Greetings dear blog reader!
“You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair–the sense that you can never completely put on the page what’s in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page.”
Many bloggers state how they are “aspiring writers” in their About pages then yammer on and on about their genre or niche and the deep meaning of why they write.
I simply write. It’s my nature to create stories, characters and worlds.
I won’t attempt to be so condescending and tell you that I see the world differently because it means jack shit. We all see the world differently. I’ve been writing since I about 10, from short stories & novellas to complete books. The fact that I am an unpublished writer bothers me not a jot and it certainly isn’t what drives me to write.
I write because I must.
If the world crumbled away, and the world of computers, pens, pencils, paint, canvas, paper etc vanished, I’d scrawl my words in blood across the rocks because my inner writer can’t keep the stories dammed up forever.
I’ve read articles about budding authors who claim they “write for the pleasure of writing” and how that’s a load of bull. They claim anyone who writes wants to be published but I disagree.
If you want to write, then write. If you want to be published then submit your works and cross those fingers. Or get yourself a blog and hey-presto, you’re published, from a certain point of view anyway.
Maybe one day I’ll see my book in a book store. If that day comes and you, dear blog reader, happen to notice someone next to you, grinning with insane pride, don’t be worried, it’s just me and my proud smile saying: “How ya doin dear book reader! I wrote that one!”
I’ve been blogging for a while now, since 2009, but I only started taking it seriously (well, maybe not seriously, just more dedicated) in February 2011. Since then I’ve settled into a routine – Gasp! No! No! Routine must surely stunt your creativity, Dave! – Actually no, the structure helps me maintain the constant flow of creativity rather than diminish it. It gives me goals to reach.
I tend to post a couple of times a week, but don’t come knocking my door to check I’m okay if I happen to skip a post or two. When not blogging, yet still shackled to my PC, I’m usually editing my novel, The Range, a tricky and time-consuming beast that remains untamed at the best of times.
The Background Bit.
When I was in high school I wrote a book on my dad’s Apricot computer. You heard right, Apricot not Apple. I was into fantasy novels, The Lord of the Rings, Shannara, Magician, Terry Pratchett and so on, and my idea of a good story had to centre around elves, dark v light magic, vast epic battles, magical trinkets and every other fantasy concept I could lay my imagination on. My first book was called Wish and stretched, surprisingly, to around 90,000 words. When I think about it that’s quite an achievement for a 14-16 year old. Especially since I spent a great deal of time with my friends, mountain biking, 10 pin bowling, playing football – idyllic stuff you could say.
In my late teens I joined a local writers circle with my dad. That was fun. It opened my eyes to how others write and what their influences were. There were some outlandish characters gathered around the table at the weekly meeting and I’m thankful for what I learned from them.
I’d recommend joining a writers circle. You can learn a lot about how other people write, their styles, dreams, views and experiences. Even the most dull or inexperienced person at the meeting will at some point have something to say that may benefit you.
During my late teens and early 20′s I penned a range of novellas (10,000 to 30,000 word short stories) that covered various topics – sci-fi, action and adventure stuff mostly, yet they all had one common theme, romance. Honestly, I never set out to write about love or romance, it just happened! When I look back through them I see them as a learning curve, the bricks and mortar of my craft.
My life up to my mid 20′s was kinda weird for reasons I won’t go into here, but I never stopped writing. I left behind the world of fantasy and found my funny bone. On a Commodore Amiga 500 I wrote a second novel called Unreal, a sci-fi parody. That went through half a dozen drafts before I grew weary of looking at the same words. The manuscript now sits in a file in a box somewhere, forgotten and lonely. Saw awwwww.
The Up to Date Bit.
It would be a bit silly to say I have 3 writing projects on the go at the moment because to any writer serious about their craft that smacks of spreading oneself too thinly and not immersing themselves in one project.
There are a few unfinished projects tucked away in a folder on my PC, of the more interesting pieces one is no more than 20,000 words, and the other 40,000 words. I intend to give them they attention they deserve but for now they’ll sit and wait until I’m ready to return to those worlds.
In November 2011 I took part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and churned out 84,000 words in 30 days. I was very proud to beat the 50,000 word goal and get my certificate. My NaNo Novel, Shadowrealm Stalkers, remains unfinished like my other projects, but I know I’ll be coming back to it at some point. NaNo was a great experience and I recommend taking part next year. I hooked up with friends on Twitter to encourage and cheer as we ranted through the night, challenging each other to Word Sprints and challenges. Good times.
Bloodwalker Legacy – The Range.
I’m working on one particular project at the moment called The Range, a story about survival, friendship & courage. For a long time I’ve wanted to write about a specific genre and in Summer 2011 I put my other projects on hold so I could pen the story that had been worming through my Imaginationland to the point where I couldn’t focus on anything else.
I figured I’d write a short story, maybe 20,000 words or so, but that didn’t go to plan. The characters didn’t seem to like the idea of existing for such a short time, they wanted (and needed) more time to run around the world I had created. I realised my original plot had enough scope for a good novel.
I was worried my enthusiasm for the plot would put me in the same position as my previous projects and I would run out of steam. I don’t get writer’s block but now and then I find plots and sub-plots a bit too much to digest. My solution was to write the story in 3 parts. No point staring at the entire forest when I can only climb one tree at a time, right? This made it easier to work on.
Under the banner of The Bloodwalker Legacy are three books - The Range, The Survivors and The Retreat. I handed the 4th draft of The Range to friends to beta read. The feedback from my beta readers has given me a lot to think about.
In November 2012 I finished the sixth draft of The Range. The word count stretched from 70,000 words to 110,000. After leaving it alone for a few months I knew there was stuff missing, bits and pieces the story needed to make it complete. I now plan to start seeking out an agent to take it on. Baby steps, Dave, finish the book first!
Also in November I took part in NaNoWriMo and cranked out 57,000 words of The Survivors. I had previously started the sequel but due to stupidity I lost a few thousand words when I deleted folders from my PC thinking they were junk.
I’ve never been happier with my writing than right now.
Even as I write this I have a smile on my face!
I was seriously considering setting up a blog to showcase The Range, and set it up as an eBook on Amazon. If I use a blog I can fill with all sorts of information, back story, character bio’s, plot ideas I dumped, extra bits I’ve left out, I guess the possibilities are endless. I’ve read about writers who have taken this route in order to build up a solid fan base prior to being published. It shows a potential publisher there is a market for a particular book or genre.
However, rather than separate my fiction from my blog I think it’s better to let readers see all of me, my writing and my blogging. I’m excited about it because for the first time I believe I have a story that is worthy of being read by more than just a few keys friends and family.
So why the change from Noobcake?
You noticed I have a passion for writing. Anyone who blogs regularly will know that bloggers are smitten with the written word, and have a need to fill their ego by publishing their stuff. Hey, a bit of ego rubbing is healthy stuff! Noobcake gave me a platform to exercise my investigative, journalistic (ish) nature. I wanted an avenue where I could unhook my fictional world building mind for a while and enjoy a different style of writing.
I’ve found that through blogging my enjoyment of fiction writing has increased dramatically. With the arrival of the WordPress PostADay20011 Challenge I’ve been privileged to join an online community bursting with ideas, people with a huge passion for writing I didn’t expect to find.
When deciding on a title for this blog I considered some lofty arty-farty words, deep meaningful stuff that would grab someone’s attention. I wanted something that would encapsulate what I was going to write about, my writing style, how my thought processes work and so on.
As I continued to blog and made friends with some great bloggers I realised that the blog title Noobcake wasn’t quite right if I wanted anyone to take me seriously. So I changed from Noobcake to my real name, Dave Farmer. Hey, Noobcake is cool but I doubt my parents had that in mind when they were mulling over names for their little baby boy! I guess I’ll always be a noob, I think everyone can relate to that at some point.
Do I have any advice?
Yes! Plenty! Freely given! Though I’m not an expert on writing I feel my experiences are worth sharing. I have been posting articles entitled “My BiC & Me:” where I discuss what I have learned as a writer. I like to think they can be of use to other writers though they are more of a personal journey in the world of fiction writing than a how-to-guide.
Click this thing to see my Writing Tips section and have a gander for yourself. You may find something of benefit there, at the very least you’ll discover what I have learned and where my passion for writing comes from.
For those of you with a burning desire to write, to create worlds and characters and plots, one the worst things to say to yourself or others is: “I’ve always wanted to write.” One day you’ might look back and think: “I wish I’d done some writing.”
If you want to write,
be like Nike and
JUST DO IT!
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Based on a work at davefarmersblog.wordpress.com