Where to start?? Well... I could start from the point when I wrote my first serious story, but that would be wrong. It might bore you silly, but I really think I need to start at the beginning.
I was five when I wrote my first story. Everyone else in the class had written a sentence whereas i had written an entire story. I don't remember exactly what it was about, (something to do with ducks and a pond) but what I do remember is my mum sticking it to the kitchen cupboard for everyone to see. It was up there for years, and I found it embarrassing to say the least, but looking back it gave me more confidence in myself than any teacher ever has. My mum knew the importance of imagination, and also of literature.
It is fair to say that my reading taste at a young age was anything but dark, (although knowing that I found great pleasure in Enid Blytons middle class conservative world fills me with horror,) and it was around the age of ten when I discovered the world of dark fiction. Having read all my own books, and desperate for something new, I started browsing my mums bookshelves. Dickens, Shakespeare, Milton held no interest for me at that time, and then I came across a book of short stories by a man named Edgar Allen Poe.
Poe changed my entire concept of literature. It was no longer a safe warm place to spend an afternoon, it became a place of fear, excitement, repulsion, all those strong emotive reactions that Blyton could never provoke. What I loved the most about Poe's writing was that he could take a seemingly boring situation and make it sinister, not through action, but through his flair for descriptive writing. From this I moved onto stephen king and Dean Koontz (to name but two), and again I found description and characterisation to be what drew me into the stories.
During my teenage years I experimented more and more with small descriptive passages, always looking for new ways to show something. At sixteen, for my GCSE's I had to write a story on (and how boring is this!!) a sporting event. I spent half of the exam just sitting and staring at the paper; every now and again writing an opening sentence before scribbling it out. Then it hit me. Rather than writing about a whole event I could pick something small. Something I knew about (sport really wasn't my thing,) so I ended up with six or seven pages about swimming from one end of a pool to the other underwater. The feel of my lungs as they started to crave air, the burning sensation in my eyes from the chlorine... you get the idea. I got an A*
After that life sort of took over. I still wrote a bit but it was mostly poetry. My social life became all important and I was working long hours. Still, every now and again I'd finish reading a book and think to myself 'I could do that! Of only I had the time, I could write as good as King, or Koontz.'
Hahaha I'm not alone am I? How many of you are thinking about becoming writers and feel that the hardest part is the imagination involved?? And... how many of you (like me) now realise that it is a bloody difficult technical process even if you have the best imagination. Easy... My arse.