There is nothing more enjoyable to me than writing a novel. I put hours, days, weeks, months, even years into each and every story, and despite whether or not I decide to have my work printed, there is something very sweet about each one. However, it is my fantasy novels, particularly my Star Series, that are nearest and dearest to my heart.
It all started out as something fun for my friends. I had, before that time, written a little kid’s book called Random, and the four main characters in that story were based off me and my three friends. The following year, however, things changed. One of my friends, my cousin A, left for boarding school. My world changed dramatically at that point, for A had been a part of my daily school life for years, and it was weird to not have her around.
But as fate would have it, a new girl came to school that year. She had been an acquaintance of mine since we were very little, but I had never had much interest in getting to know her. When we were young, I found her to be annoying. But my teacher asked me to help make her feel welcome, and I did just that. It wasn’t but a short time later that she and I became best friends.
Once again, I got the urge to write a story about me and my friends, but Random was coming to an end and there was no room for my new best friend. So I decided to start over with a new story.
The Four Stars started out as something very different than what it turned out to be. The initial idea had been inspired by a dream, and the original setting of the story was vastly different. Erris was an island; Gavin had not grown up with the others; Eryn was named Chaser. What it was that inspired me to rewrite the story, I still am not precisely sure.
One thing I do know, however, is that the little story I titled The Four Stars began morphing into a book, then into two books, then into three books. My friends were my inspiration, and I loved my characters as much as I loved the people who inspired them.
But then it all changed again. The private school we all attended only went up to 10th grade, the grade that I was in at that time. The two friends who had inspired Eryn and Gavin were graduating 8th grade, and my best friend and I would soon have to move to different schools. There is no way to describe how much I dreaded the end of that school year. It had been sad when A left, but being family, I knew I would see her again. My 10th grade year was different, though. At the time, I was planning on going to a boarding school in Mississippi, my best friend would be going to one in Arkansas, my friend who inspired Eryn would be attending public school, and my friend who inspired Gavin was considering joining by best friend in Arkansas. We would all be going separate directions, and I never wanted to see that incredible year come to an end.
But like all good things, it did. I’m not even going to talk about how much I cried. The only consolation I had was my books and the fact that I was not going to be separated from my friends entirely. I had decided to go to Arkansas with “Gavin” and “Rayne”. Rayne and I were roommates for almost the entire time we went to school together there in Arkansas. I made more friends. I became more confident in myself. I loved, I laughed, I cried. It was a wonderful time. I missed Eryn, who quickly moved on and more or less forgot about me. But that didn’t mean I forgot about him.
The Star Trilogy quickly matured, and by my senior year of high school I had finished the third book. I realized something at that point. Just as in life, I dreaded finishing a story. I loved the world that I had created. I loved the people that lived there. I didn’t want to say good-bye.
And so I did what I had become very good at: I kept writing. I started a sequel called Ancient Vengeance and dove back into my beloved little fictional world, the one with the allied kingdom of Livania, the mysterious ancient lands of Erris, and the rejuvenated country of Fayndor; the world where my precious Rayne, Eryn, Gavin, Adrian, and Shea all lived together and cared about each other.
Shortly after I finished the third book in my trilogy, I graduated from high school. Once again, I had to admit that the little paradise I lived in was changing. This time, it was even harder. Rayne went to a school up north; Gavin stayed there in Arkansas; I came back to Texas. Granted, A was already attending the college I was headed to, but still… I would have to leave people I loved.
My first semester of college was really hard. My cousin was my roommate, which helped, but I never have been able to transition very well, and since none of my really close friends had come with me, I spent most of my time alone working on my ever growing book Ancient Vengeance. The last thing I wanted to do was to let go of those precious characters.
The one exception to my daily routine of – go to class, go to work, eat at the caf, hide in my room – was the writing club. I had heard about it from one of the English professors long before I graduated high school, and being a lover of writing, I attended the club meetings. There I met several people, all of whom were several years older than myself. I felt intimidated because they were a tight-knit group and I was an outsider. I was even more intimidated by the fact that the club sponsor was a published author. But I loved being there. Even if I couldn’t find the courage to speak much to them, I still wanted to be there, among fellow writers.
As I said before, I came to college knowing practically no one and being friends with even fewer, and so it was not uncommon for me to sit by myself. Actually, it had never been uncommon for me to sit by myself, as my friends at my boarding academy usually either had different schedules or other friends that they would rather hang out with. So imagine my surprise when, one day, the other members of my writing club, who usually sat at their own table, waved me over and asked if I wanted to join them. For the purpose of privacy, I have changed their names here.
They gave me a spot next to Alecs, who was the only guy in the group of three who frequented the college cafeteria. He was the boyfriend of Edana, who sat across from him and next to the other girl in the group, Aurora. I sat across from Aurora. I was shy at first, but that shyness quickly faded. Their behaviors and mannerisms reminded me of my old friends. They were upperclassmen, I was a freshman, and yet they freely accepted me into their group. They made me laugh, and I quickly grew to admire and adore them. It wasn’t long before we added another dear friend to the group, a girl I will call Leisel.
I especially hit it off with Edana, for she quickly became one of my biggest fans. She borrowed my trilogy, which I had self published by that point, and when she had finished that, hung on every new word I added to Ancient Vengeance. Like my old friends, my new ones became my source of inspiration. So when they asked me if I would ever write a story with them in it, I knew just what I wanted to do.
I had, by that point, finished writing Ancient Vengeance, but as usual I was loath to build a different world. And so I set my new story back in time, to a time long before The Four Stars was supposed to have taken place. I created the characters, and then began to write. I loved seeing the looks on my friends’ faces as they read each new addition. It was their world, and it was mine.
But…I have come to the conclusion that two must be a magic number, for my second year in college has just ended and my world is about to change once again. Alecs and Edana are getting married and moving about an hour away, Aurora is going even further away, and Leisel is planning on going overseas. As with previous stages of my life, this story, too, has come to the end. And unlike with books, I can’t keep writing new stories with the same people forever. No, this is a story that probably does not have a sequel.
People keep telling me, “It’s just a part of life.” And they’re right. It is. But that still doesn’t change things. That still will never keep me from missing writing that life story and, as in my novels, going back and thinking each time, “I could have written that better.”
Writing a novel is a lot of fun, and if you put forth the effort, writing your life story can be a blast, too. But even knowing that, and even with the knowledge that the people, the characters that you love so much, may be around even afterward, there is still nothing so hard as writing one part of a story…the end.