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Write-a-Novel Exercise 1.1

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. 

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:iconnightwingsurge:
NightWingSurge Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Damn man, this was so touching! I tip my hat to you and give all the support I can muster! :tears:

My reason for writing? To be creative and free! Because anyone can be a sports star or a construction worker, but that bores me because I don't wanna just blend in with people. NO! I want my name to be remembered, I want to be known as that guy who made something entertaining to experience! I get to think out of the box instead of being restricted by rules, because the only limit IS my imagination (and how well I can certain things of course.) I can make a world that others can escape to when real life is being a big chore, write characters that can be loved for all kinds of reasons. That is my reason to write, and why I refuse to give it up! :D
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:iconjosephblakeparker:
JosephBlakeParker Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2016  Professional Writer
Oh thank you :)

That's awesome! I do hope you succeed ... and feel free to join the group and share all of this if you feel like being part of the writing community, getting critiques, etc...
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:iconstarboltarts:
starboltarts Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2016  Student General Artist
"Oh, the question.." To mock the upper class. Hahaha! Well, this should be an interesting excercise, and I imagine things may be words counting in the many. It's a lot of fun to mangle a sentence, to the puzzment a viewer may encounter by reading, only to figure out...

I don't normally write this eccentrically, to reassure whomever may see, but it does put one in loose mentality to talk about things, and may well be worth trying.

Well my writing is tied to a story by the name of The Hedgehog Brothers. It's a fan writing, written by myself, based on a game of playground role-playing I used to play with three very good friends at Age 10 and 11. Some of you may recognize the sentiment I'm referring to here. It had everything a pre-teen imagination run-wild "story" that wasn't an original concept but an idealized fantasy of our favourite media would have, and we freaking loved to play it. I have with me at home several self-made guides with pictures and writing, pertaining to said game as well. It wasn't just role-playing by any means.

That same attempt to re-design this very story into a digestible format has been a defining feature of my life for the past five years now, five years back then since we first made the story. Back then I had what teenagers tended to - god/messiah complex, in an attempt to cover up insecurities, but nobody could accuse me of my standards being low, and that will remain true.

Even now, looking back at my first attempt, I don't think the writing is by any means appauling, at least by amateur standards. Back then though it seemed as good as professional work to me.

It isn't. A mess of work, done at irregular intervals, in between my obligations to higher education. Ignorant thinking, simply put.

So I made it as far as September 2014, finishing a chapter, doing my university year, and quietly fretting about how I was going to move the work on. In that time I'd met and lived with several people, realized how off-putting my personality was, and learned a huge deal about my own psychology. Come April, I sat down again, to try and continue the fiction, and instead, I found myself writing what has come to be called Chapter 6 - The Reflection.

It was a chapter, written in a style I'd never written in before. It was considered, meticulously, word by word, sentence by sentence. Almost all of it was speaking. It was two individuals talking to each other; good old best friends who hadn't spoken in a long time, talking as I would to my own best friend, whom I often share my ides with. Once I'd thought of a sentence, down it went, then the thought process began again. And it flowed from one to next.

In my spare time, as a worker during the summer, I spent it doing what I do best. World making. These two characters needed a place in my existing world. They weren't pre-made like the rest had been until now. These were my characters, and they needed a place. By the time early november rolled round, I had my scenario with the two finished, and two others as well. I then repaced where it was needed, and moved forward.

By the time christmas had come around last year, the chapter was near finished. It was without a doubt, the best piece of writing I had ever written. Not only did it meet standard, but it flowed like a stream, the wording was fresh and clean, and the emotions came out. That piece was the result of self reflection of my writing, for the very first time, which is also why the chapter bears that name. I adopt this honest, articulate form of writing whenever, and as best I can, with all I write, with mixed fluency. Punctuation is still a bit rusty though.

My reasons for writing now, are to tell this story of mine in the best way I possibly can. The Hedgehog Brotherhood is my continual writing excercise. Purpose be what may, stories in the future perhaps. And ode to this narrative is my writing ability of today.

Also I do believe that sentimentality of that kind works wonders unlike any that serious writing can, especially in the world of fanfiction.
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:iconthewarofthering:
TheWarOfTheRing Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2016
Reminds me of a story my friends and I came up with. It started as a roleplay thing involving pirates, heavily ripped off from inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean. However, after we introduced sapient dinosaurs and interdimensional portals, it quickly transformed into a clusterf*ck of myriad tropes and genres. Eventually, the game sort of fizzled out, but I've been trying to adapt it in some form and finish the story. I'm thinking of making it into an animated series, but that's a loooong ways down the road. 
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:iconjosephblakeparker:
JosephBlakeParker Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2016  Professional Writer
It's awesome that you have a story that you feel that strongly towards. 

Feel free to send this, or something like this, as an official entry to the group.
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:iconstarboltarts:
starboltarts Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2016  Student General Artist
Are you meaning this post in particular? Or my mentioned story? I'll gladly send my post, if I know where to send it.
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:iconjosephblakeparker:
JosephBlakeParker Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2016  Professional Writer
Your post. If you wanted to participate in submitting your exercises (from my tutorials) for other people to look at and review. 

greenbat-tutorials.deviantart.…
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:iconstarboltarts:
starboltarts Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2016  Student General Artist
I would indeed, although I'm unfamiliar with submitting literature/text pieces. I wouldn't want the piece to show on my main gallery, for the sake of some consistency. Is there an appropriate way?
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:iconjosephblakeparker:
JosephBlakeParker Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2016  Professional Writer
Hm... you could make a personal gallery, write your piece in st.ash, and then unclick the "featured" tab when you submit it. I don't know of a way to hide it completely. You could alternatively make an alternate account, just for writing. 
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:iconthewarofthering:
TheWarOfTheRing Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2016
I really need to start watching Batman: TAS...

I think one of the reasons I'm interested in stories is the idea that life itself is a story, or at least, that's how humans see life. I feel like stories are everywhere - they're all around us. They surround and penetrate us, they bind the galaxy together. From the story of how the universe was created to the story of life on Earth and especially the story of human history, I see them everywhere. In Social Studies, when we're talking about the First World War, I'm thinking about how it serves both as an allegory on the futility of colonial era warfare as the start of a trilogy ending with the Cold War. 9-11 was like the opening scene of a really intense political drama, prejudice and racism are recurring themes, Napoleon was a complex antihero, even Donald Trump exists to demonstrate the flaws in democracy and the slow pace of paradigm shift regarding people's deeply entrenched worldviews and opinions. I want to create stories so that I can share with people the world the way I see it, as a plotline.
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:iconjosephblakeparker:
JosephBlakeParker Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2016  Professional Writer
It's totally worth it, even if some elements are a little dated.

That's cool :) You should post a full entry about it in the group. 
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:iconthewarofthering:
TheWarOfTheRing Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2016
Group?
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:iconjosephblakeparker:
JosephBlakeParker Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2016  Professional Writer
greenbat-tutorials.deviantart.…

It's for the purpose of submitting the exercises that go with my tutorials. 
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:iconthewarofthering:
TheWarOfTheRing Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2016
I'm assuming I need to join the group to do that, so I've submitted a request.
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:iconjosephblakeparker:
JosephBlakeParker Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2016  Professional Writer
auto-accepted :)
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:iconthewarofthering:
TheWarOfTheRing Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2016
Excellent!
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:iconslangwhanger:
Slangwhanger Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2016
Great post!
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:iconjosephblakeparker:
JosephBlakeParker Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2016  Professional Writer
thanks :)
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