I have always thought that there was a writer within me. When I was in the second grade my teacher, Mrs. Kromhroy, inspired my fantasy to become an author. It was that year that I wrote my first book, complete with illustrations. The book is long since gone, and I am not even sure of the plot anymore. I can tell you without a doubt that the main character, Chrissy, lived in a house that looked like a huge mushroom. What I don’t remember illustrates why becoming a writer is still just a fantasy, developing a memorable story still eludes me.
One summer I spent researching a book that never got written. I read lots of non-fiction about live on the frontier of South Dakota. I even took a road trip with a friend to see an abandon orphanage that sat on the wide open prairies of South Dakota. I took pictures and explored that building and other homesteads long since vacated by families who had moved on. The pictures hung above my desk for years to help me visualize my story and inspiration of those who had lived there.
I have belonged to writers group, participated in workshops, took classes at the U and had my work critiqued. I stumbled then as I do now with that magical plotting outline. I know the primary characters like they are my best friends; knowing their faults, strengths and deepest wishes. I know what the conflict is and how it will be resolved. I can write the jacket cover and make you want to read my book. What I can not to do is work this in to a book with supporting characters, underlying stories that support the overall story. Plotting an fully story outline is a skill that is elusive to me. I spent years in as a systems analysis, this should not be hard for me, but it a hurdle I haven’t been able to get over.
My father’s first cousin is a Christian writer. Much of her inspiration, excluding God because that is a given for Christian writing, comes from history, some of it family, other regional history. She is encouraging and makes me think about taking some of my family history research and weave that into a story. Is that the story I suppose to write? Until then I will keep blogging along.