No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness. -Aristotle

You should never doubt what nobody is sure of. -Willy Wonka

In the end, we all become stories. -Margaret Atwood

It might be possible that the world itself is without meaning. -Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Once Upon A Time When There Were Dragons ...

Some people say to follow the rules, others say there are no rules. Some people say write what you know, others say write what you don't know about what you know. Some people say you should set times to write, others say do it when ever, where ever, how ever you can. Some people say, write a prologue, never write back story, dismiss your adverbs, and fantasy is over done.

I don't agree.

I say, I want a story. I don't want to be lectured, moraled, or infused with the opinion of the author as told through his characters. I want to be entertained, mesmerized, by people in a place where I secretly search for a portal to gain further access into their lives.

I want to meet them, to see through their eyes and feel through their hearts. I want to connect with each one in some way, good or bad, as I want to wonder what I would be like if I had a little more of this or a lot less of that. I want to try on their clothes, sit under their trees, dip my toes in their beaches and be under their spells. Sometimes I want to marry them. Sometimes I think I see them in grocery stores or malls and want to either bear hug them or chop off their heads. I want to cry, laugh, sing, fret, grieve, scream, and journey next to them. I want to want their world.

So I've decided out of the three stories I have started over the last six years and not finished, I am going to write the fairy tale. The "Once Upon A Time" story of a 13 year old girl who through a knothole slips into a kingdom of all things literal and truthful, in search of some meaning of herself.

Been done? Of course, it all has. But isn't that one thing we wonder, at 13, 30, and 50 - who are we, how did we get here and as you age, "if anyone had ever told me this was my life I would have ____". Yeah, life happens but people are people. The only thing that changes is the hairstyles, clothing and means of socialization. There are always rich to poor, depressed to elated, suffering to triumphant, misery to content. All people experience bad hair days, acne, bullying, small successes and knock-out failures, but in the end when no one is listening, we secretly wish for the fairy tale.

Now that you're older, don't you still dream of riding a dragon, surfing the Big Kahuna or casting spells? What about a do-over of a moment, a month, or 10 years of your life? What about "what ifs" or "if only I had, or had not?"

The fairy tale, time travel, fantasy, and sci-fi story brings people away from themselves to a place where they only go in thoughts and dreams for there they can be anyone, they can defeat anything, they are the heroes of the land. Face it, we all need to be heroes. We all need to be loved by those who are not familial and sometimes by them as well. We need to be noticed, for someone to tell us once in a while, "hey, you're amazing!" And if we don't get that in real life, or at least not the way we want, we get it through stories, those written or those we write.

So for any of you struggling with the rules or questions like "should I write this?", "would this work?", "will this sell?, or "what if it sucks?", I offer you this: take what the others say and use what benefits you. As far as writing, write what you feel, what makes you want to think of nothing else. Write what gets you through a biology test, bad work day, cranky kids, financial woes or relationship crap because other than that biology test everything else is going to be there your whole entire life, whether it's of you or someone you know because that's just how it goes.

Write that story inside you, surf that wave, ride that dragon, then sell it. You can journal to understand yourself but you write stories to understand people. And if you think fairy tales, fantasy, or sci-fi are for children only, just remember who buys them in the first place.

 

5 comments:

Murees Dupé said...

I say go for it! I agree with you. When I read, I read to escape and be part of reality that is a little better than mine. Don't give up, because you are truly talented. I know you can do this.

Nancy said...

Thank you Murees. You are a good friend.

Murees Dupé said...

Hello again Nancy. I have an award on my blog for you.

Amelie said...

This is cool!

bigmouthrambles said...

Wonderful ideas, beautifully expressed. I agree. I've let myself become overly critical about writing without meaning to. I want to go back...back to the passion that gave me the desire to write in the first place. The rest just seems like a way to discourage writers more often and it encourages them.