As I was preparing to sign up for classes last semester, I knew I would need to sign up for a filler class in order to keep my scholarship. Technically, I only need 3 classes to graduate but I need 12 hours for my scholarship. So I signed up for Creative Writing (actually called: Form and Technique of Fiction). And when I learned that we would need to write a short story and read it out loud, a small part of me wanted to drop the class. But a bigger part of me wanted to see this thing through and to stop putting my creative writing career on hold. My biggest dream in life is to become a published author, but I’m not doing anything towards that goal. This short story would be the kick-start I needed to take this dream and make it a reality.
At first, I had no idea of what I wanted to write about. What genre? What age range? What character?
Luckily, my professor had us do a lot of writing exercises and one such exercise gave me the perfect beginning. I am so in love with this beginning. I am never one to toot my own horn, but I happen to think it’s pretty fantastic: it draws the reader in and makes them want to read on. At least that’s what I think!
The first time around, my story had a lot of holes in it. I didn’t particularly like the main character and she was very two-dimensional. The story didn’t flow in the right way and I was almost ready to toss the entire thing and try a completely different story.
Then I decided to test out a new character. And it all came together. The character was more likeable, the plot more believable. The story flowed so much better and I get this little flutter in my stomach as I read it through. Is it the best story to ever be written? Absolutely not. Will it win me a dozen awards? Nope. But it’s a piece of me, it took a lot of work to get it in the shape it is now and I know I still have more edits to do on it. Thanks to some harsh, but completely true, critiques from Kendra (whom I will be hiring as my editor when I become rich and famous, just so you know), I took a story that was laying on shaky foundation and turned it around into a story that can stand on its own two feet.
Writing this story was a lot of work. There were many edits, many changes, many freak-outs. But it was also incredibly fun. I can see myself doing this again and again. This short story gave me the spark I needed to get serious about writing my novel, to stop putting my dreams on hold until the perfect time comes. (Because, really, when will it be the perfect time?) I’m more determined than ever to get my foot in the writing world, no matter how hard it is.
Come Thursday, I will be ready to read my story out loud. There will be butterflies, but I’m pretty positive there will be more excited butterflies than nervous butterflies. I think I can handle any critiques that are thrown my way, because it’s all in the name of improvement. I’ve been worried that being critiqued on my creative writing will defeat me since I am very sensitive, but I imagine it will only serve to help me to another look at my story in a different way. And make it so much better.
If you want to read my story, let me know in the comments and I’ll send the file to you.
What are some dreams you’ve been sitting on for a while?