story, that, in many ways, seems too simple.
It's so much like the classic twelve dancing princesses' story, that I've never had too much of an interest in actually working on the characters.
Which is why I love Pinterest.
I can always discover something to keep my interest.
This idea came about when I put together three things: A cool looking picture, one of the countries I developed for Gypsy Gift, and the idea of what if this world had invisible beings that were going extinct?
Almost like saying ghosts are now extinct, but they weren't always, so that would be why we are still scared of them.
Now there's a new idea within itself.
But anyways, I took it and I ran with it and this is what came out.
In a time when nobility understood the importance of educating the lower classes, rumors are flying.
Invisible creatures are back, they say, the invisible creatures from the age of myths.
The nobles do everything they can to deny this.
First livestock start to act oddly.
Then children start to disappear.
When a young prince and his entourage disappear on a hunt, a young philosopher is ordered to find the truth behind this.
He bands up with a pickpocket, a nobleman, and a swine herder.
I did end up throwing in a cliche twist in there, but it just fits with this story and makes me smile so wide!
Oh, the adventures to write!
Questions? Advice? Idease? Anythings is welcome! :)
I have this fascination with random things, and one of them is the aspect of color.
When I read The Giver by Lois Lowry, I was absolutely amazed that she took the idea of color and emotions going together, and how she applied that in her story.
How I didn't even catch it until-
Oh, hi bunny trail; I'll wave hi as you go by. . .
Sorry, back to my original train of thought before it derails.
I basically took that fascination of color, added a couple of pictures I found online, and a dystopian/post-apocalyptic story emerged.
I haven't really done much with it, but here's what I have.
Iria was born into a world where color is used as a commodity, and is sold to the highest bidder.
Born with the gift of crafting colors into pictures, she was sold to a color house long ago.
Ciar was born into a world where color was taken away from the people, and only used as a form of torture.
He is a young guard in a high tech facility, who flinches at the sounds of the horror of color.
Until one night, Ciar dreams of a girl in beautiful color, and isn't afraid.
Separated, gifted, and now thought going insane, the two unlikely souls search for a way to cross realities before they are finished forever by those around them.
Okay, I had a bit of fun with writing that on the spot towards the end.
So what do you think?
Questions? Advice? Ideas? Anything is welcome. :)