I told everybody, even when I was just old enough to make up the silliest stories and write them down, that I wanted to be an author when I grew up.
Over time, the dream flickered, and sometimes it went out. Writing a story that would get published, first off, seemed like something that I had not the mental capacity or diligence to do. I did, as said above, write silly stories for my family often. Those that I meant to make more serious and professional in the future seemed to have no endings, however. If I was going to write a story, then it had to have an ending. That was how I thought about what I did.
Aside from the very hard work required for every author to be successful, and which I wanted to avoid if at all possible, I also had lots of school to think about, and a big family who summoned me to work, eat, and play alongside them for most of each day.
That and even more important things like the making sure of my salvation soon became great priorities on my plate taking up most of the room.
What would I do? In my mind, I had to do something for the future that also satisfied my appetite to write something. My imagination spanned from it being about talking monkeys by the Amazon River to it being about spies saving the world from destruction from many outrageous causes. Something out of all this clutter had to be put together and be the first thing that I would show acceptably to the world.
Some of my family members gave me some good advice.
My Grandma said to me that what got Louisa May Alcott to write a good book was when she was told to write about what she knew. Prior to this, she had delved into fantasies which, although imaginative, lacked the substance of good writing that attracts people everywhere to itself: namely, an ability to suspend the readers’ disbelief. And so she wrote about what it was like to grow up with her sisters, what she knew. Little Women is now a treasured classic everywhere.
An aunt of mine encouraged me to be original. Once she had written a story using Star Wars characters and had eagerly sought its publication, only to be turned down. She had not been given permission by the company owning the characters to use them.
A good story from me also needed to have an original plot. People don’t want another Cinderella, they want an army of giant rats to invade the ballroom or the father still alive and wanting to see his daughter back but unable to do so, for example. Thousands of stories have been made up in history. To create a new one, one only has to meld together diverse plots and finally tie the package together with their story’s whole point of existence.
My Dad purchased for me a great writer’s guide. From it I was again encouraged to be original but to also stick with general trends and current interests in order to relate to my audience.
My Mom told me to take my time. For a piece of art to be worth it, it is best completed slowly and with great care for the details.
There came a day in 2013 when I finally got the idea for my Work In Progress. As far as I know, it meets the above criteria in many ways. Since then, I have still needed and received much help from peers and mentors. Next time I post, I shall tell readers the story of how exactly my W.I.P., a “Christian dystopia” novel called The Unlikely Doctor, came into existence, and about where exactly it is headed now.