I have always wanted to be a writer.
From a very early age, I was dictating stories to people in my family–like my Grandma Lucy–to compliment the pictures I drew. The very first story I wrote was about Ralph from Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle trilogy. (This was also one of my favorite series growing up. I loved the big adventures that Ralph had as a little mouse.) I still have that piece of prose, spelling and probably grammar mistakes, in a special folder.
inspiration is all around us
I’ve always been a thinker. I’ve always been writing stories in my head, formulating scenes in my mind, ones that intrigue me as a writer. Whenever I do this, it’s kind of like watching a film for the very first time: I don’t know what’s going to happen, so I keep molding the clay for the claymation.
I get my inspiration from pretty much everything: tumblr posts, music I listen to, and books I read. I sometimes even get inspired while doing boring tasks, like putting on my makeup in the morning before I go to work.
making pictures in my mind: the process
I do a ton of free writing. It’s actually how I process my stories and poems. I get a flash–like a bolt of lightning crackling across the sky–of something (i.e. a scene where three characters are on a beach), and run with it. Maybe two of the three characters are a couple, and perhaps they are arguing. What are they arguing about? Their status as friends? As a couple? Why is one of the guy’s bleeding? Why he is in pain? These are questions that I answer the longer I run the reel in my mind. I let the scene–like a scene from a movie–play out, and then either discard it or let it simmer.
making pictures in my mind: laying the groundwork for a new novel
The rough sketch of what I’m describing to you is actually the first mental scene that popped into my head one day. It what was brought me to create the new fantasy novel that I’m currently writing.
While I’m very exited about my two new leads, both of whom happen to be queer and are in a budding relationship, I won’t reveal their names or the actual plot of the novel, because I don’t want anyone to either steal it or give myself away.
Someday, when it’s hopefully published, then I’ll pester you all about going and reading it. *laughs*
One thing I am proud of is how I’m incorporating mental health and the act of dealing with past trauma in this particular novel. This is new territory for me, but one that I personally have some experience with. I’m writing what I know—or in this case, something of what I’ve experienced when dealing with my past and with my depression. (I’m also a hugely empathetic person. I do my best in my daily life to empathize with people who can sometimes be seen as outsiders. It’s important to bring a voice to people of different communities.)
writing is for forever: final thoughts & ramblings
In my life, I want to continue to write. I want to continue to be an ally for those who are different from me in literature, especially people who have a different gender and sexuality than me. As a straight person, I champion and wholly believe in LGBTQ+ rights, as well as telling queer stories.
I do my darndest to make the topic of sexuality seem natural, like it’s not a big deal. I hopefully try to make it go a little like this: Sure, my main characters are gay. Yes, they are in a relationship. But there’s an adventure to be had, and delicious food to eat. Oh, and there’s fire magic. And there’s a modern city in the middle of a fantasy world. What’s that doing there?
What I’m trying to do is put my characters first–like their beliefs, their hopes and dreams, their fears, etc.–and their sexuality and gender second. Rainbow Rowell does this really well, and very naturally, in her Simon Snow series. Yeah, it’s about two guys in a relationship. Yes, there’s romantic stuff, but there’s magic, and vampires, and going to America. And kissing.
Another one of my favorite authors who writes gay characters is K.D. Edwards. He puts his characters first, and makes their sexualities seem natural. I also love his Tarot Sequence books. They have some of the best character development and urban fantasy world building I’ve read in quite some time. (I should re-read them.)
So, in the end, I’m trying to do what these two authors are doing with their LGBTQ+ characterization. I’m trying to write something that I myself don’t identify with, but have some understanding (and an obsessive passion) for. In the end, I champion the underdogs of society, those of us who are seen as different. I’m different–in a good way–because of my autism, for example.
I knew ever since I was a little girl that I wanted to write. I wanted to tell fresh, gripping stories. As an adult, I still want to create and pen/type fresh and exciting ideas, charter new worlds, and make people love my characters. I want to share the creations in my head with others, because it just wouldn’t be fair if I kept it all to myself. The world needs new ideas, and new places to escape to. I plan on doing just that for a very long time.
Are you a writer? If so, when did you know you wanted to take writing seriously?
Thanks for reading,