I wrote my first short story

I've always had a tough time following through with any story idea I've dreamed up. I can create opening scenes, but I never seem to have what it takes to creatively get from start to finish. I don't know what's going to happen and so I have a hard time guessing the logical plot progression. That said, I never finish the stories I start. The problem has nearly developed into a phobia of writing stories. I don't even consider it Writer's Block, rather, it's Writer's Mush-for-Brains! Can I blame it on TV? The endless hours of programming we're fed and never challenged to come up with our own adventures? Naw, it's not that simple. I'd be cheating to claim a scapegoat. Truth is, I've just been terrified of not being able to complete the story — to find the finish line — so most of my opening scenes end up orphans.

That changed last night. I finished a story. I found details and directions along the way. It was like a road trip where you understand the direction you need to head, but you don't begin to see all the quirky details of the journey until you're actually on the road. Sure, maybe you've got a few landmarks mentally noted before you hit the highway, but it's the twists and roadside attractions encountered by surprise that colour the journey— that write themselves into the story.

I made a breakthrough last night. Today I'll re-read, revise, and edit. I'll enter my story in a competition. If I'm not short-listed I'll be OK. The point is that I finally have something to submit, and to me that is a much more important prize than recognition.

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~ by Jen on Friday, 23 June 2006 - 11:27am.

2 Responses to “I wrote my first short story”

  1. You know I’m going to iChat you and have you read it to me. I will also need a copy to put on my refrigerator! Oh, and a copy of your money-making letter, too! Of course, that means I’ll have to take down a couple of your crayon drawings from childhood…
    No, wait. If I move my refrigerator, I can get to the other side of it πŸ™‚

  2. πŸ˜€ No prob, Mom. As soon as I get a back-issue of the magazine I’ll scan the letters page in for you. I’m curious how or if they’ve edited what I submitted… but not precious about it. It sure felt good to deposit my first tiny check for something I’ve written! More please!

    I’ve been revising my short (2000-ish word) story today and will be reviewing some of the tips and examples offered by various competitions. As soon as I feel it’s ready (sometime this weekend) I’ll get in touch with you to share it. πŸ™‚

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