Wednesday, May 4, 2016

My First Book (starting point pt. 3).

When we were little kids, I think we all had something we dreamed about. We knew what we wanted and nothing was impossible. We knew who we were going to become and what we wanted to do with our lives. I dreamed about being a singer and an artist. I easily learned all of the Disney Princess songs and I guess I thought I sounded pretty good, because one day I was going to sing professionally. I knew that I wanted to be an artist because of my love for drawing. I used crayon and sharpie and that was about it, and I remember Mom being not very happy with me sometimes because, uh - well, let's just say my art didn't always end up on paper...haha, oopsie!

Anyhow, as I said in my previous post, I did a lot of story telling at a very young age and wrote many short stories, but I didn't really realize that writing was something I wanted to do until I was about 12 or so. Every now and then I'd read a book, but it had to be REALLY good, or I wasn't interested. Real quick, let me just say that my Dad had Wednesday's off from work, so I remember this particular Wednesday we went to a used book store for whatever reason. My mom told me I was getting a book (which I didn't really want), but she let me choose: The Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew. I chose The Hardy Boys. I began reading it in the car and was immediately hooked. I had finished the book in 3 days and was aching to read the other 65 books in the series (over a course of about 2 years, I just want to say that I eventually read them all XD).

During that early time that I had this newfound hobby, I went through what I call my "Disney Phase" and read Peter Pan, Alice In Wonderland and Through The Looking-Glass, Pinocchio: The Tale Of A Puppet, The Swiss Family Robinson, The Grimm's Fairy Tales,  and Anderson's Fairy Tales, etc. I can't remember the order I read these in, but I know Pinocchio was one of the last ones I read because it took me so long to actually find the exact book that Disney based the movie from (and now I have a very old, dirty, stinky, stained, worn, beautiful copy published in the 1950's with a library stamp on the inside sleeve). Sorry, I know I ramble a lot. Point is, Peter Pan and the Grimm's Fairy Tales are some of the earliest books that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I remember reading Peter Pan and thinking, "I want to write something as good as this." It's such a beautiful story. No matter how cocky Peter could get, he was still such a lovable character. There were so many parts of the book that made me wonder, "What is the author trying to say? What was he thinking about?" In the third chapter of the book, Peter says, "Come away, come away." It's such a simple moment, but it's also an extremely beautiful and enchanting moment. It literally gave me goose-bumps. That's something I really admire about J.M. Barrie. He took so many simple moments and made them absolutely wonderful to read. I don't want to overuse the word "beautiful", but I can't think of another word to describe it.

Soon after finishing the book, I began to think of what I could write. One night I had a dream. I won't go into details, but that dream inspired me. It really laid the foundation for the book I was going to write. I'm not sure why, but, even though I had written lots of stories, I did and still do consider this one to be my first book. I titled it The Enchanting Island and it ended up being about 50 pages - maybe. It's hard to say what it would be typed out and getting an exact word count, but in 2 of my Lisa Frank notebooks, it takes up 97 pages with a dozen or so pictures I drew. I was so proud of my first book, but I didn't have my own laptop at the time, so it was never typed out and formatted correctly.

The entire book was a dream that my protagonist, Elina, is having which you don't find that out until the end of the book. Somehow she meets this winged horse named Star who takes her on an adventure to the enchanted island. Elina meets a mermaid who sets her on a quest to find a buried treasure or something like that. Anyhow, on the way, Elina finds her long-lost brother and they ride seahorses beneath the surface of the ocean. She ropes a cloud at one point. She meets a unicorn and a princess. I can't remember a lot of the story, but I remember that Elina is about to die near the end of the book, and it's at that moment that, I believe, the reader and the characters realize it's a dream.

At the time I was just writing a fantasy story with the inspiration of GREAT writers who are all dead now. XD Now I really think about why I enjoy the books that I enjoy. What makes a story so good? Is it the plot? Is it the setting? Is it the characters? Is it the style in which the story is written? Is the the symbolism in the story? Is it the tone of the story? I believe it's all of the above and more. I've really been thinking about that lately. Every aspect in the book makes the story great. But now I'm all about finding those simply beautiful moments in the story that make it just THAT much better. There are so many good books out there, but only a handful of them are, in my opinion, EVERYTHING that a book SHOULD be. My first book wasn't that. It was good. Kind of silly now that I look back at it again, but I have high hopes and high expectations that one day I'll have just that: a great book. But hey, everyone has a starting point. ;)

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