Time for my own story.
In my About Me page, I share that I’m trying my hand in the writing world. I mean the real writing world. As in querying, contests, agents, critique partners, and getting your heart ripped out by anyone who will give you the time of day to read your words. It’s a pretty scary and intimidating place. So intimidating that when I was in high school and college, I tried to pretend I wasn’t a part of it.
Recently, I’ve gotten into some social media as well as some writers groups and for the first time am putting myself out there to find writing friends, peers, and critique partners. I’ve raked through tears, anger, and frustration to find people who I can truly reach out to. My current CPs, Joy and Megan, have already been such a gift. I can only hope to one day repay them for their support and incredibly insightful observations on narrative construction.
Enough on that for now.
I chose this photo because it represents a piece of my past, as well as a piece of my future. I have written approximately six or seven manuscripts. Believe it or not, five of them are on the same story. But they are all different; all have been entirely re-written, re-plotted, re-everythinged.
My real problem thus far has been wrangling a protagonist who will actually listen to me. Six years ago I had this brilliant idea about a kaleidoscope, and then none of my fictional kids cared about it at all. I’ve been through as many main characters as manuscripts. One of my first characters was a quirky girl, who maybe acted a bit young for her age, named Cory.
I set Cory aside a long time ago, let her be on the shelf to stew. The Kaleidscope just wasn’t her story. It didn’t satiate her need for adventure enough, I get it. In her version, the adults were controlling her, and it became more their story than hers. I even wrote in an affair between two of the adults that pretty much kicked Cory out to the sidelines. Needless to say, she did not want to have anything to do with that stupid kaleidoscope or any legends behind it. She had to spend a few years cooling off.
Then, last week I saw this photo on reddit and for whatever reason, I knew it belonged to Cory. That was going to be her adventure.
I wish I could say that I’m in between stories now, and could dive right into this new world of astronauts and space bouncing. But I’m not. I’m finishing what I think is THE LAST form the kaleidoscope story will take. Fingers crossed. (We’ll see what Joy and Megan have to say about that.) So I have to look at this photograph as a reminder of two things. One: It’s a reminder of the girl I wrote about six years ago. Two: It’s a reminder of the great narrative I may possibly write next year. Old meets new. Benched character meets open position.
I see the photograph and I see a story. Isn’t that the point of this whole challenge?