Posted tagged ‘stories’

Write Me A Story

May 31, 2010

Continuing with my series on my hobbies, I’ve now come to one of my favorite pastimes: writing.  As I think I’ve already mentioned, I did not like writing especially well during elementary, but I did learn some good habits which have paid off in college writing.  Those same habits also come in handy when I write fiction.

I’ve told you that my sister likes to write (sometimes she even likes to write with me).  She and I sometimes shake our heads and laugh because around the same time that she started writing stories and some short pieces (only a couple of years ago), I also got the urge and started writing short stories of my own.

I started with an adaptation of the story of Ruth (which, by the way, needs some revisions – something else on my long-range to-do list), and then my imagination started branching out and coming up with all kinds of interesting plots.  I laugh at some of my earlier stories because several of them have very similar plots or settings.  Still, I have written a couple of things that I never would have imagined myself writing.

For instance, after all the trouble I had in school with writing stories, who would have thought that I would write a story nearly 50,000 words long?  I was never into science fiction either, but I’ve also written a short story about a planet in another galaxy where I made up everything from the names in the specific planetary system to the modes of travel (some of which sound high-tech, and some of which sound almost mystical).  Not exactly sci-fi, but closer to it than I would ever have guessed that I would write!  What’s more, I may have left enough loose ends for a sequel.

In addition to my stories, I write a little poetry.  You’ve seen some of it on the blog already, such as it is.  I sometimes write a poem as a gift for someone, sometimes to express my feelings on a tough topic, and sometimes because my thoughts don’t come in complete sentences.  On a few occasions, I have tried putting my poems to music; other times I’ll just write lyrics that aren’t necessarily poetry, but that’s a story for another post.

I’d have to say that writing is definitely a hobby of mine.  I will sometimes even write out my thoughts on a topic in order to get my thoughts organized.  Someone will ask a question on which I don’t have a well thought out answer, and I’ll go digging for answers and end up writing an essay! 

I have several pages of unused story ideas that I would like to write about.  That’s in contrast to my sister, who wants to be published; she has pages on pages of ideas, cool phrases, intriguing names, and eye-catching titles.  I try to make my fiction interesting and well written, but unlike my sister, I don’t often spend a lot of time ironing out details and editing my stories.  Most of my stories are for self-expression, and I write for the fun of it.  Not that taking a story to it’s best isn’t fun, but it does take a bit more time than I always have to spend on a hobby. 

The exception might be my novel, for which I wrote up plot notes that ran to over a dozen single-spaced, typed pages when printed out.  That’s besides all the background notes I had on each character and some of the curious elements in that story.  I didn’t want to forget anything and leave it out!  Besides, someday I would also like to write the sequel to this one as well . . .



Stories of my Sister

March 17, 2010

How do you describe a sister?  I think it’s tough to find words to sum up a sister’s being and personality in a simple sentence.  It takes a book to do a sister justice.  Especially one as talented as mine.  Actually, it’s funny that I should say it takes a book to describe her since stories are what have bound us closest over the years.

As small girls, we used to play with our Barbies together, telling stories the whole time.  Because I was a bookworm (still am), we grew very sophisticated in our plots while still very young.  I liked to copy and modify the stories I had read, and my sister has always had to smile when she finally read a book which I had used as the basis for one of our “playings,” as we called them.  Depending on what we were studying in history, we might also imagine our dolls to be spies in the Revolution, Underground Railroad engineers in the Civil War, immigrants from a multitude of countries, Native Americans, pioneers, or cowboys.

The best part was that we got to change the story as we went along.  I would try three or four times before I got one character’s lines right, and Sister would sit there grinning the while.  I am afraid that I dominated the stories most of the time, but that was partly because my sister is four years younger.  When we started, I had read more, knew more, and had the better ideas.

That changed several years ago.  We were getting too old really to be playing with dolls anymore, but neither of us wanted to give it up, especially Sister.  I had been trying to quit since I reached my teens, since I entered highschool, and since I turned sixteen, but it was hard when my sister was four years younger and still wanted the sister time.  It was a favorite pastime of mine as well since I got to imagine all kinds of stories and pretend to myself that I was the heroine.

Then my mother had us write a play together for part of our schoolwork.  She got a book called Create-a-Drama, and we worked our way through it to write a melodrama.  This experience was eye opening, as we finally put one of our stories down in black and white.  I had joked about tape recording our playings sometimes, but never did anything about it.  This story, however, would last.

Since I held the pencil and did the actual writing, my fingerprints are most obvious in the finished result.  Also since I was the older, I overruled some of my sister’s objections to my style.  For instance, I wrote out much of the dialect for this mid-western set of characters, and she did not like all the apostrophes and the weird spellings that resulted.  I grudgingly let her fix some of them when she typed them into the computer, but dug in fiercely about taking all the twang out of the script.  You see, I expected people to read the story because I did not expect that we would ever actually perform it as a play or radio-play.

Still, my sister did have some input, and most of it was good.  Our creation passed muster with my mother, and we were brave enough to show it to a few people, who enjoyed seeing this product of our creativity.  Since then, we have begun collaborating on another story (about an actor, of all things), but this endeavor is taking longer since we have to fit it in around our school work, my job and volunteering schedules, and all the other things going on with our family.

In the meantime, we like to spend time chattering about everything under the sun when we are supposed to be doing something else.  We both have said that we cannot walk into the other’s room to ask them a question without it ending up in a half-hour (at least) conversation.  Still, we cannot complain.  After all, it could be worse.  We could each be stuck with a sister we could not stand!

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