year was 1994. I was living in Salida, California - a suburb of
Modesto, and all I could think of being when I grew up was a writer. It
was the year my grandmother passed away from breast cancer, the year we
moved to Arizona, but also the year I finished my very first novel - Mission: Australia.
I had been writing short stories since the age of eleven. Rounding up
friends I met in junior high, pairing them up with outrageous adventures
only my mind could concoct, I created what would later become my Expired Reality series. Mission: Australia was an attempt to
string some of these short stories together into a coherent novel
format, one which would later define what I would end up doing for the
rest of my life - write. My love for novel writing was so strong that
even when my grandmother was on her death bed, the breast cancer eating
away at her mortal form and stripping her of her memories, she was able
to recall enough of my passion that she asked me if I was able to finish
my novel. She remembered my writing more than she remembered the
One of the projects currently on my to-do list is to transfer Mission: Australia
- a 400+ page handwritten manuscript - into digital format so it can be
edited later on down the line and possibly turned into a prequel
novel(s) for my Expired Reality series. This task is monumental, not
necessarily for the simple act of typing it (I have been typing since
eighth grade and have clocked myself at over 80wpm), but because my
handwriting was a mishmash of cursive, slop and doodles.
of course, with most, if not all adolescent writing attempts, the book
itself is a mishmash of poor grammar, unbelievable story lines, and
terribly lacking characterization. But isn't that the beauty of writing
when you're younger? Nobody cares what it looks like. Nobody cares that
your characters have super power that are never explained, that the
villains can escape explosions and bullets so serendipitously that the
Hand of God must be inside your novel world. Nobody cares how much fun
you're having doing what you love to do best - write.
think as we get older, as we get into the 'business' side of writing,
the career mindset takes over and we start writing for others instead of
writing for ourselves. I am by no means defending poor grammar or
disjointed plot threads, but instead promoting the love of writing. When
I started the short stories that eventually became Mission: Australia,
my goal was to write out the adventures that were running around in my
head, to get them on paper so I could read them over and over again, to
empty my soul and my mind of dreams and adventures. When I look back at
these stories, I fall in love with writing again. I fall in love with my
characters, with the little world I built back in the days of junior
high and bullies and family strife. These were the stories of my life,
my escape from the real world.
A lot of us lose that
aspect of writing as we get older. Not just as we get older either, but
as we start worrying about 'who' we're writing for. We should always be
writing for us, for our own solace, for our own amusement - first and
foremost. It's a wonderful thing when others enjoy our stories -
especially when we are trying to make a career out of it - but it's
always best when we enjoy our stories and feel that we've tied up the
loose ends of our soul with the simple act of pressing pen to paper.
N. Alderman is a self-published/indie author who specializes in edgy
Christian speculative fiction and young adult fiction.
You can find his books at www.davidnalderman.com or you can find him talking about writing, self-publishing, and geek stuff over at his blog, www.davidnalderman.blogspot.com.