ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rowena Cory Daniells, best selling author of the trilogy King Rolen’s Kin, set out to write the kind of books that you curl up with on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
Her new fantasy trilogy, The Outcast Chronicles, has just been released in 2012.
Her noir-paranormal-crime The Price of Fame will also be released in 2012.
Writing: Part Inspiration, Part Perspiration
by Rowena Cory Daniells
First comes the love of story. That’s the inspiration part.
This is me aged 7 with my black cat, Zorro.
When I was a child every Friday afternoon, the teacher would ask us to write a something in our composition books. I guess it was the end of the week, the teacher was tired and grumpy and so were the kids. I guess a classroom of children bent over their desks writing silently sounded like a good idea. Most of the kids dreaded Friday afternoons.
I loved them. It was a chance to set my imagination free and someone would read my story!
Because as much as the act of writing is all consuming and satisfying in itself, the reaction from the reader is the other half of the equation. I’ve wept and agonised along with my characters. I want to know that the reader has wept and cheered for them, too.
My poor teachers… No matter what topic they wrote on the blackboard I managed to make it interesting. Honestly, you’d think they set out to come up with bland topics. Didn’t they know the world was a wonderful amazing place?
No matter, I would show them. I could find an interesting angle in the most mundane statement. Somehow I wrote stories full of adventure and amazement. I wrote one about a fancy dress ball in space, another about stumbling across a space ship while walking in the bush and accidently setting off the launch procedure, and another one about picking up the phone and overhearing aliens planning to conquer the earth. (I was nine years old and saw the telephone as an amazing communication device. I even used special effects. I made the aliens’ conversation other-worldly by writing it with deliberately shaky handwriting so the teacher could tell aliens were speaking).
Did my teachers ever comment on the story? No, not once. All they ever did was list my spelling mistakes and make me write them out ten times. What was wrong with them? Didn’t they realise that the story was the important thing? Spelling could come later, (and it did with the advent of spell-checker). One word of acknowledgement would have meant the world to me. It never came.
But that didn’t stop me.
Because rejection doesn’t stop a real writer, they just keep on writing and learning their craft. That’s the perspiration part.
We grow up surrounded by stories. We learn important things through story (don’t be like the boy who cried wolf). And we look for story in events. (Why did he do that? Did he get caught? What happened to the people he hurt?)
But that doesn’t mean the vision we have in our minds can be transferred to the page successfully. This is where writing craft comes in, the perspiration that turns inspiration into story. I love reading. I’m always learning from other writers. And I’m always attempting new and better ways to translate my visions into words that will leap off the page and come to life in the reader’s mind.
There once was a little girl. It was so beautiful it took her breath away and made her heart swell with joy. She wanted to know the story behind it, but no one could tell her. So she made one up.
(Maxfield Parrish. Daybreak)
She grew up to write stories (despite her teachers). She hopes that when you read her stories, you will feel that sense of wonder, be thrilled by the adventure and cheer for the characters because you are the other half of the equation. Without readers, writers are just voices in the void.
Sorry, I got a bit carried away there. But it is true. I would have given anything for a teacher who recognised my love of story and nurtured it by introducing me new writers but I went on to write any way.
Sorne, the estranged son of a King on the verge of madness, is being raised as a weapon to wield against the mystical Wyrds. Half a continent away, his father is planning to lay siege to the Celestial City, the home of the T En, whose wyrd blood the mundane population have come to despise. Within the City, Imoshen, the only mystic to be raised by men, is desperately trying to hold her people together. A generations long feud between the men of the Brotherhoods and the women of the sacred Sisterhoods is about to come to a head. With war without and war within, can an entire race survive the hatred of a nation? Rowena Cory Daniells, the creator of the bestselling Chronicles of King Rolen s Kin, brings you a stunning new fantasy epic, steeped in magic and forged in war.
Rowena has a copy of Besieged, book one of The Outcast Chronicles, to give away to one lucky commenter. To enter please answer the following question then fill out the form below: Did you have a teacher who inspired you?
This giveaway is open to all and ends 12th September 2012
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