Experiences As An "Author"

Perhaps nobody would have a real interest in reading this, but I wanted to say something about the experience. It was and continues to be an interesting one.

Preface (Or Why?)William's First Story

I love to read books and other materials. I'll read just about anything, big or small. A few years back my mother wrote a fictional story based in part on her childhood*. I helped out a lot with that story, oftentimes reformatting it in the process of sending it to publishers and literary agents for consideration. Naturally this often involved reading her story to make sure everything looked OK, and while I was reading it I got to thinking that perhaps writing a work of fiction would be interesting. Then the reality of how many hours my mom had spent on her story hit me...and so I pondered writing my own in the back of my mind, but that's as far as it got. I just continued to read things without trying to perhaps write my own story.

Friends of mine have also written about things.

Back sometime in 2003, I sat down at the computer in my bedroom while listening to one of my favorite radio programs. I started fiddling around on the WWW, but then I had an idea--what if I just sat there and wrote a work of fiction? How much time would it really take me?

So I did. Many weeks of listening to the radio program and countless hours later I had 114 pages worth of story that I'd written. I think that it took about 3 months just working on it during weekends and such to get it finished. It was really a lot of fun and the time went by unbelievably quickly. Plus, when it was finished, it was cool to say that I'd written an actual story.

This leads to one point of this page: If you've got a story or want to write one, sit down and DO IT! The time will go by faster than you think. Don't worry about errors or what others might think of it. You don't have to show anyone your work if you don't want to.

One Good Thing Wasn't Enough...

Since the first story was written, I've done a second and a third. Work recently started on a fourth. The other two finished stories are similar in length to the first give or take maybe 10 pages. They've also been a lot of fun.

Now this might have you asking why I wrote so much, and here are some of the reasons that I feel compelled me to write more:

  1. Above all else, working on my story was an escape. My "real job" gets very stressful at times, and it has been VERY nice to turn on the computer and write about a world where those things don't exist.
  2. It let me explore things I wanted to think about...or things that I was curious about. Suddenly learning about a given something wasn't done "just because I could"...I was actually writing and needed reference material every now and then.
  3. It was good maintenance for my typing skills. I'm a pretty good typist, at least most of the time...but everybody can use some refresher work now and then.
  4. Characters and events in my story weren't all "resolved" by the ending of the first story. Some of the things I wrote about spanned more than one of the stories I wrote. Also, once I had the gears turning so to speak, it was easy to keep going and come up with new ideas. Rather than just stop with one story, I've let the ideas keep coming.
  5. I have a very active imagination. When I was child I acted out my imagination in the form of play. Being an adult now reduces my ability to play, but I can still write out what my imagination comes up with.

So now you hopefully understand my rationale behind writing.

So Why Can't I Read Your Stories Here?

Well, that's a good question.

First and foremost, I did the work for my own personal enjoyment. To say that I was somewhat lax at times with sentence structure, spelling or grammar is certainly the truth. I didn't put much work into "polishing" the stories I wrote, so if I were to publish them here, you'd no doubt see plenty of silly mistakes.

Secondly--I used real people that I know (but not necessarily "love") as characters in my stories. Most of the time I thought up false names and such, but usually nothing particularly creative or different from the person's real name. I made no secret of the fact that some of these people are not people I really care for.

(sidenote that nobody cares about: I find names interesting. Not so much because of their commonly accepted meanings, but what they mean to people and why your parents named you what they did...and why some people find the gift of their name to be undesirable and change it or go by other parts of it...)

Also, I want to maintain control over my works. If I posted them here at some point and then decided against it...I couldn't guarantee my stories wouldn't just show up somewhere else. I also had concerns about people stealing my work and slapping their name on it.

Another reason I chose not to publish my stories here had to do with the contents. Scenes, happenings, dialog(ue?) and things in my stories track closely with my interests, life and curiousities. Some of these are pretty normal, but just like other people I have interests that some might consider strange or downright nutty. Some of the thoughts expressed also border on confidential, and I cannot betray the trust others put in me with their confidential information.

Finally, I'm also (quite) a bit self conscious. I don't have the desire to put my life on display online, and parts of my stories do reflect heavily on my past and present experiences in my life so far.

Hopefully that makes it clear why I have not and will not be publishing my stories online.

I'm Working Up Toward Something Bigger Someday...

I guess now there is just one question left to answer, even if I have touched on it already...why did I do this?

In addition to the reasons outlined above, I'd like to think that someday I will write and hopefully have published an autobiography. Maybe nobody would read it or even care very much about a relatively "everyday" person such as myself, but that doesn't change the fact that I like very much to talk about my experiences and hope someone could get something out of them.

So, I guess you could say that in writing these fictional stories, I am working up toward writing a story of my life...


* My Mother's Story...is a fictional romance/mystery novel entitled "Double Takes". Unlike my stories, she'd really like to get hers published someday. If you are a literary agent or happen to have connections in the industry, and are looking for some fresh work from a newcomer to the industry, please drop us a line.