The Greatest Gift: who inspired you to write?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by furrylittlebantha, Feb 4, 2007.

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  1. furrylittlebantha

    furrylittlebantha Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 2, 2005
    It's getting close to Valentine's Day. It's also about two years since my great-grandmother passed on. I was thinking this morning about love, the different kinds, and the gifts our loved ones leave us. I haven't seen Tutu since I was eight, but the passion for story-telling she gave me has never faded. When she was healthy enough to travel, she'd visit us for months on end. I remember the countless hours I spent at the foot of the guest bed, drinkng in her stories and snacking on the cuttle-fish she brought with her (dry, salted squid). They were colorful, fantastic stories about her childhood in the mountains of Hawaii at the turn of the century, tales of black magic, fairies under rocks, hidden valleys, birds that don't exist anymore, making poi and tapa the way the ancestors did. Also frightening stories; first-hand accounts of Pearl Harbor, sorrowful narratives of Queen Liliuokalani's house-arrest and Hawaii's ultimate subjuagation. I don't know how much is true. Really, it doesn't matter. Tutu gave her "precious treasure, her Mana'aloha (my Hawaiian name, "the power of love")" a very, very precious tresure: an imagination. A desire to create, and share my creations.

    In the spirit of this month, of hearts and true love, share with us who inspired you. Maybe it was a relative, a famous author, or even someone on these boards. Whoever it was, tell about them!

    Mahalo to you all.
  2. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Squirrel Wrangler of Fun & Games star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Jul 7, 2000
    My 7th grade Enhlish teacher Mr. Lindblum. I was big on reading and as we had to do quarterly book reports, (do students even do these anymore?) I would do one every month. Written and oral reports.

    During one of the many times I handed in one, he asked if I ever thought about trying to write a short story and that he would use it as extra credit if I even tried.

    I remembering being floored by the idea. Me write? But over a weekend I thought about it and a story began to form. My first one was a tragic ghost story and the following ones all in the same horror genre.

    During one of out parent/teacher conferences he presented me with a thesaurus. It's the same one I have close by the computer. :D :D

    He would certainly be the one to gift me with a new and exciting idea that had never come to me before.
  3. LilyHobbitJedi

    LilyHobbitJedi Jedi Knight star 5

    Aug 29, 2005
    I'm not really sure what got me to start writing exactly, but there are a few people who encouraged me to keep reading and keep dreaming. When I was in grade school books were my one solace, and my principal (Mr. Wilson) was a big influence in my life. I was a girl who always got teased horribly in school and one particularily bad day, Mr. Wilson gave me the book Shiloh.

    Besides giving me the encouragement I needed, it taught me an important lesson. I've never forgotten this and it wasn't long before I was an aspiring writer.
  4. CrazyAni

    CrazyAni Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 23, 2006
    The tragic ending of RotS was my inspiration. I was depressed--Padme's death, Anakin burning, Vader being born--everything.

    So, I wanted to... change the story, at least for me. I didn't know anything about SW fandom back then. And, slowly, a plot bunny for my very first fic was born in my head. What if... something happened, and this something would prevent Anakin from turning?

    That was the turning point in my writing carriere. I started writing just for myself, and I liked it very much. Then, one day, I stumbled upon the JC and after a couple of weeks of faithful lurking, decided to share my story with the others.

    So, that was it. :D Nothing romantic, or supernatural...
  5. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 9

    Mar 26, 2001
    My first inspiration was the OT, since I thought there were no sequels, so I wrote one.

    Then, my high school teachers never encouraged me to write fanfic per se, but my 11th grade english teacher taught me more about focusing my writing than any other person.
  6. Jedi-Ant

    Jedi-Ant Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jan 3, 2007
    Wow! Let me see...everyone really, from Paul Jennings to Enid Blyton, J.K Rowling, my parents, my teachers...

    I grew up with a love for reading and anything creative, be it painting, sketching, or writing. Over the years, I gradually stopped the painting, and the sketching, but my writing continued...

    I was really spurred on a number of years ago by my grandfather, when he read something that I had written. I'd been really sick for about a year and had spent a number of months in the hospital, having all sorts of unpleasant tests and treatments, and while I was there, I kept this, I guess you could say "diary" of my experiences, etc... my grandpa was really impressed, and just his words of encouragement really helped me to want to continue doing what I'm doing...

    Writing is a number one love for me, and it makes me so happy to bring enjoyment to others with it!

    I've only just found fanfiction last month, and so far I've having so much fun!!!
  7. Golden_Jedi

    Golden_Jedi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 10, 2005
    My mom, reading me Hans Christian Andersen and Oscar Wilde before sleeping... I think every avid reader's ambition is to write.

  8. DancesWithBlasters

    DancesWithBlasters Jedi Knight star 4

    Jan 22, 2006
    Wow, these are great! I especially like your's, littlebantha! That's beautiful inspiration.

    As for me, there are a lot of people, books and movies that have moved me to write. My family is big on reading, so I've always done a lot of it. I always to used make up stories about the books I read to myself. Fanfiction with the writing, pretty much. I would become the characters I loved, and be whisked into their adventures and romances and the whole deal.

    I fist wrote poetry in third grade. It was all terrible stuff, of course, but we were doing a poetry unit. For a kid my age, it wasn't bad stuff. And then I completely forgot all about it until fifth grade when my teacher, who loved poetry, had us write it all the time. I discovered I really liked writing, and more than that, I was good at it! I had wanted to be a writer before, but it was then I realized I could actually write if I wanted to. So the years past, (two to be exact) and I had a teacher named Mr. McKim for English. He'd been teaching at our school for years, and people's aunts and uncles had even had me, back in the day. It was then I started writing good stuff. I learned so much that year, and I owe Mr. McKim a lot. He might have been a fairly easy grader compared to the equally cool (though in a very different way) teacher I have today, but he really gave me a lot of inspiration and really thought I would go far. As it was, that was his last year of teaching, and I was incredibly luck to have gotten him.

    Not that there haven't been plenty of other people. My family, my friends who are always ready with compliment, even if they think what I've written is utter garbage, or just don't get it, and other ff writers. I first got into this because I would read other people's stories and ask myself, "But what if something else happened?" And it all went from there.
  9. Ben_Watson

    Ben_Watson Jedi Youngling star 3

    Oct 11, 2004
    Christopher Paolini, the author of Eragon/Eldest. He was proof that you could do what you wanted to in the world. He was my second inspiration to go into the movie business, the first of course is the reason we're all here ;)
  10. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    Lucy Maude Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables. I remember sitting outside in my little meadow up in Vermont, reading about Anne Shirley in Prince Edward Island, and being transported. O:)

    And my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Nelson, who once wrote in a letter to my parents (which I still have), "I expect to see her works in print one day." [:D]
  11. DarthGaul

    DarthGaul Jedi Master star 3

    May 25, 2004
    I wish it was one person that did inspire me...but, no...twas many that did. Books, film and comics....I had many sources of influence.
  12. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 20, 2002
    I think I started writing because I wanted to hang out with all my favorite TV and movie characters. Yes, my writing career started with fanfic. [face_blush] Seriously, though, MacGyver was too cool to not be in fanfic.

    So I suppose TV and movies inspired me, but more than anything the aspect of straight out storytelling. My dad used to read to me at night, and I've always believed that's one of the best things you can do for your kid. And whenever my parents talk about their childhood, I always wonder how future generations of my family will know about such details. Best way to keep that alive? Tell stories.

    Plus, I love to make people laugh, and for me the most successful way is to tell a story.

    From there, while I've loved books and storytelling all my life, it was my high school Latin teacher Mrs. Newman who showed me that the Aeneid isn't just a long poem that you have to learn for an exam. It's a work of literature and intricately crafted. Without her I would've had no interest in improving my academic writing - Cicero isn't just a guy who talks a lot, he's a guy who deliberately chooses each word in his writings. Thanks to her, writing became more than a last-minute chore.
  13. Luna_Nightshade

    Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 25, 2006
    I too wish I could say there was one particular person, but there were so many that I couldn't begin to name each. I'll try though.

    First, my mother instilled a passion for reading in me--she literally read to me when I was in the hospital as a newborn, and never stopped. She'd read to me when I was napping, when I was playing, when I was cranky. Books were everywhere. When she wasn't there to read to me, there were books on tape. She taught me to read before preschool with sheer determination.

    My time at school was stereotypically difficult, and I had a rough time with many of my classmates. For most of my childhood, writing was my escape. I'd craft stories of how I wished events at school would have turned out. They were never vengeful; most were of the after school special/fairy tale variety where we all learned a lesson, but I always came out on top. It was important to me as a six, seven, eight year old to have that "reality" to go home to. So, to the children in elementary school who taught me to dream, thank you.

    To the first teacher that told me I had a skill and I could do something with it if I wanted, thank you.

    And to The Professor. He had, and has, a passion for writing like no other teacher I've ever seen, and that passion bled to all of us in his classes. My very first classes in writing were shaped by this man who always told us that we could write, and that he would guide us--all the way to publication if we chose. All of my classmates say his name almost reverently because we know we are doing what we are because he has pushed us all without even trying.

    So... that is all.

    EDIT: Judging from my screwups in here... you'd think I'd need some more inspiration.
  14. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 5, 2004
    I guess it just never occurred to me NOT to write. My grandfather wrote stories for me when I was little and my mother used to write original works. I sort of grew up around it and it seemed a very natural thing to do. I guess just as kids that grow up in a musical household will turn to music, I learned to love writing. Reading and writing were just daily activities in our house. Most evenings, my mother and I would each be curled up with a book, no television on, with music playing softly in the background. That's still one of my favorite ways to spend an evening. :)
  15. Lea-El

    Lea-El Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 13, 2005
    I've written stories 'in my head' all my life but I came from a no nonsense family where writing was unheard of so I never wrote anything down. Then I had a daughter who writes and has an unbelievable imagination I was encouraged to write. So I owe my writing to Jei-El and a very patient husband.

    Oh! And one little green troll who is the object of all my stories.
  16. CodyMonKenobi

    CodyMonKenobi Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 29, 2001
    I don't remember who exactly it was, but it was someone on these boards. I found the fan fiction boards by accident, and really liked it. I didn't even read EU at that time, but I wanted someone to write a story about Palpatine as a Sith apprentice, and no one would. One guy told me that I should so I gave it a shot.
  17. AnakinsFavorite

    AnakinsFavorite Jedi Knight star 5

    Apr 10, 2006
    Actually, no one person inspired me to write.

    I was a very bad child :p and had to spend many a boring afternoon doing NOTHING (except for homework). I soon learned that my mother didn't know the difference between me writing and doing grammar homework... thus, my passion was born.

    Since I've already humbled myself, I shall answer the question you are all burning to know... my first work was a re-write of Little Women. I always thought Jo should have married Laurie :oops:
  18. Merlyn_Gabriel

    Merlyn_Gabriel Jedi Master star 4

    May 28, 2005
    I can't remember a time when I wasn't making up stories in my head and using my drawings to illustrate them. I knew I wanted to BE a writer when I was 13 and I finished the last book of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I owe my love of words and word craft to JRR Tolkein.

  19. rebel_cheese

    rebel_cheese Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 6, 2006
    I mostly taught myself how, my mom has given me a ton of inspiration, advice, and support but other than that people have mostly attempted to shuffle me back in line to become another Ritalin-infused cubicle-dweller. Other than one of my preschool teachers and my amazing third-grade teacher, every teacher in grade and middle school had mostly tried to suppress my urge and my imagination rather than support it. And high school doesn't count, because my mom finally had enough of the system, the block-scheduling, and the kids and yanked me and taught me herself. Perhaps not surprisingly, I began experimenting with writing around that time.

    I refuse to spend my life in a cubicle, wearing clothes from Men's Wearhouse, staring at spreadsheets and code. [face_plain] A week of that and I'll be crazy (and writers already aren't renowned for their sanity :p). My mom made sure that I was able to discuss and think about anything I wanted to think about and have frank and open discussion. I've got a lifetime of stories, characters, and plots I want to tell, and I'm going to shove as many of them out into the world as I can before I die. So I guess I could say I inspired myself too.
  20. Star-Foozle

    Star-Foozle Jedi Youngling star 2

    Aug 24, 2006
    Wow, what a great thread. :)

    I've got three people who inspired me to start writing. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am today. The first is my dad. When I was little, he'd read me stories before bed. When I was in either first or second grade, he brought me his old boxed set of the Chronicles of Narnia books, and started reading them to me. I liked the stories well enough, but one night everything fell into place. There was one part in The Horse and His Boy where the main characters were being chased by an army of bad guys, and a lion. As Dad was reading, suddenly, clear as day, I could see the story playing in my head like a movie. I was amazed, and remember thinking, I want to be able to do that; to make other people feel like they're there. Dad subsequently read me The Hobbit, then LOTR, and then introduced me to the Star Wars movies. The wonderful stories he's shown me were what got me interested in writing to begin with.

    The next person is my little sister Grace. My family goes on 8-hour road trips twice a year to visit family, and when we were younger, the only thing we could do to entertain ourselves was read and draw and tell each other stories. Over the years, we created and built, or plane of existance, called Casira, in our journals and sketchbooks. Casira was the place that all universes intersected, and anything could happen there. You could even meet characters from books and movies. We didn't realize it at the time, but we'd just created our own fanfiction. Even now, Grace is one of my biggest supporters when it comes to writing, and I'm grateful to have her around.

    The last is my best friend/long-lost sister Kallie. We became friends in sixth grade, and discovered that we had a heck of a lot in common, including favorite movies and books. We both loved to write and encouraged each other along the way. When Episode III came out, Kallie had the brilliant idea for each of us to write a piece of fanfiction in celebration. Thus, my first official fic was born. She moved away nearly three years ago, but we still frequently keep in touch, and visit each other whenever we get the chance. To this day, we sign off on our emails with the acronym KWOS, which is short for "Keep working on stories!" :D
  21. Nienna_Narmolanya

    Nienna_Narmolanya Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 5, 2005
    I don't have one person to thank for inspiring me to write. Honestly, I'm not sure how it happened. :p

    First, I have to thank my mom who read to me every chance she had and passed on to me a love of reading. I was so entralled with books as a child that before I learned how to read, I would look at the pictures and make up stories to go with them. :)

    I also need to thank all of my English teachers from middle school through the present (junior year of high school). Each one has been amazing in their own special way and encouraged me to flex my creative muscles. And also my friends who have cheered me on every step of the way.

    It began in 7th grade when my best friend started going to a different school. To overcome my loneliness while waiting for my mom to pick me up after school, I started writing a fantasy/adventure/romance story. I would work on it every day after school and every morning in homeroom (which was otherwise a waste of fifteen minutes). One of my friends was in my homeroom and she would greet me every morning by begging to read my latest chapters...not that they were very good. ;) (The story eventually numbered 65 typed pages - something I'm still a little proud of since I'm not an epic writer.) :p

    My freshman year of high school, my English teacher assigned us to write a medieval romance. Talk about a dream assignment! When she returned the graded stories, I found she had written "Wow! The BEST!" on mine. I walked around in a cloud of bliss the rest of the day. :)

    Somewhere along the line I got my new best friend interested in writing and together with some of our other friends, we formed an after school writing club called the Dead Poet's Society (named after the movie, yes), sponsered by one of those amazing English teachers I mentioned earlier. Now, even when it feels like DRL is eating me alive, my best friend gives me a friendly kick in the rear end and keeps me writing. I guess I should thank her for that. :p
  22. TheLurker

    TheLurker Jedi Youngling star 1

    Aug 4, 2005
    Cool, what an interesting thread. It's really neat to see how other people got started.

    Well, my beginnings were much the same as all the others so far. I've always loved reading, and I could read before I went to school. And I believe it was already mentioned that any avid reader longs to be a writer, so I also wrote stories. I had all these ideas rattling around in my head. Mostly fantasy of how I wished my life would be. I wasn't popular at primary school, so I would write stories about moving to new places where my character(which was always me with a few tweaks so I would be cooler!) and their family would move to a completely new place and be the most popular kid in school and have heaps of friends. I also wrote a lot of stories about running away from home, because I thought that was so glamorous! Oh the strangeness of a child's mind!

    Needless to say none of these stories ever got finished. I'm great at starting, but not so great at finishing! I have many stories stashed around the place that are only half finished.

    I first got introduced to fanfiction when I was 13, and was into anime. I read a story on someone's fansite, and that had a link to ff.n. Well, that was it! Heaven! All the stories I could read, in one convenient place. After reading for a bit, I started writing, and I eventually worked my way through a few different fandoms, writing as the plot bunnies struck me, and now I'm on to Star Wars, with a bit of Prison Break thrown in for variety.

    I never had a specific person encourage me or anything. I haven't had a close friend into writing fanfic, and I feel a bit silly sharing it with people sometimes, as I find that a lot of people don't get it. But I always have you lovely people to keep me company!

    Anyway, enough of my rambling...

  23. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 5, 2004
    Two of my four children write. So I guess seeing mom scribbling feverishly has had some effect on them. :p I certainly wouldn't mind it if that was a memory they had of living in my home - mom writing, talking about story ideas, stuff like that. :)
  24. shanobi

    shanobi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Dec 11, 2001
    I learned that I loved to write in Mrs. McKetnie's fifth grade english class. The defining assignment for me was to write a short original fiction story. As I look back now I find it eerily similar to Disney's the Little Mermaid ;) - without the prince charming (I think boys were still yucky at that point), and a sea-horse for a sidekick instead of a flounder, and lots of silly little desserts like seaweed supreme :) Ugh! It's painful to read now - but I still remember the joy i had in writing it and creating my own little world. (this was well before the movie came out btw).

    I didn't discover fan fiction until 2001. I had no idea such a thing existed. Some of the first authors I read were Ginger Jedi,the SwedishJedi, and a few others i'm ashamed to say I can't recall at this very moment. I hadn't written anything since college and I found myself toying with the idea for a few months before I dared take that first step to post my first chapter of Going Home. Fan fiction has really allowed me to rediscover and explore my love of writing.

  25. Earthknight

    Earthknight Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 3, 2002
    Reading the works of Mark Twain and Edgar Allan Poe were my two biggest inspirations to write. The way they tell a tale is miraculous. They were so descriptive with their stories and I strive to be sort of similiar.
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