Welcome to Writers’ Uni-Verse-City (or WUVC for short because every university has an acronym), a place where writers/bloggers can meet to discuss the craft of writing in the Internet age. I want to learn what it takes to make it in the world of writing and publishing and nowadays there is a wealth of information on the web. WUVC will involve independent research, setting a curriculum and hopefully finding other participants (like you – readers/bloggers/writers) to: chip in, give tips, suggest books and other materials for study, teach me the ways of the warrior writer, and offer to guest post here at Uni-Verse-City (contact: [email protected]).
I have been falling behind on reading craft books. My predicament is that I have to buy them as ebooks since I live in a French-speaking country with limited English resources and I don’t own a Kindle, reading on my computer is not pleasant. Be thankful for the option of buying in paperback, getting a kindle or checking it out from a library. I have none of these options and I feel deprived…
So in the meantime, while I force myself to read from the Kindle app on my computer, I read a lot of author blogs, bios and websites. I’ve noticed that a quite a few writers tend to mention how they’ve “been writing all their life” or how they remember when they were 5 years old and wrote their first story.
I always wonder if everyone is telling the full truth? If they are digging really deep to pull something out from the past to give themselves more credibility? And I wonder what these ancedotes about the first story they ever wrote is interesting to their readers or agents? Or is it only interesting to other writers?
It might just be me, but I don’t think the purpose is to give credibility. I think everyone can remember writing some story when they were a kid, even if it was only 3 lines and then they can claim “they’ve been writing their whole life”. And I’m sure there are LOADS of published authors who didn’t start writing short stories or books until they were maybe 40, 50, 60+ years old. It also reminds me of what I told in university: never start an entrance essay with “I’ve always wanted to be a doctor/lawyer/etc.” or “I’ve wanted to be….my whole life/since I was a kid”.
After seeing everyone else doing it, I’ve recalled writing “my first story” which I would like to share here in a blog post because as a writer I think these ancedotes are interesting.
I think I was in Grade 6 or it could have been Grade 5 (making me about 10-11 years old). I remember that we were given an assignment to tell a story we knew from another character’s perspective. I choose to write Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (“dwarfs” probably politically incorrect these days) from the (evil) queen’s perspective. I remember having a lot of fun writing the story. I think I even came up with a good title. BUT I don’t have a copy of it and I don’t remember how the story went….well I guess it had to keep the same plot as the original story, but I think I made the witch a character you would have empathy for. And when I think about it now, it sounds like a damn good writing exercise. A challenge if you will. (This could be a Writers’ Uni-Verse-City homework assignement….which I will keep on file).
I also remember starting a story, I don’t know if it was for a class or just spontaneous and I ended up writing something like 15-20 pages, which is a lot for an 11 year old. It could have been the beginning of my very first novel. I’m sad to say that I don’t think I have a copy of this original writing…I have no idea on what computer I wrote it. I know it wasn’t hand written. I do remember that I committed the no-no’s in this piece of writing by starting with the main character being woken up by her alarm clock, but hey, I was 11. Now I wonder if I had been encouraged by someone to keep writing where would I be now because of course an 11 year-old entering Junior High (new school and new friends) has other things on her mind that quietly working away at a novel for fun.
Today’s questions for discussion are:
1) So who’s interested in reading about a writer’s first story or the age when they first started writing? Readers? Agents? Other Authors? Anybody? Should it be included in an author’s bio or a query? Should it be left “unwritten” and be shared in-person at a book reading or interview?
2) Do you remember the first story you wrote? Do you still have it?
Until next time,
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