Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tip O'Day 368 - Something Was Lacking

Guest blogger Michael Keyth: “What made me write a book?"

I’m Polish, living in Poland. I’ve never been to the USA. I have visited the UK on three occasions, for just a few days each time. So why the heck am I writing in English? It’s not that I’m an English teacher and I have completed English studies, for sure. It must be something else. I have currently one novel completed, and am working on my second one. My family won’t read them; they don’t know the language. My friends, well, they know some basic English, but even those who took advanced English on their final tests, had some problems with vocabulary they didn’t understand. When people ask me why my books are in English, I usually answer, “Well this language is more suitable to write in.” It is. More words, better sounding and it’s the official language of our planet.

Still, what made me write? Me, a simple teacher with lots of hobbies and little time for anything. I remember in late 2007, when I was 23 and a horror fan, I was about to watch a long-awaited movie that just came out. I don’t remember the title, but it was something about ghosts. Well, I was never so disappointed. Another movie with ghosts killing everyone one by one, only for one or two people to survive in the end. Where are the movies where people oppose them, huh? The same story repeated with many other horrors. Every time, something was lacking. Something that could made the movie better, like different plot twists, different characters, different villains. Then I watched the Supernatural series for the first time. To be honest I expected something like a team with high-tech devices to deal with hordes of supernatural things…nothing what I expected. I’m not criticizing the series. I like it how it is, but I had expected something different.

Then it happened. I asked myself a very important question: Why not write about what I want to see in other movies or books? But how could I, with no writing experience (apart from some short texts for tests), and few books read at that time, actually create something as huge as a novel? Other people spent years working on their novels.

During my fourth year of studies, I was dying of boredom, gazing into my laptop. I decided to write something. It wasn’t perfect, so I had no choice but to learn the art of writing. I read around ten e-books about creative writing. Based on their tips, I did a lot of research, created characters, made an outline and wrote. After one year the book was written - over 120,000 words. Just to make matters weirder, I wrote it on my mobile phone during school breaks, train travels, holidays and waiting in long queues.

As I said, the first draft took me a year. Then I gave up the book for one year. When I finally woke up, I re-edited it within three months adding 50,000 words, and then re-edited it for the third time. Now I’m working on the sequel, and find myself liking what I do. Hundreds of ideas implemented into my stories make up for the mistakes which a non-native English speaker will make. Will I continue writing after finishing the sequel? The answer is a resounding yes, yes, yes. This art is addictive.

Check out the link to Michael’s book.

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