because of star trek
Reading usually precedes writing and the impulse to write is almost always fired by reading. Reading, the love of reading, is what makes you dream of becoming a writer. –Susan Sontag
Yes, I loved reading as a child. I read so much and loved it when school gave us so much of good books to read. I didn’t read the lame books, like goosebumps, but the good ones, like Journeyman Painter and House of Sixty Fathers and good, good books.
But I didn’t write because of what I wrote. I started writing because of a TV show.
See, when I was about fourteen we had cable for the first time in my life. Many of the small towns don’t have many, if any, TV channels without cable or satellite. With cable came our watching of a new TV show–Star Trek, original series. Yes, it is rather lame compared to the other TV shows now, but then we thought it was pretty cool and we liked it a lot. It came on every day at 5 pm and by the time we moved, I had watched every episode, all 70, except for one half of one.
I loved Star Trek. I thought it was awesome. And I wanted to be a part of it.
So I wrote myself in. It began as a small story, about five pages. The grammar didn’t even obey basic grammar rules; I wrote quotes one after another without a return. The first person, from my own point of view, severely limited the story line and the pen and paper made it impossible to edit. But guess what? I began writing.
It took me about three or four short little stories to realize I wanted to do more. So changed into writing into a three-ring binder and wrote it in third person, with proper grammar, but still on pen and paper. My mind buzzed with possibilities of what I could do with this.
Another thing happened. with me writing these fanfic books, I also got other ideas. I began to tell them to my sister as a bed time story. It was a long story, that I’d tell a little at a time and when she got tired, I’d figure out a way to quickly end it for the night at a cliff hanger. She loved it, I enjoyed it, and we did it just before we fell asleep at night.
That limited me in another way. I couldn’t tell her the story as fast as I could fill it out in my head. I desperately wanted to tell her another story while telling the current one. So one day on a trip to Springfield, I began to write the story.
From that February to when I moved that August, I wrote six stories in length of about 60 to 80 pages. Each one of the grew in interestingness and length.I’d write one, read it through once, call it done and sent it to my brother to read. It was a blast. I always had an idea in my head and I wrote it down almost as quickly. I
At this time, I mostly wrote stories about someone about my age. I experimented with first and third person, experimented with journeys, and just wrote, fast, long, hard.
Everything began to change after I moved. Where I moved, there was a writing contest. Up until this point, only my brother read what I wrote. I wasn’t ready to enter in something quite yet. I wrote something anyway. I actually wrote four stories and entered them all in.
And I won. Third place.
I won’t go into all of the details but I loved the feeling of it and I kept writing for the writing contest. And I learned the value of doing a paper edit.
Within the next four years, things really changed. I began to understand character development and dimensions. Characters didn’t have just one side, they had three, and I learned how to figure them out. I learned how to let the characters talk to me. I learned how to write for characters other than my own age. All that I learned from role playing with a friend. Those role plays that we started in jest became something very important to my writing.
The other thing that changed was I began to write something a bit more realistic. True, aliens invading Earth and making us their slaves, although we didn’t know it, seemed a little outlandish but I thought it more or less worked. Some input for someone else and I discovered that it was a good idea to not have a faceless villein, so I developed the character as a villain but also as someone who I ended up finding rather interesting.
By the time I finished with the writing contest and moved (again), I felt that instead of it being awesome that I won second place, that my story was actually better than the girl who won first place. I felt more confident in my ability to write, and more willing to admit that, yeah, I write. No, I’m not perfect in what I write and not everything I write is wonderful but yes, I write.
I haven’t even looked at the story I originally wrote. I’ve been too scared of the horror I would find. But I don’t write now because I want to put myself into a fictional TV show. I actually write now for two reason. REason one is because I have too many ideas in my head that all float around all happy and want to get out. Reason two is, excluding classics, I can’t find anything decent to read. Whenever I go through the science fiction section at Barnes and Noble, I hardly find anything worth even looking at.
So I suppose she is right in saying that “Reading, the love of reading, is what makes you dream of becoming a writer.”
Your reason #2 is why CS Lewis and Tolkien decided to write–seems like good company.
That’s sad, because if they though there was not good to read fifty years ago, then what would they think now?
On the other hand, if I can be in such company as CS Lewis and Tolkien, I am very pleased. :)
What started writing for me was I saw it as therapeutic because I was going through a lot when I was about 5 or 6. I wrote short stories, but I was always more drawn to poetry and reflections on emotions or human behaviour.
I don’t know you, but I would be so interested to read your little star trek appearances.
Besides the fact that I am not sure where they are at the moment (three moves do that), I don’t know how you could, since they are in a notebook, not on the computer. Any particular reason why?
Very enjoyable post. Star Trek is/was a very impressive show. I w understand your reasonings for beginning to write.