Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Writer's Journey

Where to begin? Please bear with me, dear reader, as I walk through details regarding my life in an effort to share with you how Andurun came to be and my inspiration for this labor of love. For anyone reading, the Canticles of Andurun is a fantasy series I am writing; book one of which will be published soon. I wanted to share with everyone the circumstances that molded my writing, and what it took for me to use such a gift for God's glory and not my own.

I have been involved in fantasy writing for many years. I was an impressionable seven year old when movies like Star Wars and the Sword and the Sorcerer were large (not to mention Conan!) and I haven’t been the same since! I have always had a vivid imagination and would spend endless hours creating scenarios for my action figures to go through; left to myself I would likely have died from starvation. Fortunately my mother kept a close eye on me, and my imaginative endeavors began to turn toward writing. But I am getting ahead of myself. Before then, when I was seven or eight, I was converted to Christianity at the Cloquet Gospel Tabernacle, and gave my life to Jesus Christ. Tall boast? Perhaps it was, because by the time I was approaching my teens I had utterly forgotten my Lord and drifted into a nominal and careless profession of faith.

Enter my writing years. I was ten years old, sitting out in our sauna by myself with notebooks and pencils, brainstorming all of the story ideas I could fathom. My first story was based on G.I. Joe; I know it was a wonderful start. I was in fourth grade and it was a project we had to read before the entire class. I thought I was going to shrivel up, but everyone seemed to enjoy it. Perhaps they were just being nice. The summer after my fifth grade year I began to get more serious about my story telling. I was an avid horror movie fan by this time, having seen Nightmare on Elm Street, Evil Dead, and a score of other horror movies by this time. I was also very much active playing Dungeons and Dragons with my older brothers, and then with my friends. I soon took to the role of being the “Dungeon Master” and creating worlds for my friends to fight monsters in. The supernatural (as portrayed by movies and role-playing) intrigued me, and I delved in headlong. My first short story was called Death Stalker, and I went on in the next two years to write three sequels, while also writing a short story based off of Sword and the Sorcerer. I also wrote a slasher story ala Friday the 13th, which was supposed to be based off of Jack the Ripper, but I was twelve; I think all I knew about him was his name.

My first real taste of success in story telling did not come in any conventional method. I was still playing Dungeons and Dragons, but from the first I put my own spin on everything. I enjoyed creating monsters, people, places, etc. it was during this time that Andurun began to take shape; though it was in a very primeval form. To clarify, Andurun as you will read about it did not exist per say, but fragments of it began to exist in bits and pieces of my games and writing. Presently my role playing was heavily occultist with gods, demons, magic, astral realms, mind powers, etc. I had a loyal following of friends who were rabid (no offense to my former players) to play again and again. It was euphoric to have such control, to mold and dictate in such a manner. If that was a mere sample of what it was like to be the founder of a cult it was certainly tantalizing to the ego. As a side note, a number of the characters present in the realm of Andurun derived their personalities from NPC’s (non player characters to you non-gamers) that I developed over the course of time.

Finally in 10th grade came another break; this time in the form of my writing. A friend of mine was going to Cloquet high-school and had taken a creative writing class. One of his major papers would deal with a story at least five pages in length about any topic he wished. He turned to me to write it for him, and I did not refrain from agreeing. The outcome was a short story entitled the Crypt of Vampyres. Though he turned it in late for half credit he still received a B+ and was complimented for his great writing skill. He and I were thrilled. Why Vampires? I read and watched everything from Stephen King to Subspecies; my desire for the supernatural had become insatiable. I enjoyed stories based somewhat in the past (which is what Crypt of Vampyres was) and a good tale of good vs. evil. What I failed to understand then (and for a long while to come) was that my stories were more one shade of evil vs. another shade of evil, with some good highlights thrown in for color. If someone claimed to be good and did some good things, who cared if they were a blood drinking undead, consigned to eternal darkness?
To be Concluded.

No comments:

Post a Comment

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness," 2nd Timothy 3:16.

My wife and I welcome comments to our Blog. We believe that everyone deserves to voice their insight or opinion on a topic. Vulgar commentary will not be posted.

Thank you and God bless!

Joshua 24:15

All Scripture is taken from the King James Bible (KJV) or New King James Bible (NKJV). Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.