Thursday, January 3, 2013

That Moment We Say The End

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.


  1. Thanks for this. It is the way I own way. I enjoyed your article.

  2. Good advice, Shirley. I am more a pantser than a plotter, so your thoughts work more for me. But I also see the point of knowing what you are to do then sticking to it. thanks
    Patty Winthrop
    Nonfiction Writer

  3. loved your article shirley
    always love to look into your collage of articles and promotions here
    Betty F