Friday, October 24, 2008

The Turning Point

I'd venture to guess that every writer out there had a turning point in their writing career, the time when a switch was turned on inside their head and their writing became focused and had a purpose. It may not have been the best prose, since that comes with time and practice. But your writing likely began flowing from a central spot in your core.

Mine came at 17. The summer after high school graduation, to be exact. Up to that point, I had dabbled in writing, but much of it was lackluster with no real point. I had never finished a novel (and hadn't even thought about writing short stories).

Looking back, it was probably a culmination of the emotional juggernaut I'd been waging war against for the entire year before. My mother had died in the previous spring (along with my paternal grandfather in the same span of 2-3 days) which brings with it heavy emotions. People began treating me different for that reason at school, and that's rough as a teenager. My father began dating a little too soon (months after my mother's death) for my liking, and my brother and I were basically left to fend for ourselves (or so it seemed to us at the time).

But that following summer, I harnessed all of those emotions and cranked out my first full novel. Not publishable by any means, but through that exercise, I came to terms with what I consider my gift of storytelling. Over the past 16 years, I've honed those skills (in my opinion) and continue to harness emotions in setting up my stories and novels.

So, when was your turning point?

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T. M. Hunter (posting under his ever-popular Aston West moniker) is the author of Heroes Die Young, the latest science-fiction (space opera) sensation from Champagne Books. His Aston West short stories have been featured in the e-mag Ray Gun Revival with his short story "Little White Truths" a top ten finisher in the 2007 Preditors and Editors Readers' Poll. He (and Aston) can often be found over at AstonWest.com.

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