Monday, July 12, 2010

A Writing Timeline

This post is a sort of writing biography, timeline, of my writing. It pretty much sums up most of my writing experience. Please keep in mind that most of these dates are extremely tenative--I have a terrible memory, especially when it comes to dates. And be warned--this is a long post.

1997-1998
My mom read picture books to me

2001? 2002?
I began to read--small books at first.

2006, I think
I read Eragon, by Christopher Paolini--and I started to write small stories

2007
My writing began to get longer (although most of the plot was copied from other books, and the grammar was atrocious) and I had now determined that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.
Late 2007
I wrote a short story for school (I wasn't homeschooled then) that was roughly 6 pages--less, on the computer.

Sometime in 2007
I wrote a short, 7 paged 'book' titled Attack of the Clones (I was really into Star Wars then), although it was a fantasy story. It centered around an old man and his sword, two snow leopards, and evil 'clones' that attacked a city. The prose was terrible, but I was so proud of it back then. :D It was meant to be a trilogy that I was coauthoring with a friend, but he never finished the second book, titled 'Snow Leopards'--or something like that. :)

Early 2008? Late 2007?
After accidentally deleting Attack of the Clones (which, by then, I had decided needed some serious editing), I found myself sitting at the computer desk, typing up a document that I christened, 'Jake's Unknown Story'. If you've read this blog long enough, you know what that particular document is now called.

The plot, by that time, was only partially developed (I had a vague concept of dragons, dwarves, and a portal), but it was halfway unique--later, that is--and I worked furiously on it for a week or so. By the time that week was done, I had fabricated more of the plot, decided on the races I was to have, and made a God-figure--which I had given much thought to, as I hadn't ever tried to integrate God into my fantasy before.

A week, eight pages, and a flurry of ideas later, my idea ground to a crawl. I didn't work on it quite as much, but in my spare time I whittled away at it.

You see, I had never completed anything that had a large, full blown plot. My previous 'works' (which totaled up to the two mentioned above) were either a school project or a random idea. This, which started out as a random idea, now had a plot and a feeling for the ending--something which I had never completed. I was rather intimidated by the idea of writing ALL of that content.

This was the problem I had.

Besides this, I had a short attention span, when it came to writing. I kept going off and starting more 'novels' (none of which passed 10 pages), though this stopped happening once my novel gained length.

Summer 2008
During this time I ran out of books--literally. I couldn't find any books to read. Of course, my definition of any was 'hardly any'. So I had several books to read, but I had a famine.

In the abscence of books, I turned back to writing. I wrote slowly, but surely, and my pages began to tally up.

2008-Early 2009
I worked on my book, off and on, and managed to get more than halfway through it.

Spring 2009, I think
We moved from our house, causing a problem--I had no computer to work on. A long lapse in my writing proceeded through two months as we tried to find a new house. At that time, I was about two thirds of the way through my novel, although I didn't know it then.

Summer 2009?
Dates are terrible in my mind. I just can't remember them. But sometime in 2009, we found a house and bought it.

Once moved in, my writing progressed very fast, both in quality and quantity. I wrote fast and furiously once I sensed I was finally nearing my goal of finishing my novel.

Later that Summer of 2009
To my great horror and disgust, I accidentally deleted 10 pages of my novel. This caused a terrible writer's block and lapse in writing that lasted nearly three months. It not only extended from my 'Unknown Story' but to all of my writing. Much of my writing ceased.

Late Summer, Early Fall 2009
I finally plucked up my courage and my determination to try and rewrite the deleted portion of my novel. It passed exruciatingly slowly, but eventually, within the week, I was back on track.

Being freed from this hindrance, I wrote like mad for the next week.

Finally, after nearly two years or so, I sat back one hot day with a sigh, and said, "I'm done." I felt a mixture of sadness and happiness, a strange sensation. I had finally finished my novel.

I realized that I must now edit my novel, a process that is still going on today.

Fall 2009
Editing begins. I checked out numerous editing books from the library, (none of which were any help) and edited and rewrote and cut--although I only did a bit of the latter.

During this time, I picked up a story that I had started during the early days of my writing famine and, after a lot of midnight thought, decided to work it in as a sequel to my novel.

Writing took off there like a bullet, and I had never wrote faster--or better--in my entire life. Some passages in that novel, like the Leviathan Chapter I posted earlier, are better than many of my current novel's chapters.

Early 2010
I finished my novel in record time--and it was longer than my first one! You can read a former blog post on it here.

Later that month, 2010
I started my third novel, the one I'm working on now. It's currently longer than both of my other novels were at rough draft--and I still have a lot left to write.

Sometime, during school, 2010
I wrote my first short story since 'Attack of the Clones'. You now know it as 'The Dark King'

Early Summer 2010
I submitted an allegorical short story of mine to a contest. It tied second place out of seven or eight other stories, which was exciting for me. :) If you would like to read it, you can go here and click on 'The Cornerstone'.

To date
I have over twenty thousand words on my last two novels and almost thirty thousand on my first--I expect to break thirty thousand soon. I have two completed short stories, one of which, the Cornerstone, is already completely edited and finished and the second, the Dark King, is being edited right now.

Besides this, I have a prequel alone and a sequel series in the same world as my current trilogy planned, and also a highly allegorical novella planned (and partially written) once I'm finished editing the Dark King. Several other, barely formed, ideas for novels not relating to my current trilogy are also floating around my mind.

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Sorry--that was longer than I expected. :) Feel free to comment!

6 comments:

Squeaks said...

Hey Jake, you're becoming quite the accomplished writer! I really enjoyed reading this little biography of yours :)

Squeaks.

Beorn said...

Awesome! Boy, no wonders you're such a good writer--I started a little less than a year ago, whereas you've been writing for a large portion of your life!

I look forward to the day when I get to make the post declaring I've finished one novel =) Which shouldn't be too far off... I just got OYAN in the mail today!

Great post =D

Eldra said...

Maybe you should try keeping a journal. I kept a physical one for several years, then moved to a computer back in September of 2007. Since then, I've typed over 168,000 words in my journal (that's writing a minimum of 60 words every single day since). Whenever something interesting happens or I reach a milestone in my writing, I jot in down in my journal, just to keep things straight, otherwise I would have lost my head a long time ago!

Barie said...

Jake: Wowsers! Three books? That's something to be proud of :) Good job! By the way, I really did like your Leviathan Chapter thingy :) Good luck in all your future writings!


Eldra: Journals are awesome :)) Everyone should have one. My memory has been so bad lately, that if I didn't keep one, I think I'd go insane with frustration, lol. I personally prefer a physical journal myself. I have kept one on my iPod before though. My journal tends to have more art in it than actual words though, haha.

Jake said...

@Squeaks
Thanks!

@Beorn
That's great! I'm just about to start OYAN again. :) Haha, the funny thing is, I live less than 10 miles away from the place where Daniel Schwabauer (the maker of OYAN) held his summer writer's workshop--but I found out about it too late. :P Next year, though!

@Eldra
Me + journals = mess. :) We don't get along very well. I've tried numerous times to start one (my sister has been writing a journal for three years and filled up half a dozen notebooks), but it always collapsed. I prefer using my thoughts from the day in my writing, incorparating it in some way, whether it be an entire chapter or just a simple sentence.

I really suppose, though, if I had kept a journal, I wouldn't have all of these problems with dates in this post. XD

@Barie
Thank you!

Eldra said...

I keep mine on the computer in a document with a password, of course (I wouldn't be happy if my siblings got into it!), so the dates are always exact. I find it's a wonderful way to express my thoughts, even if all I'm doing is complaining! But I've heard that either people can journal, or they can't. There really aren't too many people in between. But when you have as many ideas floating around your head as I do. . . well, it helps to keep it all straight.