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The Door ... will it ever open?   —   Writing - Topical

When I was fourteen years old I wrote a short story about a veteran's hospital that I had recently visited. The visit itself had marked me deeply, I was young and unaccustomed to the suffering of others, and when making that visit to show my respects on Veteran's Day I experienced an unexpected and rather emotional revelation. When I wrote of my experience I decided to show my father, perhaps in part to share with him some of what I had seen, and perhaps in part to gage whether or not he was impressed with my ability to craft a story as I had, and upon reading it he remarked, with all sincerity, that I had a gift. I suppose it was the affirmation that I needed to continue because in that year, 1992, I began a writing hobby that I would carry with me into adulthood. My second short story was an adaptation of a film adaptation of a Stephen King short story called The Raft (you follow that?). Afterward I started an onslaught of poetry that was mostly about unrequited love and broken hearts and longing, some of it about spiritual awakenings, and eventually about spiritual suffocation. I've written many short stories in the passing years, attempted a chronicle of my cross country journey from Colorado to Florida, and eventually started a blog. I've always felt that I have a book inside of me but have lacked the discipline necessary to write one. A few years ago I fleshed out an idea for a story that had been brewing, and after consulting Adam and Todd I decided on the outline and tucked it all away in that giant black cauldron of my mind, letting it stew.

A little over a year ago I began to write the story, and stopped. A month or so later I wrote a little more, and stopped. A short while after that I wrote a little more, and stopped. And so has been the trend of the story that has the temporary title of The Door. The actual writing within a scene is not the problem, I could write for days about the briskness of an autumn day or why Sally feels sad when she sees the color yellow, it's guiding my characters into What Happens Next is where I stutter and stall. As I said before, I have an outline, but there are so many moments in between The Moments that it's difficult to decide where to go, which path to take, do they make dinner at home or do they go out for the evening? Do they help the movers with the boxes or do I create a separate scene with them for character development? I never anticipated so many road blocks with the simplest things, sometimes it's daunting to think of the vast road before me, in the creation of an entire world, of fleshed out people that you want to spend time with, of a story that has something to say. I suppose in the end I should resort to the advice that Stephen King gives in his book "On Writing". In it he says, "Try any goddam thing you like, no matter how boringly normal or outrageous. If it works, fine. If it doesn't, toss it. Toss it even if you love it. Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch once said, "Murder your darlings," and he was right." But first, I guess I have to create them.

Posted 1.27.2009 1:23:17 AM

Dad wrote:
How wonderful that you have the writing juice's going again, as I have always said, you have a gift, so use it. You never know about the "road not taken", it could be the path to your future, so don't be afraid and write my darling. Find an avenue for your work and submit it, then submit another and another, and eventually you will make it happen. I have an unbiased feeling about your work, it is too good by anyone's judgment to not be read. Be bigger than you think you are, because greatness comes to those who try harder. Love always.
Posted 1/27/2009 9:21:27 AM
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