Monday, July 18, 2005

Wherein I Write About Writing II

Catching The Bug

Back in first and second grade, each student had to write (and illustrate) a number of stories. These stories would then be typed up by volunteers, bound (with ultra-crafty covers and duct tape, also the work of volunteers) and read aloud to the class by their respective authors. Being a car enthusiast at that time of my life, all of my stories included roughly the same plot: Man buys rusted out car, fixes car up, sells car to highest bidder and reflects with pride on his work as it drives away (see? I haven't always been cynical about consumerism). Of course, now and again I'd spice things up: one car had its wheels replaced with air pads and became a hovercar, another car had a top speed of 10,000 miles per hour and yet another had the unique ability to jump over the world. Occasionally, I wrote stories about family members, mysterious eggs that contained five dollars, but the crowning achievement was the laminated hardback (we had amazing volunteers, now that I think back on it) The Boy Who Lost His Cat, which may or may not have been a direct challenge to my best friend's The Boy Who Lost His Dog. Anyhow, despite all this writing at an early age, this wasn't when I caught the writing bug.

The symptoms didn't truly start to emerge until I was in the fourth grade. My mother had read my brother and I The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia, thereby ensuring my life as a nerd, and that, along with exposure to such kickass NES-era RPGs as Dragon's Lair, I started creating my own worlds - complete with maps and, if required, backstories. Still, the disease was still in its infancy.

It wasn't until the seventh grade, when a number of factors conspired to set me down this particular path, that I took up writing. The first factor was the decision to take a journalism class. When the Christmas holidays were approaching, I wrote a pretty funny little essay about how Santa Claus could easily be confused with a burglar and get himself clocked over the head with a baseball bat by an overzealous homeowner (I later continued my attack on holiday figures by writing an article about the Easter Bunny being nothing more than a worthless corporate shill) . My teacher loved it and persuaded my to send it into the local newspaper. Somehow, that never quite worked out, but her enthusiasm for it sparked something in me. That same year, I read some books called The Darksword Trilogy (later, it became a quadrilogy). I decided that I wanted to write a really cool fantasy/science fiction epic. So, I penned a decently sized novel called The Dark Warriors of Sojin. For the most part, it was a direct copy of the Darksword books, mixed in with a fair bit of Star Wars.

Later - the disease takes its toll...

3 Comments:

Gregor said...

Just to prove that I got more of the nerd genes - the game I think you mean is Dragon Warrior:

http://www.mobygames.com/game/nes/dragon-warrior

Dragon's Lair, on the other hand, wasn't even for the NES, and since I have never played it I doubt you would have either :P

6:38 PM  
Cavan said...

I stand corrected - you'll always be the nerdier brother.

7:58 PM  
Sarah said...

Hey, great blog! And from the looks of it, you're a talented writer. I myself authored "The Boy and His Horse" in elementary school and am now trying to branch out into non-animal-related literature.

Best of luck to you!

10:34 PM  

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