The Last Christmas Elf
Over the next few weeks, along with the continued publications of my tutorials, I will be doing my own Write-a-Novel Exercises for my creepy-pasta "The Last Christmas Elf". To find out more about this project, click here.
Instructions: To be a writer and write a story of quality, you should know why you want to do so—to know what will drive you undertake this journey. Write about why you want to be a writer, and what you hope to accomplish by your writing. This exercise does not have to be of any particular length, just long enough so that you can move on to the writing of your novel with a clear intent. Interact with others' posts by encouraging them and by finding others with similar goals who could be ideal Writing Partners for you.
I suppose that the reason I want to write is simply because I love stories. When I say that, I mean that I love everything about them: the characters, the power of plot, message, settings, building worlds, the process of improvement, of growing as a person through criticism, and even grammar and language. I suppose that there are a couple of reasons that this love of story became so personal as to have become my dream, and those have to do with my childhood.
Growing up, I found myself looking for role models. I knew that I wanted to be someone admirable and good, but I couldn't find anyone who resembled what I wanted to be. Then, when watching what little television I did in those days, I found Batman the Animated Series. I very quickly determined that if there was any person fictional or real that I wanted to be like, it was Batman, funny as it might sound. But the power of that story taught me that to be a “hero” was to be powerful and hard-working but compassionate, and to help others—even going as far as to try to help the villains. And I knew that if I wanted to be anything in this life, it was a hero.
And that was how my love of story started, but I wasn't aware of how important story was to me until I was a teenager. I won't say that my teenage years were Hell, because what teenager's aren't? There were good aspects and there were bad aspects. But I did move a lot, meaning that my friendships were short-lived at best and mostly non-existent. Combined with the fact that I found myself being a foster parent at the age of sixteen for about two years (not in any legal or official sense, only by necessity because I deeply cared about the kids that I was taking care of and they had nowhere else to go) and then had them very quickly torn out of my life, meant that I had emotional issues which resulted in my inability to feel many emotions at all for a very long time.
The one exception to this was through story. When I watched movies with powerful stories, or read books, I was able to briefly access the emotions that they tapped into and gain catharsis a little bit at a time. Noting my growing obsession and having always enjoyed and excelled in English Lit, I began to write my own stories—both short stories and a novel. The novel was, of course, terrible beyond all belief, but it allowed me to feel with those first few drafts. Then, as I learned more about writing, I began to move beyond just the angsty expression of just raw, bottled emotions and began to work through my problems with my characters so that I could be more whole.
Those are the main reasons, among many others, that I love story. But why do I want to be a writer? I would like to someday make my readers feel the emotions that they otherwise might not be able—whether it be sadness, anger, happiness, fear, or anything else—and to give them the sorts of characters they might want to look up to or learn from at some point in their lives. I want to continue to learn and grow as a human being, through the process of writing; and I want to provide resources for other aspiring writers to do the same. Last, I want to spend my life doing something that I love, which is writing.