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Maze Runner
01-20-2013, 02:05 AM
What made us what we are, what made our characters what they are, is the other half of the story.

What experiences, circumstances made you what you are?

How did they effect/determine what you write?

Cliff Face
01-20-2013, 04:30 AM
I probably have Asperger's, though I haven't been diagnosed. But this might explain why I spent my childhood generally content to play on my own, and was instantly good at maths.

I was also quite imaginative when playing, doing one thing and then responding to it myself (ie. I was alone) and entertaining myself for hours.

Take all that together, and I probably was always going to enjoy writing. Or maths. But I messed up my science degree at Uni, dropped out, worked shitty jobs, and then finally went over to writing.

How this effects my writing? There's always generally some sort of light science in my writing. The rest of it pretty much just makes me want to write, but doesn't determine what I write.

dkamin
01-20-2013, 04:42 AM
In terms of what has informed me most as a writer, I would break into two parts.

One is a childhood with little friends (lived far away from them and I tended to play with myself most of the time, so imagination was key).

And second would be a mother would always read fantasy novels and inspired me to read them as well.

They may seem like little things, and maybe they are, but I don't think I would be a writer (obviously of fantasy) today if it wasn't for both of them.

Cliff Face
01-20-2013, 05:00 AM
Oh, you reminded me - I kept reading fantasy stories as a kid, and I don't know why. I mean, yes, obviously it was because I enjoyed them, but I don't know why I homed in on fantasies right from the start.

Maybe it had something to do with those books with talking animals? Just about every kid sees anthropomorphised animals in stories early on, but I wouldn't call that fantasy exactly. Though it probably had something to do with it.

Kerosene
01-20-2013, 05:22 AM
I used to play pretend on the school field with a few friends, for five years. After that, I moved around a lot and didn't have many friend through middle school, and in high school I was bored and started into music and got inspired to write.

I've never been a big "reader", nor am I still (its damn hard to find a good book, ya know?)
I was more of a anime/manga fan (still am, but I branch to everything nowadays)
So I'd really say my fantasy flavor is rather light compared to more traditional readers.

Ambrosia
01-20-2013, 06:52 AM
You'll have to wait for the book. ;)

Silver King
01-20-2013, 07:26 AM
...How did they effect/determine what you write?
Affect is the proper word. It's important to know the difference between the two words (effect and affect) if this thread's topic is to have the meaning you wish to convey.

lastlittlebird
01-20-2013, 08:00 AM
I was a voracious reader as a kid. I don't know where I got it from, since neither of my parents are readers and I didn't really have any friends who were readers either, until I got to university.
I had a kinda tough childhood I guess, maybe tougher than average? I don't know. We moved a lot and my family wasn't a stable one (and hasn't been since either).
As far back as I can remember I always had a gift with words, and always wanted to be a writer (when I was a kid, it was "a writer and a vet" or "a writer and a firefighter" or whatever).

I don't know what in my childhood influenced that, but to some extent since then I've shaped my life to my writing, not the other way around. I studied anthropology and philosophy at uni because I thought they would make me a better writer. I joined the Peace Corps and went to Africa partly because I wanted stories to tell. I'm studying to be a teacher now, which is partly to fit in with my writing as well (also because I love teaching).

To be honest, I've never really looked back on it this way before. And here I thought I was in control of my life and it was writing all along :)

Great thread, thanks for the insight!

Brightdreamer
01-20-2013, 09:20 AM
My father's been a sci-fi fan since the third grade. My mother was a Dark Shadows addict. They met via Star Trek fandom.

With those genetics, normal never stood a chance...


As for my own writing, I've never been especially social. Most of my childhood was spent in my own imagination, one way or another. I don't know that I would've called myself a voracious reader, but there were always books in the house, and I always leaned toward fantasy, finding reality boring. (It couldn't be me that's boring - of course it's the rest of the world...) Naturally, I gravitated toward the genre when I started trying to put stories into words, round about the third grade... and there I've stayed. (In the genre, not the grade.)

So, a genetically doomed, socially maladjusted boring loser loner... yep, that about sums me up. And it explains more about my writing than I care to admit.

(I'll have to do some creative embellishment should I ever write an autobiography, I suppose...)

Shenanigans!
01-20-2013, 09:51 AM
I had difficult learning how to read and write so my mom patiently continued to teach me and force me to continue on when I would start having temper tantrums. Eventually I found a series I liked to read and I got better at it. Pretty soon I was reading a lot from the library and looking for more than the series that had gotten me in. So I picked up my first fantasy series.

At the same time, I was already into Star Wars. I also loved the swing set in my backyard and so I would swing for hours, making up imaginary dogfights as I went. After reading that fantasy series, I wanted to make my own adventures in that world, but I was already making up things of my own. I had the idea of a chosen one as I started swinging....and I've been writing ever since.

crunchyblanket
01-20-2013, 08:24 PM
Dyscalculaic, although I didn't know it until I was much older, so I spent maths lessons writing poems. I had a poem published aged 7 and wrote solidly up until secondary school. My brother and I grew up poor and my dad wasn't around much and so my mum used to take us to the local library once a week where we could pick out two books each - one to be read at bedtime, and one to read ourselves. Mum says I was quite advanced and the teacher at school encouraged this as a way of halting my increasing disillusionment over the lack of help for my maths issues.

My family loved that I wrote poems. They got passed around and I ended up writing copies for nearly everyone.

I got to secondary school, was instantly earmarked as a weirdo for my interests (reading, old punk music, 'green' issues) and retreated into myself for the best part of five years. Emerged in Sixth Form with a teacher whose sister was a published novelist, and who must have seen something in me because she let me do my A-Levels on any subject I wanted as opposed to the set texts.

In short: I was a sad, poor loner with learning difficulties :D

Maze Runner
01-20-2013, 09:28 PM
Affect is the proper word. It's important to know the difference between the two words (effect and affect) if this thread's topic is to have the meaning you wish to convey.

I know the difference, just always make that slip, as well as quite a few others.


I was a voracious reader as a kid. I don't know where I got it from, since neither of my parents are readers and I didn't really have any friends who were readers either, until I got to university.
I had a kinda tough childhood I guess, maybe tougher than average? I don't know. We moved a lot and my family wasn't a stable one (and hasn't been since either).
As far back as I can remember I always had a gift with words, and always wanted to be a writer (when I was a kid, it was "a writer and a vet" or "a writer and a firefighter" or whatever).

I don't know what in my childhood influenced that, but to some extent since then I've shaped my life to my writing, not the other way around. I studied anthropology and philosophy at uni because I thought they would make me a better writer. I joined the Peace Corps and went to Africa partly because I wanted stories to tell. I'm studying to be a teacher now, which is partly to fit in with my writing as well (also because I love teaching).

To be honest, I've never really looked back on it this way before. And here I thought I was in control of my life and it was writing all along :)

Great thread, thanks for the insight!

Thanks for telling your story. We had similar childhoods. We moved a lot, I went to a lot of different schools, spent a lot of time with adults. Sudden change was a constant. I always had to try and figure what the hell was going on. It kept me on my toes, and I hated it at the time, but I think it made me analytical.

Lavern08
01-21-2013, 12:40 AM
You'll have to wait for the book. ;)

Ditto. ;)

Siri Kirpal
01-21-2013, 04:08 AM
You'll have to wait for the book. ;)

Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Ditto.

I'm a memoirist.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

williemeikle
01-21-2013, 04:20 AM
I write to escape.

I grew up on a West of Scotland council estate and I spent a lot of time alone or at my grandparent's house.

My Granddad was housebound, and a voracious reader. I got the habit from him, and through him I discovered the Pan Books of Horror and Lovecraft, but I also discovered westerns, science fiction, war novels and the likes of Mickey Spillane, Ed McBain, Alistair MacLean, Dennis Wheatley, Nigel Tranter, Arthur C Clarke and Isaac Asimov. When you mix all that together with DC Comics, Tarzan, Gerry Anderson and Dr Who then, later on, Hammer and Universal movies on the BBC, you can see how the pulp became embedded in my psyche.

When I was at school these books and my guitar were all that kept me sane in a town that was going downhill fast. The steelworks shut and employment got worse. I -could- have started writing about that, but why bother? All I had to do was walk outside and I'd get it slapped in my face. That horror was all too real.

So I took up my pen and wrote. At first it was song lyrics, designed (mostly unsuccessfully) to get me closer to girls.

I tried my hand at a few short stories but had no confidence in them and hid them away. And that was that for many years.

I didn't get the urge again until I was past thirty and trapped in a very boring job. My home town had continued to stagnate and, unless I wanted to spend my whole life drinking (something I was actively considering at the time), returning there wasn't an option.

As I said before, I write to escape.

My brain needed something, and writing gave it what was required. That point, back nearly twenty years ago, was like switching on an engine, one that has been running steadily ever since.

And most of the time, the things that engine chooses to give me to write are very pulpy.

I think you have to have grown up with pulp to -get- it. A lot of writers have been told that pulp=bad plotting and that you have to have deep psychological insight in your work for it to be valid. They've also been told that pulp=bad writing, and they believe it. Whereas I remember the joy I got from early Moorcock, from Mickey Spillane and further back, A E Merritt and H Rider Haggard. I'd love to have a chance to write a Tarzan, John Carter, Allan Quartermain, Mike Hammer or Conan novel, whereas a lot of writers I know would sniff and turn their noses up at the very thought of it.

I write to escape.

I haven't managed it yet, but I'm working on it

Chasing the Horizon
01-21-2013, 04:55 AM
It's funny how similar many of our back stories are. I had few friends as a child and spent most of my time playing imaginary games by myself and reading too. I was so heavily influenced by all the fantasy adventure I read that I think a part of me truly believed the adult world would be like that, full of excitement and adventure and romance. Needless to say, when I actually became an adult I was shockingly disappointed, lol. I started writing my own books when I was 19 as a way to escape back into the worlds I'd believed in as a child after I realized that was the closest I would ever come to really experiencing the sort of life I wanted.

I'm sure the various other dramatic and strange and terrible experiences I've had have influenced what I write too (because, despite my general classification of my life as boring, I also have always had a talent for getting myself deeply embroiled in complicated and disturbing situations from time to time). I certainly didn't have to travel the world for inspiration. There's plenty of horror, drama, and tragedy right here in my own town to fuel lifetimes of writing.

seun
01-25-2013, 01:57 PM
Read my books and you'll find out. :evil