Sunday, January 5, 2014

Ben Woodard – What Inspired Me to Write My Book @benswoodard

What Inspired Me to Write My Book

My writing career started when I first told a story to my oldest grandchild. I was amazed to find out that I could come up with weird, and sometimes wonderful, adventures off the top of my head.

From this I went to telling stories in grade schools through a group called Spellbinders. They provided training for anyone who was willing to go to schools and keep alive the oral tradition of storytelling. I absolutely loved this. And quite often I would tell the stories that I had made up for my grandkids.

My wife, who is a former bookstore owner, told me one day that I needed to write these down. I balked. I didn’t want to be a writer. My career was as an engineer and marketing specialist and I spent a considerable time writing manuals and marketing materials. This was definitely something I did not want to do again. But the excitement of making up a story and seeing it come to life was more than I could resist. Suddenly, I thought I’d found the best job in the world.

Often, I would start writing in the evening and continue until early morning. I was constantly writing and always excited, and then reality arrived. My critique group informed me that while my stories were good, they needed to be edited. Edited? Surely not. After all, that’s no fun. But they calmly informed me that if I had any hope of ever seeing my stories in print, I needed to learn to edit. And not only that, they mentioned such things like plotting, the Snowflake Method, story arcs, and more. So I had a decision to make. Do I want to write stories for the grandkids and for fun, or did I actually want someone to read them? And why?

I thought about the books I had read as a boy and how they influenced me in so many ways. I learned of racism, and how it affected people, through Huckleberry Finn and To Kill A Mockingbird. Books that brought a different version of race relations to a boy in a southern town in the fifties. I learned of adventures around the world, and beyond, in books such as the Count of Monte Christo, Treasure Island, The Sands Of Mars, and many others. All fiction, but written well enough that I experienced them as true. What if I could do the same for the boys of today? I knew I didn’t have the talent or the experience, but I did seem to have some ability, and with effort and study, maybe, just maybe, I could write something that might change a boy’s, or girl’s, life.

It was an easy decision.


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Genre - YA/Mystery

Rating – PG – 13

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