My first thought was, “Hmm, I don’t know. I’m not sure how well I write short stories. I mean, sure I just wrote one for the Christmas anthology but the whole time that it was going to print, I worried that it might not be good enough.”
So maybe I have a slight insecurity issue.
After thinking about it, I realize that I should do it if they accept my synopsis and why not get more practice doing these? Hopefully, someday, I will be able to do them without much anxiety.
Some of my family and friends tell me that they could never be creative to write a story. They often ask me, “How do you come up with the ideas? What happens when you write?” So I thought that I would try to share some of my thought process with you along with some of the angst.
Okay. It’s a Valentine Anthology.
Right. Think Valentine. Love. Relationships. Short story with a full story from beginning to end.
Right. What says “Valentine’s Day?” I don’t know… Candy hearts? Surprise return home from the military? A marriage proposal?
Okay….So I need a heroine. Who is she? What does she do? How old is she?
And I’ll need a Hero. A hot, hunky hero.
While my thoughts are simmering, I play around on my laptop checking email, playing games on face book, and my thoughts drift to whether or not my Jr. High school son, passed that one class he struggled with.
I’ll make my hero, a Jr. High school math teacher.
So, I’ll make my heroine a single parent of a Jr. High school age daughter. And let’s make her the teacher’s daughter.
Okay, this is a doable start.
The premise and beginning of the story goes like this: Single mother of a 12 year old daughter goes to Jr. High School, first day of school.
They need names. Seth Winters is the teacher’s name and the single mother’s name must be a strong name but cute too. Jacqueline-Jackie……..I need to think of a last name that is generic so that it doesn’t stand out when the teacher hears it. Smith, that’s it.
The Tween-ager’s name will be Nicole-Nikki. Perfect.
Nikki attends Jr. High first day and thinks that her new Math teacher is dreamy. Mr. Winters is clearly a winner with the rest of the girls in class based on the dreamy eyed stares. Seems like a nice guy too.
Seth Winters, watches the third period class of new students walk in and after attendance is taken and he tries to commit to memory his student’s names to their faces, he takes a double look at Nicole Smith. He can’t place it but there is something familiar about her. Over the week, little bits of the self confident young lady reminds him of another young woman from his past and other parts remind him of his little sister.
The night of the parent teacher conference brings him face to face with Jackie and….
Wait a minute. I can’t let so much time pass between the first day of school and parent teacher conference. Remember, it’s a short story. Not only that but it’s a Valentine’s Day theme.
Okay, let’s shift the story begin in January. Let’s make the scenario that Nikki’s math teacher, went out on maternity leave in November and then quit. Mr. Winters was brought it as a replacement teacher for the rest of the year. Yes, that will work.
Now, let’s see…How can I get these two to find out about the other?
I need a back story explaining why Seth and Jackie haven’t seen each other in 13 years and why Seth doesn’t know he fathered a child. It’s can’t be something hokey that could just be settled if Jackie would have just picked up the phone and told him.
Back story: Seth’s college girl friend gets caught cheating on him at the end of his first year at college. Heartbroken, Seth returns home for the summer to mend it and while working he meets Jackie, recent high school graduate. Seth eventually tells Jackie about the ex-girlfriend back at school as their friendship develops and deepens. After Seth returns to college, his ex promises not to make that mistake again and begs him to give her another chance. When Seth tells Jackie, she encourages him to give her another chance so that he never regrets what could have happened with the ex.
Later, Jackie discovers she’s pregnant but knows that Seth is with Kathy now and she decides to raise her baby alone without ever telling Seth.
Fast forward 12 years, Seth is back in their lives without a clue he has father a child who happens to be his student. His marriage to Kathy, lasted two years because Kathy couldn’t be faithful. He felt foolish giving her a chance when all he really wanted was to find out what would have happened with Jackie, the girl back home. By the time, he tried to contact Jackie, she had moved.
So, I have this brief outline in my head of A story, but what does it have to do with Valentine’s Day?
What if I make the end happen on Valentine’s Day with a gift from Seth to both Jackie and Nikki, the two women who are the most important people in his life?
So, as you can see, it gets a little crazy inside my head when I think of a premise to a story. Especially, when I feel pressured to make the story fit a certain theme. Don’t get me wrong when I say that because I honestly do love coming up with stories and trying to write them down, but there is a wee bit more pressure when you’re writing a story for a specific purpose that isn’t necessarily in hopes to get it published.
Published is always a good thing, however.
The picture is a random search for a mother, father and tween. This is not a book cover.