I wrote my first novel in 7th grade history class. Every day, forty minutes of scribbling words on loose leaf paper right under the teacher’s nose. I didn’t do it rebelliously. I was an instant addict. I could not stop writing. I’m not sure how I got started, maybe English class. The book was titled “Dream Boy”. That should tell you something about the content. My older sisters found out about it and that was the end of my anonymity. They laughed and laughed as they read it. But the biggest laugh of all was how it ended, Robby, and Marla kiss under the ‘aura borealis’. That ultimate goal (and only plot point) in my thirteen your old mind was the pinnacle of life. Aura borealis are lights in the night sky that streak, and flash colors typically only happening in Northern locations like Alaska. The setting was not Alaska. It was New Jersey. But once when my family was driving through New York, my dad pulled over the car because he saw aura borealis. My parents were so excited. I remember staring and seeing white streaks that to me looked like clouds or just stars. Maybe they were the real deal, maybe not but the idea of it stayed in my head and seemed like the perfect romantic end to a boy meets girl story. It was the perfect sister tease, that much is true.
What is my point here? My writing started with writing. I have friends who say they want to write a book, but they don’t know where to begin. I tell them to think up a character, a situation that character is in and what he/she is going to do about it then start putting it down on paper (maybe not during a class). Write. It doesn’t have to be good. It could be pages and pages of scenes that overflow from your imagination. Whatever it is, it can be called a beginning. Write on!