When we first begin our lives, we slowly start to cultivate hobbies and friendships. Most of us first discover the joy in reading through school. As we experience the delights hidden away in the magic of stories, making our imaginations soar. But different people find the same sort of joy in different activities; such as novels, comics, movies and TV shows, music, or even video games. I did all the above and every activity I partook in helped me cultivate my skills as a writer.
Life experiences shape all of us as we grow up, even more so than anything we read, play, or watch. I know that I outgrew creative styles and activities along the way, but I also know everything I enjoyed at any point helped mold me into the type of writer I became.
Below are a few examples that mean a lot to me, so I’d like to share them with you.
Books: One of the first books I found engrossing was The Giver by Lois Lowry, but another that later helped shape my writing was the Charmed Life series by Diana Wynne Jones. As much as it was intended for children, and I was a child when I read Charmed Life, but not the rest of the series, it was a captivating tale with a fascinating world filled with magic that helped shape my interest in fantasy.
Video Games: Those who don’t play video games rarely consider that they can have deep, complex narratives, but this is what draws me into certain games, such as the Metal Gear Solid series, which contains a deep plot about gene manipulation. Yakuza, is also story-heavy and follows the plight of a Japanese mobster. The characters are each developed and intriguing. The Legend of Heroes, contains a deep power struggle, with every character is intricately designed and equally fascinating.
While those helped shape me as an individual and author, a smart man once told me; “there is no one correct answer.” Lots of people like to say what works for them will work for everyone else, but each writer has their own journey that led them to where their stories took form to where they are today. I had read lots of books, seen many movies, and played various video games until the fateful day that left me paralyzed. Like I mentioned earlier, life experiences matter to our path just as much as things we enjoy and that one, in particular, led me to be ready to write my stories when I finally recovered.
Some writers are lucky and find their path to writing more easily; I had to endure 34 years and experiencing paralysis before I did, but the route I took is what shaped me. If I was able to write sooner, some parts of my inspiration would’ve been different, which would have affected the trajectory of my tale, which would have been a low-down dirty shame. I tried many times to write the story I had in my head, and I never considered writing it in English until the last, final attempt after that experience.
Writing isn’t always easy, nor something you will be successful at per se, but if you feel like you have a story to tell and enjoy writing, I hope you find the needed preparation to enlighten your readers for the grand tale only you can tell.
Written by Dennis Scheel
Dennis Scheel has always had stories running in his head but was unable to tell them until after his accident, which left him mute and paralyzed on his right side. After he worked his way back through recovery, he wanted to try to tell his story once more after an acquaintance told him he was talented at writing poetry. Prior to that, his ex had convinced him not to write for ten years by insisting that he had no aptitude for writing. This time, Dennis tried writing his stories in English for the first time. Finally, he succeeded, and has never stopped writing since. The effort has produced three stellar novels: