My daughter is an avid Fantasy fan. If she’s not reading Martin’s ‘Song of Ice and Fire’, she’s playing World of Warcraft or The Gathering (Magic) cards. She wants to write a Fantasy story (High Fantasy) that has been bottled up in her head for awhile.
My philosophy is stop talking about it and “just do it”. Yeah, really deep, motivating, and thought provoking, but I try to think back when I first began to put my story to paper. Was it that difficult to start? What was the catalyst? I’m sure this is different for each person writing their first story.
For me, I began writing when I was stationed in South Korea. It was an ‘unaccompanied’ assignment—meaning my family would not join me. Separation from my family was my catalyst. I discovered I was a creature that needed those I love close to me. I wrote to Cathy constantly and I began writing her poetry to better express what she and the girls meant to me.
Writing letters and dabbling in poetry does not translate into an epic, Low Fantasy story. No, but I attribute this as the trigger. Like my daughter, I also had a story in my head and never really knew what to do with it. When faced with another duty assignment that would separate me from my family, I resigned my commission and left the military. In that three month span of unemployment—post military and pre software engineer for a large IT company, I wrote. That was another discovery I made, I am not a creature meant to sit idle…I needed to do something. I wrote my story. I wrote the first book of ‘The Bounds’. Of course it was really rough, but I did it.
So what can my daughter do to start writing her story? Does she need a catalyst…something that happens that propels her to write? All I can say is “just do it”, and give her all the support and advice I can. I can’t conjure her catalyst.