Shanelle Grizzle is a junior biology major from New York City who dreams of becoming a pharmacist. She is the event coordinator chair of NSU’s Society of Anime, Gaming and Entertainment (SAGE) club and is currently writing two books, along with one Internet fanfiction that is in progress.

 “What should I write next?”

That’s a question I always ask myself.

As a kid, I always had a great fondness for writing stories, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a wide imagination. I’d think about any and everything, but I was always shy and quiet; I feared that others wouldn’t really understand what I was thinking, so I kept everything in my head to myself. But I didn’t like doing that. I wanted to share my thoughts. I’ve tried out many different kinds of creative things to try and express myself. The only creative outlet I found that still sticks with me today is writing.

I loved watching TV as a kid, especially cartoons. Every time I would watch an episode of my favorite shows, I would think, “Awesome! But what if it ended differently?” I would always think of different scenarios and send my favorite characters on new adventures. After thinking up so many different possibilities and not wanting to keep them all in my head, I decided to write them down.

I wanted to share what I’d written with others, but I didn’t know how. One day, I stumbled upon a website called FanFiction.net, where fans of different movies, shows and other works of fiction write their versions of the characters’ stories — known as “fanfics” — and submit them for the world to see and review. I was so amazed by all of the different stories I read, and it was wonderful to know that there were others like me who had the same “what if this happened instead” thoughts.

So on May 1, 2006, I officially registered an account on the website and created a pen name. Soon after, I submitted my first fanfic, a “Xiaolin Showdown” story. I loved sharing what I wrote because it made me happy to see that others appreciated my writing and even praised me for my ideas.

I won’t deny that I also received quite a bit of negative feedback at first. I was plagued by grammatical errors and such. Despite the negative reviews that sometimes made me delete some of my stories, my love for writing never died. I continued to write fanfics, and the chapter count for each of them grew to exceed 30 chapters. I even finished one at 88 chapters.

When I started high school, I stopped limiting myself to writing only fanfics of my favorite shows and started writing other types of short stories. By the time I was a senior in high school, I decided that I wanted to write more often, and, hopefully, publish a book, though I don’t plan to write professionally. I would use aspects of my daily life and things that I saw in movies, video games and books as inspiration for my writing.

My close group of friends in New York is my biggest inspiration. Just as I would think “Hey, what if this happened instead?” whenever I would watch my favorite shows, I would have that same thought whenever we would all hang out. In fact, one of the current books I’m writing, titled “Team Spice,” is based on my friend group and the thought “What if we were superheroes?” I want to use this book not only to show the world my creative side but also to show the love that I have for my friends.

As for other books and other types of stories I plan to write in the future, I want whatever I write to have some sort of meaning. In addition to showing others my creativity, I want to also help others and hopefully teach important life lessons.

Although I am not an English major, and I do not plan to pursue writing as a career, my passion for writing will never die and will always be a part of me. As long as I can think, I will continue to write. Whenever I have an idea that I want to share, I will always use my words.

The only thing is that you will have to read them.

Photo Credit: S. Grizzle

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