Sunday, February 19, 2017

Catherine's Craziness: My Backstory




Hello all,

I promised that I would tell my backstory, so buckle your seat belts and don't feed the animals on the way please.....lol.

My imagination started creating worlds when I was little. Playing pretend was one of my favorite games (still is!!). And when my inventions gave out, I pretended that I was in my favorite movies, changing the plot rather shamefully.

I truly started writing fiction when I was in middle school. I started out with some really bad stories that were true products of my imagination. Not realistic at all. It makes me laugh to think about it now....

But then my best friend at the time gave me a story draft that she had written. We soon were swapping drafts via email, but neither story never really got any further than the first few chapters. (That draft is currently hiding on my computer somewhere....)

To this day, I blame that innocent story for the consequential damage that followed. Because.....a muse had been awakened. Suddenly I was writing my own stories, crowding various notebooks and several hundred pages of loose paper in my *spare* time. Several short stories drafts and one novel idea emerged in various stages.

I was writing on and off when I took a creative writing course in high school. In this course, I had to create "journal entries" which were mostly either chapters of a novel or short stories.

I took the short story route. My first stories in my high school journal were a series of 3 short stories called Carla Rosa Train of Thoughts. They were about a girl detective who, in the middle of busting drug gangs, pursues a handsome but hard police sergeant. They were inspired by a random five-word bank, of all things. I used the rest of the journal to try out other short stories and other forms of writing (including writing songs for a melodrama that I was writing for another class!). But I really liked my Carla Rosa stories the best.

After high school, my muse went back to its on-again-off-again relationship. I explored my muse a little more, discovering the art of list making on paper and the computer. I would write scene ideas and characterizations as they came to me, but never really completed any stories. In college, I started realizing the power of music for inspiring stories. I was looking for Celtic music and found Adrian von Ziegler. He is a neo-Celtic fantasy composer and places a lot of his compositions on Youtube. I still use a lot of his music to help me write out story ideas.

In the spring of my sophomore year of college, I took another creative writing course....one vastly different from my high school one. In this class, we had to create only three short stories, in addition to a couple of exercises. We would then critique each others stories.

My first story was a reboot of my first Carla Rosa story. My muse was really rebellious...it refused to create a story. My poor little resurrected story was lauded as good, but unrealistic. I started to figure out that tales needed a grain of truth and reality to them, not to be creations of pure imaginations.

My second story idea came to me in my creative writing class one day, and to be honest I spent more time creating it than paying attention. After I had written the whole idea out, I became obsessed with one character. I ended up leaving my original idea and wrote a two-part backstory about her. To this day, it's the only story that I've really finished, though I plan to resurrect that original plot bunny into a sequel in the near future. My professor has wanted me to go further with the story, possibly to get it published. I haven't really pursued it....yet.

The main reason is that I discovered that I write in "snapshots". I write out individual scenes (mostly as they play out in my imagination) and then weave them together in a plot. It's these "seams" that are my Waterloo. I don't feel that my story is good enough yet because of the 'seams' that I've put into it. I've got a feeling that the fact that I list everything before I write it may have something to do with it.....any ideas?

And so....to the present day, with me surrounded by many story ideas and drafts of stories, with nothing published yet. I write simply because.....I enjoy it, a lot. Lately, my muse has been wanting to create little sketches instead of stories right now. I'm thinking of posting one soon. 😁

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

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