Writing is not scientific. It is passion; it is soul. Science can not prove a soul exists. It can not chemically explain passion or love, and it can't prove with any type of theory that I'm sure I have someone sitting around in my subconscious pushing me in the right direction whenever they feel I need it.
“. . . His voice turned acidic. 'Are you sure you want me to come back? Or did you really want me to die? ' “Anger rocked through me like the whiplash after a heavy punch. That was too much- he wasn't fighting fair. “My arms were already around his neck, so I grabbed two fistfuls of his hair- ignoring the stabbing pain in my right hand- and fought back, struggling to pull my face away from his. “And Jacob misunderstood. “He was too strong to recognize that my hands, trying to yank his hair out by the roots, meant to cause him pain. Instead of anger, he imagined passion. He thought I was finally responding to him. “With a wild gasp, he brought his mouth back to mine, his fingers clutching frantically against the skin at my waist. “The jolt of anger unbalanced my tenuous hold on self-control; his unexpected, ecstatic response overthrew it entirely. If there had only been triumph, I might have been able to resist him. But the utter defenselessness of this sudden joy cracked my determination, disabled it. My brain
disconnected from my body, and I was kissing him ba-. . .” A cry of rage bursts from my snarling mouth and I hurl the book across the room. Shutting my eyes, I imagine Bella scratching Jacob’s eyes out. It takes a minute for my heavy breathing to slow. When it does I scoop up the slumped and dejected looking book and continue. The next few lines are enough to make me want to do it again.
Placing pencil to paper, or fingers to keyboard, I'm immediately placed in my comfort zone, one more exotic and more satisfying than eating all the mint filled dark chocolate in the world. I'm drawn into a place where I can finally relax, one where I can express myself as I wish I could in reality. Sometimes it's not always great, my writing, but it is a constant learning experience. Expanding, growing like the chaotic forest of ideas in my mind. What I love most about writing is that I can go anywhere. I can travel from Japan to Norway without leaving my room. I am free to be as crazy as I want. I can spew every twisted thought, every desire that wracks my body, every feeling I would never tell anyone else. I can create whole worlds, new people. This love, this passion all started when I began to read. Reading is the key to my happiness, but originally there was one series of fictional stories that sparked my flair for writing. The Boy Who Lived.
Reading a really great book, it's easy to become disoriented with reality. The reader is suddenly in the midst of the horror of destruction; they are experiencing the depression of death and loss, the high of love and adrenalin rushes. The people who put pencil to paper make all these glorious, fresh
paper-smelling books possible. The writers made it possible by being inspired by something, usually a book, which created a reaction in them that they wanted to recreate.
The influence to write is everywhere. It can be found in dreams. It can be found with the hobo lying in his box in the ally. It can be found with parents, friends, enemies or teachers. It can be found in different countries, by seeing the part of the world that isn’t all shiny and new. Thoughts placed on a page can be used to destroy lives and countries, or to invoke peace in a time of war. The most powerful human weapon we have is our brain and the will of free thinking. Writing can free a person. Or, like Pravda, writing can be used to control that power, telling a society what the leaders want them to know. There are several types of writing styles, all of them powerful.
“Harry!” I scream, dashing toward the black haired boy. “Harry, run!” The boy turns toward me, surprise on his face. I'm now close enough to see his eyes widen. I grab his hand and yank him away. “You'll never escape.” A voice slithers through the air, making my skin crawl. “Phoenix, we need to stop.” Harry's voice is tortured, his other hand clutching his scar. “No, Harry, run, keep running! You can't give up!” The wind howling around us makes it hard to hear, and I think I hear him say something about giving in. I feel his resistance, and I yank his hand harder. “Phoenix, it's no use.” The pain in his voice is almost tangible. “I can't keep running. I have to face him.” Harry stopped running, his hand slipping from mine. His chest is moving quickly, his breath heavy.
A quiet chuckle sears my mind as I turn to grab his arm. “You'll never make it. You can't survive a fight with Voldemort.” My voice is shaking. “Please, come with me. There is still time.” “There will be no peace.” Harry's eyes are hard, and as I look up at him, I see him for the brave, fighting soul that he is. My grip tightens for a moment.“You can not help me. You need to find Ron and Hermoine. You can help them.” I release his arm as if it was thrown off. My long black hair whips around me, and I'm momentarily blind. “ACCIO!” Harry has his wand raised, his eyes flashing, and out of no where a broom sweeps me up into the air. I keep my eyes on him as I'm flown away to who knows where. “You are mine...” The cold voice resonates on the air, and I finally see the Dark Lord. His wand is pointed at Harry's chest... “HARRY!!” I scream as a green light blinds me, until I can see no more, the broom speeding away. Too late, I throw the knife I had hidden in my boot. I blink away tears forming in my eyes, and the foggy forest that had surrounded me has disappeared. I'm staring at the white ceiling above me, and I feel my fingers fumbling for a paper and pencil. The smell of the pines still hovers in the air.
When the books come alive, we hear the wind blowing through the trees and then feel it raising goose bumps on our bodies. The reader is the ghost observer, and as tempting as it is to interfere, it isn't possible. Sometimes it's nice to feel out of control, not knowing what is about to happen, not able to prevent anything. Not having to care about the outside world's worries is why books can be used to escape. Maybe to a scarier world, but one where a theme is constant: the main character rarely dies.
While powerful, writing doesn't always have to be serious or make sense. As long as it fascinates and entices and inspires, why protest? As Stephen King states, “Writing is seduction. Good talk is part of seduction. If not so, why do so many couples who start the evening at dinner wind up in bed?” Everyone needs a bit of light hearted reading now and then, the world would explode under the pressure of keeping a straight face all day.
The emotion that bursts out when reading (like me throwing a favorite book- Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer- at the wall), that’s what a good story is all about. Getting a person’s blood boiling, the cliff hangers that keep us up until four in the morning reading, that’s what good writing accomplishes. It's an addiction, a relentless drive that is as apart of the body as blood, we realize that against all odds finishing the book is all that matters.
Harry Potter ignited the fire under my steady streaming pencil. I wanted to be him, I longed for his adventures and the opportunity to prove my bravery. At night I lay picturing my own Hogwarts, my own ways of fighting the evil Lord Voldemort and my snappy retorts to Snape, who seemed to enjoy making my life miserable. In my mind I had two best friends that stuck by my side even when the going got tough. Sadly, my dreams would slip away and sometimes I forgot the witty response I hissed behind Snivellus’ back. So I found a notebook and began to write. Ideas of how Rowling could have written the story spilled onto the lines. Secret romances emerged and underlying conspiracies toiled as I wrote the fifth, sixth, and seventh squeals. All this writing made it possible for my own writing style to take some baby steps. In between all this there was a period of time when I began to vent angrily through my characters
because of how horribly I felt my own life was going. Then my mom found it laying around. “Would Rowling write this?” she hissed. In that moment, her narrowing eyes scaring me, I wanted to put my hand on her face to see if she would crumble away, as Harry had done to Voldemort's weak shell of a body, Professor Quirrell. After some thought, I realized she was right. My writing had become atrocious and borderline inappropriate. Even after trying my hand at something “original” (it turned out to be a 100 page rip off of the Matrix and Lord of the Rings) I knew I still had a long way to go. I wanted to start over, a new beginning. I continued to write, but I was lacking guidance. Everything I wrote was the same, only changing if I came back a few months later to edit it. The monotonous process changed when I entered high school.
Writing is not a perfected art, the evidence is seen in all authors at some time or another; maybe they pumped a book out because they had to keep with their contract. If we were afraid to make mistakes in writing, we would never get anywhere. It's not safe to assume the first story written will be the likes of Meyer, Rowling, Frost or Laymon. The voice inside of us needs time to build up, to gain experience.
“We're getting our papers back today, right?” My best friend, Kenzie, asked, slamming herself into the desk next to mine. “Yeah. I wonder how Reynolds grades? Hopefully on a curve, I'm sure my piece was awful.” I stick my tongue out at the memory of writing my own take of a Science Fiction story we had just read. Kenzie frowned. “If yours was bad, mine must be in the sewers somewhere. Honestly, one more
crack on your writing and I'll hit you.” I smile at her as the teacher begins class. Already I had noticed some major differences between the normal classroom and Reynolds' style. He had began handing back our papers, and I felt my body stiffen. I had been writing for a while, so, needless to say, I hoped that there would be something good, something that impressed this crazy kid-like teacher. I hoped that there would be more than just grammar and spelling checks written all over it. This guy was different from the other teachers, surely that carried over in how he graded? Kenzie kicked my rattling leg gently, noticing my nerves. “You did fine, as always. I'm sure.” “Whatever.” I hissed under my breath, and then he approached me. I could barely bring myself to look up, but with a glance I saw that he was smiling as he handed me my paper. My heart was slamming into my throat, and I practically tore it apart in the attempt to read it. I swallowed my heart and gasped. There were red pen marks everywhere. Same as usual, then. My eyes started to blur, but then I started to read what he had jotted in the margins. My jaw dropped, and in the back of my mind I could hear Kenzie asking what was wrong, that if he said it sucked she would kick his ass, and so on. My eyes scanned the rest of the page, finding even more of the same: honest to God constructive criticism. I wanted to faint with shock. Instead, seeing that the remarks were encouraging, I felt like I was on top of the world. I felt as though I had swallowed a much needed concoction of joy, hope, and inspiration. Above all, I heard Kenzie snorting, and repeating various “I Told You So's.” Sure, the piece overall wasn't great, but there were a few sentences that had promise. I couldn't believe it. I had written something with potential. I was addicted to the messy scrawl of advice, I needed to know more about how to become a better writer. Nothing was going to stop me. From that moment on, it was impossible for me not to write. I wrote furiously, snatching the assignments up eagerly. My best friend would just roll her eyes and made up some pretty bad 'teacher's
pet' jokes, but I never really listened. I did enjoy getting along with my teachers, but I found something that filled the hollow plainness of my life. I finally found something I could be good at.
Writing is not an art of placing verbs and nouns and adjectives together in the correct sequence. It means being able to take a piece of yourself and put it into writing. It means being able to tell a story when no one else can. To live through an event and to write it down allows for others to learn from it, to remember what went on in history.
I write to express emotion, to create worlds I wish I could be in or ones I think suit my characters best. I write because I enjoy looking at a small picture to create a larger one. I write because I want people to know they aren't the only ones who have felt like shoving someone into a portal to Hell or like they have to solve everything. I write to discover who I am.
If several people were to read the same book, it would be highly improbable that they would all get the same message from it. People tend to relate what they read to what they know. If someone is deeply religious they will find something in the book that could resemble a story in the Bible. If they know all about killing, they will read the book and laugh and wonder if the author had ever thought of coming in from the roof or consider the specifics of the weapons used. When writing anything from an opinion on the Bible or the best way to make the perfect kill, give the same subject to ten people and it will all be different. In the way that we interpret reading differently, we all write just as diversely. This is because of a person's voice. It is what makes a person
who they are. Voice is the most important writing tool. Voice can be analyzed but not defined, it is unique. It is a part of their soul, it is embedded and entwined in their passion. Passion speaks all languages, which is why millions of books are translated to every kind of language so that even if I don't speak Russian, I can speak Anna Karenina. When writing with an original voice, something in the subconscious is at work. Themes pop up we hadn't intended on writing, characters begin to voice their own thoughts, and sometimes plot twists shock the writer just as much as the reader. Sometimes there is an entirely different story under the one originally written. I once heard that writing is the only acceptable form of insanity. That's what I love about writing- the story can be bonkers, psychotic, or just nonsensical. So if Jane decides to turn on her mother for being a health freak and rips out her intestines... the reader will lap it up. It's the shocking cruelty, the rip-roaring honesty that people love most. It is the writers job to see what others don't, to write what others won't. Writing the undercurrent of another world bursting to come out is kind of like having a third eye, one that sees past the excited or frazzled first drafts and inserts its own opinions on occasion, keeping everything together. Writers see the monster lurking in the corner, the schizophrenic plotting in the priest. We prophesize the end of the world, we know who the big guy upstairs will save. The rush of a story tumbling out of our minds faster than our pencil can write is a high. The need to relate the monster's thoughts, the schemes of the plotting priest becomes as much as an addiction as reading until the early hours. When it's finally time to take a break, to shut the door on the demons, there is a moment of sitting back. The moment of breathing, whispering “Wow,” in between the madness of the voices clamoring to be realized.
Through writing, I hope to have the same effects on my students and readers as the ones blooming in my classmates. The kids began to read because of their teachers, the students began to write because of them, their lives have been filled with new hope and direction because of them. If I can have this effect to any degree, and have fun while doing it, I can't imagine any occupation better than that. I continue to write, an addiction that I hope never to sober up from. Every moment I put my mind to paper is the happiest of the day, the month, the year. No matter how awful I feel the resulting product is, I feel I've accomplished something unique, something no one else can replicate. Whether I'm writing in my journal about my long and sometimes stressful day or some new story where a demon is spitting up a black substance that evil clowns from hell are emerging from, every moment is changing me. Every moment is molding my personal voice. Maybe someday I'll write my own Harry Potter/Twilight phenomenon.
Using writing we have the power to change the future, if we can remember the past long enough to learn from it.