My grandson’s story

For this Saturday’s column, I decided to share my space with my oldest grandson, 19-year-old Aidan Matthew, who has declared that he will take charge of running my Total Communications Company, Seagull Philippines, Inc., once he has fully understood the business.

Below are Aidan’s thoughts. May I say I am mighty proud of him because, indeed, the fruit does not veer far from the tree.

“I have always been interested in stories — since I was young, I would always wonder about how a narrative moves. While I didn’t start writing until I was older, I have been creating stories in my mind for as long as I can remember. Each day I would come up with a new narrative for the toys I played with, wondering what outcomes I could create from them.

“The day I truly became immersed in the world of stories was the day I discovered how to read manga. Manga was a big part of my journey in discovering my passion for writing — in why stories meant so much to me.

AIDAN Matthew with family.

“A story created by a pair of authors, an artist and a writer, particularly spoke to me. The name of this story was ‘Bakuman,’ no English translation, as the name itself had no confirmed meaning. It is about a pair of young men who wished to dive into the manga industry, a writer and artist pair.

“They were supposed to be a mirror and a parody of the author duo that had created them. What had interested me most in the story was the actual process they had to go through to get published, and especially their interactions with their editor.

“They had gone through a few editors in the story, and the idea of being an editor always stuck in my mind; the idea of writing stories or assisting the creation of a story was immensely interesting in my eyes. That series sparked my passion and laid its foundations.

AIDAn at 19.

“I truly didn’t want to write for myself though until I discovered the wonder of the game Dungeons & Dragons. The game allows for a type of world-building and narrative exploration that most games do not offer, with the bonus that it could be experienced by other people directly through the game.

“I got hooked, to say the least. I wanted to make characters and a world for them to live in. I created character after character, eventually coming up with a cast of eight characters with their own personalities, back stories and places of interest. I had created a setting and a world for them — a history, lore, a pantheon — but nowhere to explore it. The game of Dungeons & Dragons often has a person playing the role of a dungeon master, where they run the entire game for the other players.

“I couldn’t see myself in this role though. I wanted people to experience the world, but I wanted it to be through a guided lens. I realized I should just write everything out. So, I started to go more in-depth into the backstories of all the characters, created more history for all the regions, and expanded my original ideas to their limits.

“The journey of why I wanted to start writing wasn’t a very straight path, it was more akin to a stairwell, a progressive climb till I had come to an epiphany at the top. I didn’t know what I wanted to be for the longest time, but when I put two and two together, I realized that it was the most obvious option. What started out as a child’s interest in stories developed into creating a narrative with their toys, to immersing myself in hundreds of manga, to a passion to write through a discovered hobby.

“Everything I have written, all ideas I had come up with, every world I have created had some basis in the thoughts and dreams I had as a child. I wanted to create a narrative of my own for so long, one where I understood what was going to happen from beginning to end. The realization of what I had wanted to be should have been natural, but it wasn’t —because, to me, it was so natural, so ingrained into me, that I hadn’t realized I had wanted to create stories. I didn’t realize I had wanted to write because creating narratives to me was as natural as breathing.”

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