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I make my living working in customer support, but I make a life writing.
Sure, that does sound a bit pretentious, but there’s something to it. I’ve always been good with words (written – not spoken), but it’s not until just a few years ago that I started writing actively in my spare time. Since then, writing has become a large part of my life and it’s the one activity that takes up most of my free hours.
I’ve written numerous short stories (of questionable quality), and I’ve recently finished the first draft of my first novel. I’ve written a lot, and I’ve learned a lot. I’m happy to share my experiences, and will do so here on the blog, but I don’t claim to have the answers, or to even know what I’m actually doing. After all, so much in writing revolves around what we feel is right, rather than what actually is right.
Other than writing, my main interests include music, gaming, and taking really long walks.
Music and walking go eminently well together, and during the warmer parts of the year I spend a lot of time walking around the countryside, looking at the scenery, dreaming things up, and listening to music. At some point I’ll get a proper camera to use instead of the one on the phone.
During the chillier parts of the year (not that Ireland gets all that cold) and on rainy days (which there are a lot of), I like to drag my laptop along to a cafe or a pub to sit there and write. It’s where I do my best writing and where I can really get lost in the story and just tap away at it. It’s also nice when someone else just brings you beer or coffee while you’re sitting there thinking about other things.
I originally got into writing because I wanted to get into game design – something that’s always fascinated me, but with which I don’t really have any experience at all. I figured that one way of trying my hand at it would be to create a game world for pen and paper role-playing games.
This would give me the opportunity to create an interesting setting, and figure out the mechanics and details and history of it; it’d give me experience in world building. Then, once I had a functioning world, I could use that as a backdrop for adventures for games. It seemed a great idea, and I still don’t think it’s a bad one. It just didn’t work out as I’d planned…
I spent a lot of time and effort creating my world. It’s a modern day fantasy setting, with elves and dragons and magic, but also with cellphones and subways and nine-to-five jobs at the office. So, it’s a bit like the real world, except with a whole bunch of the more common elements from various fantasy settings thrown into the mix. I set up a wiki for it here.
Then, one day, as I was going on and on about my world to a friend of mine, they suggested I write a story about it – a short story about a regular guy doing everyday things, only in this alternate world I’d created.
So I did…
Then I wrote another, and another, and yet another one after that. I even wrote a novel taking place in the setting. If you want to check out the first draft, you can find it here. It’s free to read, and you don’t have to give any feedback if you don’t want to – but it would be very much appreciated.
I created a world, I wrote little stories, and I wrote a novel. I did not get into game design though, and I’m not entirely sure I really want to anymore. I’m having way too much fun writing my own stories and making my own stuff up.
At the moment I’m in the planning stages of my next novel, which may be two different ones, with the end of the first one intersecting with the middle of the second one. It’s not set in stone and a lot may still change before it gets time to even start writing. Who knows, I may end up throwing the entire thing away and writing something completely different instead.
Regardless of what story I’m writing though, it’ll take place in the setting I’ve created. I’m very fond of it and I feel like it has a lot of potential for interesting stories. It’s a place that tickles my imagination and sets my mind wandering.
As long as I’m still passionate about this setting, I believe I can write stories in it that will intrigue and inspire readers, which is the main goal.
I’m not too bothered about what story I’m writing. I don’t have a tale that needs telling. Sure, I care about my stories and my characters once the story gets under way, but there’s no great fable lurking at the back of my head aching to be let out.
What I really want is to provide the reader with a pleasant escape into a strange and wonderful land – somewhere other than the real world. I want my reader to feel like the world I’ve created is one they want to visit and where they can have their own adventures and experiences.