Thursday, January 9, 2014

We All Start Somewhere

That`s a saying that most of us are familiar with.

It applies to many things. Heck, it can apply to most things to be honest. From the moment we`re born we`re always striving to learn new things. To hold our head up, to crawl, to walk, to speak, to ride a bike. The list is endless. And hopefully we never stop striving to learn new things as we get older.

The other day I was cleaning out one of my cabinets. Yes, I do tidy on occasion. Okay, fine. My muse was being stubborn and there was nary a hockey game to be found. So in lieu of getting angry with my muse for not remembering something in the book I`m having to rewrite, I tidied. While tidying I discovered two things.

One: Mister is a pack-rat. I already knew this, but sometimes it comes home with frightening clarity. You would not believe the amount of paperwork that man keeps. Do we really need paycheck stubs from the late nineties? I think not. So into the wood stove they went. Don`t tell him though. He`ll get tiffy then mope.

Two: Some of the very first stories that I ever put to paper. And yes, literally paper. As well as my first cover art, done by my daughter, who was probably around ten at the time.

Talk about a blast from the past. All of these are Marvel fan fiction, which I still write simply because I lust - I mean respect - Tony Stark so.*Whistles innocently*  After stumbling across these, and no these did not go into the wood stove Mister Why Do You Always Throw Only My Stuff Away, I sat down to read over them.

Oh. My. Gods. Was I terrible back then. If my editors could see these they would fall over gasping in grammatical agony. The heart and soul of these early works were solid. The plots tight. But the mechanics were ghastly. Simply horrid. Not a period to be found. Commas? Pfft. We don`t need no stinking commas! If you speak to the dear woman that edits my self-published work she`ll tell you all about my comma problems. I like to think I`m getting better with my comma aversion, but I doubt it.

It`s fun in a way to be able to see where we started. And make no mistake we all start somewhere.

I started here, with run on sentences as well as ellipses that spanned  a page. But the dialog . . . ah man, the dialog is snappy. The characterizations are damned good as well if I do say so myself. Pity I didn`t use any paragraph breaks . . .

The point I`m trying to make is that no matter where any of us are now in our aspirations, we all started out somewhere that is not quite where we are at the moment. And where we are at the moment is not where we will be in a year. We are always learning. I know I certainly am. Every new book teaches me something. Every editor I work with imparts some wisdom. Every review I get - be it good or bad - helps me hone my craft.

So, if you have a desire to write but think you can`t because you see all these fabu authors with fancy book covers and perfect sentence structure, remember that image above. Grab your notebook, find a pen, and start writing. Don`t be intimidated. Don`t let what you may not know stop you from grabbing at that brass ring. Do not let those who say you`re too dumb, old, freckled, fat, skinny, short, or rural stand in your way.

Remember, we all start somewhere.


S. J. Qualls said...

My husband is a pack rat, too. I wouldn't DARE throw any of his paperwork away. I leave that up to him.

I began writing within the past several years - I just read through the same old mistakes. Sigh.

V.L. Locey said...

If I didn`t toss out some of the paperwork we`d be buried in it.

I still struggle with punctuation, and those commas, in particular, SJ.

Jillian said...

very nice post. Love the advice as well as the artwork!

V.L. Locey said...

That is one of my favorite book covers! Thanks for stopping by, Jillian. =)