Normally I would put stories from The Red Dress Club prompts on Under Loch and Key, but that part of the blog is fiction, and this week’s prompt is definitely not.
Okay, here’s your chance.
For this week’s RemembeRED prompt, we’re borrowing a prompt from Writing the Memoir by Judith Barrington.In her chapter “The Truth: What, Why, and How,” she asks her readers to:“Tell the story (without any trivialization or modesty) of something in your life that you are proud of.”Look easy? I’m guessing it will be a bit tougher than you think.We are so used to downplaying ourselves, of apologizing for pointing out our own accomplishments. And? We’ll have none of that here!Your word limit is 700 words.Come back and link up on Tuesday, May 3rd.Happy Remembering!
I have been writing fiction since Elementary school. About 5 years ago, I finished a novel-length children’s story for Scottish Highland Dancers. I did sent out one or two queries, but nothing came of it. It is a very niche market; they are good stories (I also wrote a couple more) but I just wasn’t ready to put the work into them that was required. I do intend to return to them someday, but that’s not where my energy is directed now.
Last November (I know, I’ve blogged about this many times!) I took up the NaNoWriMo challenge. National Novel Writing Month is “Thirty Days and Nights of Literary Abandon”; a cooperative effort amongst the writing community to churn out a 50,000 word novel in one month. But with two kids, one of whom was not yet three and the other with special needs, time was not on my side.
Hubby to the rescue! His only requirement was that, this time, I send it to an agent or publisher.
I had recently been toying with a science fiction world, writing romance stories set in this future society. I had never actually finished any stories, although I had started several. I decided to use this world for NaNoWriMo, and started a brand new story line with all new characters.
I reached 50,000 words well before the end of the month. I’m proud of that, and proud that I finished that first novel and it became Dogs, Cats, and Allergies. I’m proud that I researched agents, and found a path towards publication that is realistic, though a bit scary. I’m proud that I went on to finish two more novels (Although Under the Radar’s ending is mostly still in outline form, not fleshed out.)
What I’m perhaps most proud of is the fact that I’m willing to look at these three novels, and realize that the stories might not be strong enough for publication. At least, not as an initial introduction to Kingdom Come. If (knock on wood) I am accepted by an agent and then a publisher and the first novel is successful enough to merit sequels, then these stories are perfect. And if they don’t ever see the light of day, I will know that the writing of them was not a waste, but a necessary step in the long and convoluted road.
Shout-out to your husband for not only giving you the precious gift of time to accomplish this, but for attaching a condition!!!
What I’m perhaps most proud of is the fact that I’m willing to look at these three novels, and realize that the stories might not be strong enough for publication.
~ It takes a great deal of courage to admit this. I really admire you.
I would love to do NaNoWriMo someday. THe challenge sounds like so much fun!
Congratulations on doing it
Thank you both!
NaNoWriMo was very encouraging and inspiring.
Now I’m just deciding how much re-working to do before I’m ready to send a query to an agent!
Hurrah, to you! You have made tremendous accomplishments in completing those works. In addition, to still be able to look at them with a measure of objectivity is tremendous. I say, GO. Go seek out that agent or two and see what happens! Congrats.
Congrats on completing NanoWrimo…I only got up to 7000 words and I am a housewife with a child who is in school all day!
That you were able to complete it means you are incredibly awesome!
Thank you Melody and Jenn!
It helped that my hubby not only said “OK, write.” but he also said “And try to get it published.” There are SO many more steps and work to do (like creating a blog and establishing a larger internet presence) between writing that first draft and being ready to query an agent! I have picked out an agent I like, and I’m currently taking the advice from her webpage about editing, revising, and “working” the manuscript to get it ready.
I am glad to know more of your history in writing, and am so glad to see not only your pride in accomplishment, but perspective. what a great blog post to link up with!
I reached 50,000 words well before the end of the month.
To be able to make that statement….what an accomplishment!