It Only Takes a Sprout to Get a Story Growing
By Shirley Kiger Connolly
When I choose to start a new story, the idea begins with a tiny plot busily sprouting in the back of my head -- you know that section of my brain that's called the portion of creativity.
Sometimes that little idea sits in my mind for weeks --sometimes months -- sometimes even years. But it's there. It doesn't make a lot of sense just yet...but someday it will.
Eventually that moment comes when I know I must get started. I also know if I don't begin my story right then, that little piece of a plot that sprouted in my brain way back when just might find a way to disappear back to where it was before.
The first few pages
The first five pages are never easy for me. I have to begin them over and over again -- then over and over again. It takes me forever to be satisfied with what I've written in order to get myself on to page six.
Many authors don't recommend a writer waste her early writing days always busy self-editing. Rather, they suggest an author should simply write and write and write. Then later the writer can go back and see whatever it was she or he just wrote.
According to most, that's the proper time to begin fixing the mess.
Unable to Walk Away
In spite of the excellent counsel of other writers, however, for some reason I can't seem to do what I'm told. I can't seem to walk away from my mess, or move ahead before what I've done makes sense. I can't go on before I think I'm ready, and sometimes I'm not ready for a very long time.
But eventually that day comes. It's an amazing feeling to see beyond those first five pages then find myself at page ten, then twenty, then thirty, until I suddenly have worked my way up to chapter three, moving merrily along.
How exciting it is to watch my speck of a plot make its way from the back of my mind to the paper...more readily to the computer page -- from chapter to chapter until I can see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
Once I get through the to the other side, I no longer have to constantly look back. I know where I am; I understand where I've been; I know pretty much where I'm going. Most of all, I'm not afraid to get there.
Getting to the other side
It's probably not the best way to create that perfect story. Maybe it is hardly the technique that would work for you. But isn't that what part of the joy is all about...each of us able to call ourselves creative writers simply because we have our own form and style and system?
Each writer/author must do what works best for her or him.
It's when we come to the moment where we can write the words "The End" we all experience that great moment of satisfaction. That moment comes for the long-awaited nut-filled chocolate candy bar. That moment arrives for our prayer of thanks to go up. That is the moment we as writers look up many with grateful sighs.
We can breathe again
We've just written something that might even make sense. We've written something with a beginning, middle, and end. Something that's been exciting and challenging for those of us who put it forth in hopes it will also be appreciated by the reader about to take it in.
Before we know it, our brain will sprout a new story seed, and it will be time to start over again.