Authors, A Few Questions About How Your Creative Writing Got Started


I wanted to direct this so its kept simple, but draws attention to some little known fact about you.  So here are my questions I hope you answer.  Also know that you are free to post a discreet link to your book or website (if you should like to do so) at the bottom of your comment after the answer.  So here are my questions:

1) How old were you when you began to write stories that were not required for school or any other assignment?
2)  What were these initial stories about?
3) Up to the age of twelve, what was your favorite book?

Okay, those are my questions.  Just to start off, though I’m not a published author, I will answer in a comment below this post.  Thanks for stopping by.

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~ by Suzie on May 27, 2011.

24 Responses to “Authors, A Few Questions About How Your Creative Writing Got Started”

  1. 1) I believe I was around nine.

    2) Writing in a Journal regularly was my first step, but I would also jot down short story ideas at this time as well. Certainly nothing professional, but it was fun to me.

    3) Black Beauty

  2. 1. When did I first begin to write: I only recently began to write. I helped my mother when I was younger, put her life story into a symblance of order. She never published that, I may do that one day.

    2. The initial story I wrote: That would have been the first book I started, “Roxi Needs a Hone,” that book wasn’t completed first but it was the first one I wrote. My oldest son’s first dog was Roxi, and we adopted her.

    3. Up to the age of 12 what was my favorite book:
    Without question, Dr. Seuss, anything by Dr. Seuss. I still like Dr. Seuss even today.

    Hope you all have a great day and, “Enjoy a book.”
    Rhonda, Author R. C. Drake

    • Rhonda, it just goes to show it is never too late to start writing. I am certainly glad you did and hope you do get your mothers book out someday. I would have never guessed Dr. Suess but I think those books certainly had an impact on many of us when we were young. Thanks for stopping by and answering the questions!

  3. 1) Hm, 4th grade, I think. At least, that’s when I first finished a story I wrote.
    2) My very first story was fantasy, about a boy who got sucked into a place called Weirdland where cats came in rainbow colors, all animals talked, and a sorcerer was trying to take over the world.
    My second story was oddly a sci-fi (haven’t written one since) about teenagers in a post-apocalyptic society who form a rebel/terrorist cell in order to fight back against the dictator responsible for destroying the world.
    3) Uy, favorite book is hard; I read so many. I loved Tamora Pierce’s quartets: The Immortals, Circle of Magic, Song of the Lioness.

    • Wow Angela, you certainly conducted quite the undertaking in writing early. Those sound like some detailed stories for someone that age. No wonder you are a writer now!

  4. I wrote a story at age nine or so about a bird and a frog on a raft trip up the creek beside my house. It was AWESOME, trust me 🙂

    I read mostly science fiction; one I remember is Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke. I also liked The Phantom Tollbooth. It’s a bit tragic because there were many SF books I loved at the time but I’ve forgotten which ones they were! I’d give them to my kids if I could remember.

  5. oops grew them into 4 questions 🙂
    How would you describe your childhood?

    Because my parents did not get along, my early years were like living in a domestic war zone. I used to joke that when you walked through our door, you had to duck. Unfortunately, the joke was sometimes all too real. Dishes, high chairs, figurines—I’ve seen them all thrown in the middle of an argument. Rather than face the reality of my home life, I often raced to my room and hid inside the pages of a book. At least storybook heroes were always good and storybook bad guys were always bad. Not like at home where one person I loved was fighting another person I loved. My parents never did learn to get along, and with a library two blocks away, as things grew worse with them I read all that much more. I outgrew our library’s YA section by second grade, and by third I was reading adult novels.

    How old were you when you began to write stories that were not required for school or any other assignment? What were those initial stories about?

    I was writing for fun by age six—mostly stories about ghosts and talking animals. By age seven I had written what I considered my first book. I don’t remember much about it except that it involved astronauts. It was handwritten and I’m assuming quite short. My mother, of course, raved it was about the best thing she’d ever read. I think her compliment probably cemented the future for me. She still reads every book and is still every bit as supportive.

    Up to the age of twelve, what was your favorite book?

    Without question, it was the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. I absolutely hungered for more fantasy like it. It wasn’t until I was 19 years old that Terry Brook’s Sword of Shannara came out and partially filled the void for me. After that, heroic fantasy works started popping up regularly until they constituted an entire genre. I probably read every fantasy book released until my mid-twenties. Today, there are so many, and so many good ones, no one could keep up.

    • I thought I was an active reader when I was young, but you certainly have me beat Tim! Sorry it was partially due to your parents fighting, but at least something positive came from it.

  6. I was probably around 10 or 11 when I started writing stories for myself.

    They were mostly what would now be described as speculative fiction, kind of surreal and dreamlike which will now make total sense once you see my influences.

    Like others here, I can’t really pick out one single book, but I was reading a lot of Ray Bradbury (October Country, Dandelion Wine, The Martian Chronicles, etc) and by age 12 I was just starting to discover more experimental writers like Richard Brautigan and Hermann Hesse, most of which went over my head but left me with a love for words and the music and rhythm of language I hopefully bring to my own work.

    Yeah, childhood. I’m pretty sure now why I wrote, but I didn’t understand it at the time. My childhood was a decent one, except for a couple of traumatic incidents which I now recognise as having a huge bearing on my writing. Part of us writes to heal, part of us to be understood, to be heard. It took me decades to “get” that!

    • David, I’m impressed with the types of writing and reading you were doing so young. I agree it is not easy to pick just one book. The main reason I said the one I did is I read it 5 or 6 times which was not the case with most other books. It was well worn. Wish I still had it, but the book got lost somehow when we were moving.

      You are right about the various reasons people turn to writing as an outlet. It is a very healthy way of dealing with our emotions!

      • Susan, yes, I agree with all you say. In fact, that well-worn copy of one book you mention reminded me of another, from when I was way younger: Where the Wild Things Are. That had as much influence as anything else on my love of slightly unsettling, strangely poetic surrealism!

        • I haven’t heard of that one. Sounds like it is good though!

          • Susan, if you have kids, or even know some kids, look out for it, seriously. It’s about monsters but it isn’t scary. Really, it’s about the wild things inside all of us, especially within kids, and that urge to let loose. Kids *love* this book. The writer’s name is Maurice Sendak. They made a halfway decent but odd film out of it a year or two ago.

  7. 1. It was before the age of 10
    2. Romance & superheroes. (Grew up reading/writing comics)
    3. I was heavily into comics then switched over to early Harlequin romances. I still recall the white slim paperback books,but cannot say that I had a favorite book at the time. But did have a favorite comic series-The Archie’s!
    Now I write historical romance, suspense and horror.

    • Wow, you grew up writing comics. That is actually really cool. I don’t think it ever occurred to me to do so. I think creating comics is a lot more involved than people realize.

  8. I started my creative writting when I was about 8 or 9. I kept a diary for a long time. I guess you could call that creative writting 🙂 After I was about 16 I stopped keeping one. Then one night I had the most amazing dream that I knew could be written into a great novel. So, I decided that I was going to write it. Before that point I never really considered writting a actual novel before. I am currently writting it and I hope that when it is finished that people like it 🙂 The books that I love to read are horror, mysteries, and thrillers. However, I decided to go with a adventure/thriller for my first novel. Still having dreams and still writting them down!

    • I wonder how many writers have amazing dreams with complex plots and characters. I’ve also written a handful of short stories that came from dreams.

      • Angela, I have done this more than once! This might make a great blog post on its own: summarize the plot of any story you wrote that began life as a dream.

        • That is not a bad idea David. I’m gonna let the current threads have time for any more comments today, but was trying to think up something for tommorow. That would be a good one. If you think of any more ideas, put them up in my new suggestion page. That goes for everyone else too.

        • Thanks for suggesting the blog, I think that was a great idea as well 🙂 I am sure glad that I mentioned it now!

    • I am always impressed by people who have dreams they can write about. For me, my dreams are often influenced by what book I’m reading. It is really interesting to appear in the story and “see” the people I have been reading about, lol.

  9. My first work was in junior high. A couple of guys and I wrote a play about the last ten days of Hitler, a true spoof along the line of the movie by Mel Brooks. Needless to say the school didn’t allow the production.

    The next time was a memorial to my best friend who passed in 2001. Instead of sending the normal condolences, I decided to provide the good side of Mike and wrote of our going on through the years. His niece wound up putting a book together. I was very honored that she started it with what I wrote, “Memories of Mike.”

    I didn’t get serious about writing til 2010. I spent twenty-five years in the construction industry. Things were going well until a disk blew out and my employer released me one week before the surgery. During the recovery process I examined the road life had traveled and put it down in words. What ride, rocky to say the least. Why did Everything Happen?

    The last major work was about my high school sweetheart. WE reunited after a twenty-five year separation.I wanted to share with others that Love is worth a second chance even if it has a tragic end. Breast cancer took her July of 2009.

  10. I surrendered to the inevitable when I was 41 and couldn’t find enough stories with enough story and adventures with enough adventure to maintain my ten-plus-book-a-week science fiction addiction. I won two Fan Quality awards for my first two stories (Dr. Who/STNG and Dr. Who) and began creating my own heroes.

    Favorite book before age twelve? That would have been 1958. I didn’t really read books. I read sections of libraries. When I ran out of science fiction in school, Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri main libraries, I read historical novels and encyclopedias. Loved all the SF writers. Thomas B. Costain was wonderful. Delderfield bored me. Tolstoy was a little slow. That’s about when I read Melville, too. I still had two or three of The Twenty Great Books of the Western World to read on my twelfth birthday.

    I learned to read at age five and had a book in my hand most of the time from then on. I went from See-Dick-see-Jane to the fifth grade and up section of the school library by Christmas. We got our books two weeks before school started and I read them all and did all the workbooks, so I got sent to the principle’s office frequently for reading books in class. About the only thing I wouldn’t read was “girl” books. I got sent to the counselor’s office a lot too.

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