Hi, my name is James Duckett and I'm super excited to be here. I've noticed that my blog posts become more consistent when asked to have them done by a certain day. Being required to come up with something every Monday is going to be a huge motivator for me.
Since I'm the new kid on the blogck, I just wanted to introduce myself and reserve topics of writing to future posts. Spoiler alert: This is going to be long, and most likely the longest post I ever do. You get bonus points if you get through it all without falling asleep.
I guess I'll start at the beginning. I was born. I don't remember much, but I'm told it was pretty exciting especially since I was in the wrong city. Oh well, a story for another time, but these things happen. I'm the oldest of four children but after paying for two kids to be born my father said, "Forget that, I'm joining the Army and Uncle Sam can start covering the delivery costs." Since then I've lived in four states and three countries.
I've never really had a city to call my own and I hate the question, "Where are you from?"
My hobbies include spending time with the family, running, cycling, skiing, photography, video production, and online gaming.
Oh, and I love writing!
My love of writing began in the 2nd grade. My teacher had challenged us to write a story and draw a picture to go with it. I called my story "The Ghost That Lived." Okay, don't laugh, I was only 7 years old. I'd tell you the story (I still remember it) but the absurdity would probably put you in stitches and remove any writing credibility I could ever possibly earn. I do remember drawing the ghost. Have you ever played the original Pac-Man? If so then you've seen what the ghost looks like.
In junior high school I set out to write my first book. I carried a notebook everywhere I went and wrote every chance I got. I loved creating people that never existed with a few strokes of the pencil. I loved writing about places that didn't exist. I loved the entire experience.
And let me tell you how good it was! Well, it was longer than my 2nd grade masterpiece but I doubt it was any better. Okay, yes, it sucked rocks and it heavily pilfered from a book series I liked called Photon by David Peters. Before I could get it to the publisher and -- in my mind -- instantly top every bookseller list in the world, I got sidetracked (most likely by a computer game) and the book disappeared.
I lost some of the passion then but in talking to some English teachers they informed me of a few things.
1) Teenagers don't write best sellers.
2) If I did want to take writing seriously, I needed to read.
To each point:
1) Disproven by Christopher Paolini. But, sure enough, when I got to the library I did notice that no books were written by teenagers. This was disheartening, and, still today, true in 99.999% of cases.
2) I took this advise most seriously. So on that note...
By this time I was quite addicted to The Hardy Boys. But I noticed they weren't exactly topping out the New York Times Best Seller List. But somebody was, and his name was Stephen King. I then began my love affair with all of his books.
I don't want to write strictly horror. I might have some elements of horror in my stories, but I hope my books don't find their way into the horror section. I also don't want the language, graphic violence, and graphic sex he usually has in his books. I don't want to feel guilty if my bishop or the young men in my ward decide to give it a read. Or, heaven forsake, MY MOTHER!!
As I started raising a family and went to college I decided to worked full time in hopes of graduating debt free. I had to sacrifice reading for pleasure and most writing until I got my Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. After accomplishing this I then focused on my career to get me to a point where I could concentrate more on writing and less on climbing up the next ring in the corporate ladder.
I hit that point a couple of years ago, and I'm now ready to conquer writing. In studying the craft more closely I found out there is so much more to it than I realized as a teenager. It isn't as easy as I thought it would be back then. It sure isn't as easy as Stephen King made it look. The plotting. The outlining. BICHOK. The rewriting. More rewriting! Character development and arc. Story structure. Voice. Setting. CONFLICT! Rising action and tension. Maintaining a blog and networking with other writers. Plot points and pinches. Three acts. Seven parts! Active voice. Pacing. Point of View. Dialogue. Overcoming writer's block. Try/fail cycles. Proper grammar. Critique groups. The patience! Oh, why can't this be done? The patience!!!!
And to make matters worst, as hard as writing a book is, it is still the easiest part. Getting it noticed and published, now that is going to be the biggest challenge. And, I fear, the challenges don't stop there either.
All topics I hope to approach in this blog series.
So, that is me. I'm outlining a book now and hope to be finished by the end of March -- with the outlining, not the book. Some medical issues arose that slowed that down, but I think I'm still on track. I look forward to contributing and getting to know the readers of the Writer's Blogck. And a thank you to Keith Fisher for having me here.