I’ve been into writing for as long as I can remember. One of my most vivid memories of childhood is writing a story with my dad and my older sister about why we eat Turkey for Thanksgiving instead of Snake. Dad and my sister Anna wrote in pen, and I wrote in a bright green marker that was probably actually a highlighter.
The basis of the story was this stick my dad had found, a piece of cherry wood that had grown up around another tree creating a spiral. He carved it out to look like a snake. If he held the bottom/tail at the palm of his hand he could get the stick to stand straight up and twirl around like the snake was dancing.
The story was called “Danny the Dancing Snake”. The story centered around a talent show against the snake the pilgrims found, vs the turkey the indians caught. Whichever one was more impressive, didn’t get eaten.
Turkeys are pretty talentless.
But yeah, me and writing go back a long time. But my house was very encouraging in terms of creative outlets. So as I grew and my interest range grew, the amount I wrote shrank. It is still one of those things I really like to identify with myself, but with all my other projects I’ve always got, it’s hard to stick with something that takes more time.
Sometimes when I sit down to write a story, I give up before I even come up with character names or motivations.
There’s a loop-hole to that.
I recently moved again. Which meant packing/unpacking all of my things. Since I moved into an apartment that lacked a built-in-bookcase, I had to create one out of my 15 or so milk crates. (It’s really cool, when I do the virtual tour of my apartment, you’ll get to see it). So I went through everything that was in them, including a few old stories.
I found one that I had spent the entirety of the 7th grade working on. It was all hand-written, and included the map I had drawn of it. It’s been almost 8 years since I worked on that story last. But I still remember a lot of weird little details as well as the major plot points (if you can call it that, I was 11).
How many people really remember stuff that far back? I don’t have a good memory, so for me, it’s pretty impressive.
I’m taking the opportunity to re-do it. Go through with a vocabulary that’s been coddled by books, instead of playing outside with boys. Don’t use “suddenly” two or three times a page. WATCH OUT FOR THE PLOT HOLES. When the dragon disappears for 5 pages, go back and watch it fly away.
Take the characters you already have and give them depth. Use the motivations they already have and give it flavor. Use all the knowledge gained in the last eight years to do it better. Write and know what the genre is, what the target audience is, write with the point in mind.
Make this time through the time when this story becomes everything you wanted it to become.
Have the expectations of a hobbyist and the attitude of a professional.
Basically, I’m going to take the story seriously, but focus more on the fun parts of creating it, rather than the pressure of what it would mean if I were published.
Well, tada, this is it. I’ll keep you guys updated on my progress, give a plot summary, share a quick sketch of the map, and maybe some cover designs ideas…