I have had an amazing little find over the weekend: I found my original story!
Or at least one of them.
I had moved the folder holding it somewhere on my computer and forgot where I stuck it. I was afraid I had deleted it by accident but I found it on my external! This particular story is one I managed to write from beginning to middle to end.
For me, it is an accomplishment.
That was the fun part.
The hard part is seeing the state it is in.
The story isn’t very good. It is dry and dull. Too many characters and not enough depth to the world or the people in this world I am creating. I was confused about why the story was a big flop.
To figure it out what was wrong with my story, I thought about the stories I read as I child and why I fell in love with them. From Moccasin Trail to Lord of the Rings all the way to Trouble In A Fur Coat, the stories stayed with me. Silas Marner and a couple of autobiographies written by a couple of World War II soldiers.
These books are the ones I remember out of the hundreds I have read growing up.
Why did these stay with me?
Why did they stand out in my memory.
I realized the stories had depth and lessons within them. There is a balance between the action and development stages. Each of the characters has great depth and are relatable. The words on the page just don’t sit there but they come to life and paint a picture in my mind of what is happening in the story.
The stories draw out a reaction from me: rage at the action of a selfish character or the sorrow of a tragedy. An adventure that I want to take part in or the life which fascinates me. Or a world which I want to explore and learn more about.
And that is what I want to do with my own story.
To write a tale that causes people to want to throw it across the room in outrage then pick it back up because they want to know what happens next.
To have children reading the story decades after it is first published.
To have readers pick up the book as children and continue to reread them as teens, young adults, and adults.
But right now my story sucks. Too many characters and no real “quest” driving the characters through the conflicts. The words are dull and the level of high school students. Granted, I am pretty sure I finished it just after I finished high school.
Despite the headache of working on a story on the level of Tolkien, I am happy to work and invest time in it. I want to inspire the next generation of children coming after me. To have work that stretches across the decades.
So I pen the words and follow those who have written before me.
That and drink hot coco (yes, I know it is August and it is 80 degrees outside at night).