I wrote my first novel when I was thirteen and in junior high. I wrote it out in long hand on a lined tablet with yellow pages. It was a love story about grown up people, and a doctor named Rae, things I really knew nothing about. Yet, I felt compelled to write that particular story.
I can’t remember the plot, or even the title, although I do recall the opening when the good doctor is driving down a muddy dirt road in a rainstorm. Why? I have no idea. The rest is pretty fuzzy. Regrettably, I destroyed the story quite some time ago, embarrassed by my fledgling efforts. Looking back, I now wish I had kept it. You know, something to look back on. I mean I was just thirteen.
It might be fun to look back at now. But gone is gone, and nothing can bring it back.
Although, I’m not sure how the book ended, I do know it didn’t have a happy ending—girl did not end up with boy. There was no happy-ever-after. Don’t know why. I guess it just didn’t feel right.
I remember when I was working on this novel my father asked to read it. He seemed amused that I was tackling something so ambitious as a novel. I felt a bit proud. My dad never got to see any of my published work as he left this world about five years before my first story was published. I stopped dreaming about him after I told him, in a dream, that I was a writer, something I’d always wished he’d been alive to know about.
My older sister also read my novel. She read it after it was completed. Needless to say she didn’t like the ending. She wanted a happy ever after.
So what did I do? I changed the ending. I went against what felt right for the story and changed the ending to reflect what my sister thought was right. I remember not wanting to do it. Yet change it I did.
Funny, how we can bend under pressure, change who we are and what direction we are going in, just to please others. Today, I would not change the ending. Today, I would stick to my guns.
Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes we need to make changes in our WIP.
Revision is NOT a dirty word, but before you make any changes to your story you should ask yourself,” Why?” Is it just to appease others or will your story benefit from these changes? A writer needs to write their story, not the story they think someone else want them to write. Writing our own story adds authenticity to our work. Remember, you are the only one who can write that particular story in that way. When changes are needed, make these changes for the right reason. Be yourself. Write your story, not someone else’s.
That is all…