PICK MY BRAIN: How I Started Writing
HOW DID YOU START WRITING?
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I used to read a lot when I was younger. I went through a phase around highschool and couldn't stop reading every YA book I could find. I really wanted to write one of my own, but at the time I'd only ever written short stories and had no idea how to finish a full-length novel. I'd write a little and then lose interest or come up with another idea and abandon the last one. So I've always had the writing bug, but I was starting to think I didn't have the attention span to write a whole story.
I didn't finish a full-length novel until I was 17. I couldn't settle on a subject, so I decided to experiment with something very personal. I used to have pretty intense nightmares when I was younger. I wrote them all down in a journal and one dream pushed me a little over the edge. It had a lot to do with mirrors and seeing into other places and times through these mirrors. In my dream, this king was obsessed with keeping an eye on his people and he was paranoid about everyone around him. Paranoid they were all trying to betray him. This paranoia made him collect hundreds of mirrors to spy on his kingdom and he spent all his time in this dusty loft in his castle looking into these mirrors. Eventually, it drove him to kill his own wife and that darkness gave him an ability to also manipulate things through the mirrors. I took that idea and expanded on it, eventually combining other nightmares to create an entire world that was kind of terrifying but at the same time very fantastical and beautiful. Once I finished that book, finishing more was so easy I couldn't stop. I had so many ideas and I just kept going.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHAT TO WRITE?
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I get ideas EVERYWHERE. My first finished novel was based on my dreams. My first completed series started when I decided to base characters off of people I knew. At the time it was my cousins. We spent so much time together and their personalities inspired characters which in turn inspired a story. My next book was inspired by a joke. Literally. My cousins, my friend and I were eating lunch and someone mentioned how a book called "Wizards vs. Zombies" would be such an eye-catcher because the title is so strange. At that moment, we all looked at each other and ideas started firing. We came up with a futuristic story about superhumans and failed experiments that took over the cities and super-soldiers. We decided to each write our own characters stories and then intertwine them later. Eventually, I took over the whole book, but it was such a fun bonding experience for us and we were so passionate about it.
My other novel, which I will hopefully be releasing next year, is a post-apocalyptic scifi story, which was also based on a very detailed dream I had of a post-apocalyptic future where animals had metal exoskeletons. Again, I expanded and made a whole world inspired by that one detail. Most times, however, I put strange things together in my head and something usually comes of it. Magic and futuristic technology. Werewolves and mermaids. Mutants and zombies. So really everything I do is inspired by completely different things. The smallest thing can turn on that light bulb. From there, it just depends on whether the inspiration will stick long enough to create a whole world.