I am taking an advanced writing course this semester.
Yesterday, I finally sent in the first chapter of my first novel. I have written some short stories, memoir pieces and other small works but this is my first attempt at something big...
I am a little nervous waiting to hear back from my professor.
What I have enjoyed most is sharing my writing experiences with my daughter. When I started writing I was having some difficulties with the creative part. I find that writing creative non-fiction comes pretty easily to me, but fiction is much more difficult. To help me with my creativity I asked my daughter to help me by playing a character sketch game. In our game, we take the first person we see and tell who they are. Name, birthdate, where they live, hobbies, job, family, where they are going...whatever comes to mind. I find it much easier to be creative when I have something concrete to start with. We have come up with some pretty fun stories and we have had a few good laughs on the drive to school.
A few weeks ago I went to a used book sale and picked up an old book for my daughter...
Inside the front cover is an inscription that reads...Love to Gail, From Mum and Dad. For fun the other night I asked my daughter "Who is Gail?". In the past two days, she has written three chapters of "Gail's story". She has three pages of short character sketches for all of Gail's friends and family. She has been researching on the internet to discover what life was like in the 40s and 50s. She knows almost everything about Gail and is writing her story in the first person. Her story is really good. She is only twelve. She has inspired me to write more.
Our conversations have really helped me get to know my characters and I have learned that knowing your characters makes writing fiction just as easy as non-fiction. I'm not sure if my novel will be any good when it is finished, or what grade I will get or if I will ever get published; but, the time I have been spending with my daughter is something that I am so grateful for and will never forget.