Friday, April 23, 2010
Thanks for all of your congratulations and kind comments on my last post. Ya'll are the best!
Recently, several of you blogged about how you got started writing. I enjoyed your posts so much, I wanted to share my own story.
My first book was written in second grade, and it was titled "Katie in Care Town." Literary genius! I don't remember exactly what happened to Katie. I'm pretty sure she had something to do with saving Care Town. I think the “book” is stored somewhere at my mom's house. I should scan it and share it on my blog.
In high school, I didn't write fiction. I was a speech and drama nerd, and we had a blast. Every year I wrote a speech for competition in the original oratory category. I enjoyed it and did pretty well with it. I also participated in extemporaneous speaking. You would draw several topics, usually about politics or current events, choose one, have thirty minutes to prepare, and give the speech to a group of judges. I always came up with stories to use as metaphors or illustrations. I think this is where I learned about the power of using stories to get your point across.
In college, my freshman English teacher was probably the first person to tell me that my writing was any good. I remember telling my boyfriend, now husband, that I would write a book someday when I actually had something to write about. At this point, I wasn't even considering writing novels.
Before we got married, we both transferred to the University of Oklahoma. I enrolled in the journalism college with an emphasis on professional writing. When I enrolled, I thought I would be pursuing magazine writing. The professor assigned us to write a short story - something I knew nothing about. Mine was filled with mistakes, including my main character's name changing halfway through the story. Across my paper, bleeding with red ink, my professor had written "Hang on to this story.” That note was the spark that started my dream of writing novels.
What was the spark that got you started?