So, like many of you out there, I do enjoy a good book and some day, I hope I can sit down and enjoy reading a book I wrote on my own. Does anyone else out there have a dream like that? I've been writing stories ever since I was in middle school and I am forever thankful that I had an AMAZING mom who took the time out of her busy days after work to sit down with me and teach me to read all by herself, just because I asked her to. Yep, I was reading before I even got into kindergarten and by the time I hit first grade, the teachers were parading me around to read to the other students (in hopes I would inspire them). Back then, reading to my fellow classmates, I was on a fifth grade level and my love of reading has only grown since (along with my level haha). Reading stories inspired me to excel and think and by the time I started writing my own, I had some pretty stiff convictions about what a good story would entail. Character development. No plotholes. A setting and world so vivid you could see it around you as you read the page.
Like many people, I started out by writing fanfiction. In actuality, fanfiction is GREAT practice for writing an actual novel. It takes the world building component and the character building component out and lets you practice fleshing out a story. The rise and fall of the plot, the subtle changes in the characters as they grow through a story, and the sculpting of a conclusion, wrapping up the story in a tidy bow. Then, around five years ago, I decided to take the plunge and write my own story straight from my brain to the keyboard. To create that world in its entirety and sculpt the characters from the vision in my head.
Sounds easier than it really is. Needless to say, I wrote a great first chapter. I've gone back and done some minor tweaking to it but that's where I'm stuck. I've introduced one major character and now I need to introduce another. The rest of the story I've jotted down in notes throughout the years. I've researched different types of weapons and armor (it's a medieval fantasy type story), I've written background biographies for the various characters in the story, the main villain has been augmented so many times she is no longer recognizable from her first incarnation. I know how I want it to start and I know where I want it to be, it's just the getting there that seems to be tripping me up now. That and life pretty much stole all my motivation for the past four years...but that story is a tragedy that no one wants to read haha...
So, with all my extra time recently, I've started back writing. I've tweaked my novel's first chapter and now I've started on a new story. This new story is more of a "short story" meant to grease my writing gears again and man did I need it. In just a few short days I burned out 37 pages of material (yeah...short...I know...) and that was just chapter one of my short story. I could tell with every four to five pages that my writing was improving as well. I think at this point I might be back to the skill of writing that I stopped with last time. And now...the delimna....to continue writing my short story (and hopefully finish it...was planning four chapters).....or instead work on my old novel. I think I've finally figured out the proper way to proceed (I need an actual introduction of the main group and protagonist before my other protagonist meets them...I could never figure out what was missing before but I suddenly see it for what it is now.). I've already gone back in and revised the new story's first 20 or so pages.....
Decisions....decisions.... Doesn't help that now when I fall asleep at night I dream of two different stories meandering about in my head.... I might have to just drink some shots tonight and flip a coin to decide on this one. Wish me luck, guys!