As with many people who write fiction, I started out very young. I remember in year four, aged 6 or 7 I was writing incredibly ambitious stories that teachers never gave me enough time to finish; I had never heard of short stories back then and was always trying to write novels in the hour of creative writing we were given every week. This meant that I never actually finished a story until the age of 16. Before this I realised that I needed to hone my skills to give me some direction and began attending short story workshops with Della Galton at my local community arts centre. I finally grasped the concept of stories that didn’t have to go on for 100 pages! My next endeavour was to attend her novel writing workshop.
I’ve always been a devil for starting and not finishing books; sometimes I planned them too much and by the time I got round to writing them all my creativity and drive to write it had disappeared. Sometimes I started writing without a plan and ended up so lost that there was no choice but to abandon ship and start a new project. I did start a few projects that were really close to my heart and I really wanted to put the effort in to make them work. This is what led to the completion of my first book but there were a few steps before this.
I didn’t know this for a long time but my dad loves writing fiction and so we started a joint project to make a blog featuring short stories that we had written individually. The stories were always inspired by a photograph that we had taken which was easy because we both take an awful lot of photographs! The concept was this: if a picture is worth a thousand words, why not write a thousand words story inspired by a picture? So that’s just what we did and A Thousand Words was born!
Unfortunately, since I started this blog I haven’t had time to write fiction and keep this blog alive but in the beginning it was a fantastic way to practice writing mangeable stories that I could easily finish. I think this helped my writing as whole; learning to plan a piece so that it runs smoothly and makes sense is applicable across all types of writing!
So back to my book.
I began playing around with ideas that I had thought up two years previously and managed to pull apart the strands to start weaving a new story. After revisiting it many time over 3 years, I finished it! What a wonderful achievement! The first book I had finished that actually made sense and wasn’t just a fan fiction based on my love of Peter Pan and the movie Hook. Even though I was so proud of myself, I was incredibly hesitant to publish and tell people about it! I was still at that stage where I was embarrassed by my own writing even though I had been doing it for over fifteen years!
Writing this blog has definitely helped with that because writing things that are widely available to everyone is hard at first but I’m now very proud of what I produce and actively encourage people to read what I’ve written.
There are more books on the way, the one I’ve just talked about and mentioned in Barbie, Coding and My Would-Like-To-Do List is being re-written to reflect how I’ve matured in the 3 years since I finished it. Despite this, it’s still available to buy for the small sum of £1.99 if you fancy a read!
The new one is still a sci-fi and builds on the concepts I created in the first book. Stay tuned because as soon as I finish my dissertation I’ll be straight on it with the final proofread and promoting it!
I would encourage everyone to have a go at fiction writing if they haven’t already. Everyone loves a story and even if you only write non-fiction, the same rules apply when you’re laying out what to say and structuring how to communicate to your audience!
However and whatever you write, don’t stop and never give up!