Monday, April 22, 2013

Stories Behind My Short Stories

The fact that I haven't written a proper short story since November depresses me.

There are no less than fourteen ideas that could be developed into short stories in a document stowed away in my 'Writing' folder. And I just can't seem to write even an opening line! It's driving me crazy!

Maybe the reason why this genre is my favourite has something to do with my first foray into writing being a short story. This was during the summer vacation after fourth grade, when we'd gone to stay with dad, back when he worked in Dubai. I was in the Enid-Blyton-Worshipping phase then, not introduced to Harry Potter yet.

There was only so much TV-watching and little-sister-entertaining a nine-year-old could do. (Off-topic, but my sister seemed so much cuter and manageable when she was six.) I had re-read, for the hundredth time, the few Famous Five books I'd persuaded my mom to bring along with me. I had read every scrap of newspaper, a book of recipes for fancy dishes mom would never make... and even the microwave oven's instruction manual.

There's nothing like boredom to inspire you. I started working on what I planned to be my very first adventure novel. What came out was a little story spanning a few pages in my 100-page notebook, about an evil witch who kidnaps and kills a girl, every year, for some weird sacrifice to make her more powerful. As she nears her target, however, the kingdom's princess decides she's had enough and sets off to find a way to destroy the witch for once and for all. (Spoiler: She succeeds! :P Sorry, but I don't remember how...)

My dad's best friend - fondly called Unni uncle - was the first to discover I'd written something. I remember wondering why a grown-up would want to read my story and then feeling proud when he said it was great and scolded my dad for not reading it himself.

Then in sixth grade I joined the school-level short story writing contest on an impulse. Later, during Science, my teacher mentioned a "good" story she'd noticed when she was collecting the entries, in which a couple adopts their daughter's best friend after her parents die in an accident and her uncles/aunts wouldn't claim her because they quarreled with her father over an inheritance. The story which, I realized with a jolt, I had written.

These little events were among the biggest factors that encouraged me to take writing seriously in high school. I began dabbling in poetry and essay-writing as well, but my short stories remained closest to my heart. They still do, even during this lean patch I'm going through.

I hope the Muse of Short Stories, if there's one, will look upon me favourably once again and allow me to return to writing what I love most.

12 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading about how you fell in love with writing. Don't worry, the Muse of Short Stories will soon find you. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so, Jules. The lack of short stories on my blog is killing me.

      Delete
  2. I enjoyed your post, it's a shame your finding it hard to focus on your ideas. Just give yourself time to write and I'm sure your short stories will flow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Elaine, for the advice and encouragement. I'll try to hold on until then :)

      Delete
  3. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. But now I just don't find the time to write anything longer than a poem. This post was a delightful read.
    P.S. I just discovered an online short story contest. If you're interested the website is 1000words.org.uk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, the contest is exciting. I really want to give it a try. Thanks a ton, Sania! :)

      Delete
  4. Your first story's plot is adorable.

    I just wanted to bring it to your notice that you haven't enabled public access to your Blogger profile. So when people click on your name they don't get to see your blog. I found your blog by browsing through the A to Z, but it would be cool if many more people could get here easily. They're missing out ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for bringing this to my attention! I hadn't noticed it.

      Delete
  5. I love how you got into writing. And just because your muse has left you doesn't mean you've lost any of your talent. It just means your mind needs a small break. This is when you get to go to do research; go running, go skate, go play. You'll find something to inspire you soon enough :)

    Dropping in from the A to Z Challenge, we're so close to being done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Schoolwork is a major distraction. Research, yes. Physical exercise? I'm lacking a lot in that department. Sigh.

      Nice to see you here, Lynne! Good luck with the last lap of A-Z :)

      Delete
  6. I always love to hear the story behind the story. You're so talented!

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog: kristenhead.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete