I've told myself stories for as long as I can remember. It was
It took until my teens, in an all-girls' boarding school (yes, it was called The Mount ... laugh now, get it all out of your system), before I finally cracked and admitted to someone what my private sanity-saver was. Her response, which made me blink, was: "Why don't you write any of this stuff down?"
I'm pretty sure I gave her a funny look. Old people wrote books. I'd met several self-professed authors, and they were nearly as tedious as the other types of artistes that periodically showed up in my parents' circle. That, or they wrote serious things like Fibreglass Boats that you could use as a very successful self-defense weapon. It really hadn't seriously occurred to me.
I sat on this idea, thought about it, groused about it, threw up roadblocks around it, and generally chewed the cud for a month or so. Being fourteen, I suspect I threw some drama in the mix. I
This painful and long-drawn-out thought process eventually led to me surreptitiously scribbling odds and ends into a little notebook, about the size of my hand, that I kept on my person or under my pillow. It really was that small. It was that small because a page I could cover with one hand wasn't nearly as intimidating to fill as an A4 (letter size, for my North American readers) sheet.
It took me possibly as much as a year to graduate to actual A4 sheets for my writing. As this was in 1994 / 1995, when I say writing I really do mean writing, with a fountain pen. It took several more years before computer access was sufficiently, well, accessible that I started typing my books up from the longhand versions, and several years after that before storage solutions were reliable enough that I didn't keep losing (big) pieces to buggered floppy disks or corrupted files from creaky old school machines. A lot of my editing process in those early days occurred when I was (again) typing up a lost file from the hardcopy and my fingers wandered.
Graduating to A4 was a biggie. It meant, among other things, that I could write in my incredibly slow and almost interminable classes, all of which felt as if they were geared to the hard of thinking, and it would look as if I were taking notes. That was huge. For the first time in my formal education, I wasn't bored out of my tiny mind in my classes. I wrote five novels in five years (and, yes, thank you, passed my exams pretty credibly).
However, having been written, and re-written, and edited, and ignored for a couple of years, and then re-written again after a lot more practice ... those early