Important Writing, part 1

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December 27, 2010 by David Gillaspie

For Important Readers (Inspired By Larry Brooks, http://storyfix.com/the-most-important-thing-you%e2%80%99ll-ever-write)

So many good stories begin with ‘Once upon a time’ that you think all writing ought to start that way.

And you’d be right.

Then you hear a story begin with ‘Imagine, if you will…’ and you think all stories ought to start that way.

And you’d be right.

Any story you read through from beginning to end starts right, or else you wouldn’t finish.

What about writing your story?  How would it begin?  Why not begin with your beginning?  If that sounds good, why not share it with those who started you?

And no, you don’t have to find the fourth grade teacher who fed you books, or the college English instructor who said you have a flair with words.  But you do have to find a way to reach your parents and those you care about.

Start with your mom. 

Did she ever go through your coat pockets in grade school and find things you shop-lifted from Payless Drugs?  Did you tell her you stole the items so the cool kids would let you hang out with them? 

Did you breakdown under questioning and give the name of the cool kid who had the stealing for membership idea?

Did she ring-up the cool kid’s parents and tell them what was going on, then hand you the phone so you could hear the cool kid get a beating from his mean dad?  Did she make you confess to the store manager then tell him it was fine with her if they called the police, but instead he banned you from the store and the mall it was in for life?

Write momma a letter thanking her for caring enough about your future to scare the be-Jesus out of you.

Start with you dad if mom needs some time.

Did dad give you a deadline in junior high school when you were supposed to be home, then extend it time and again because you were at your girlfriend’s house?  Did you explain that your girlfriend had high school and college sisters who ran around the house in their nighties during the day? 

Did you tell him you all sat on the couch together and you couldn’t stand-up without breaking something important?

Did you miss curfew so often that you had to lie, and your dad pretended to believe you until mom called him a gullible fool?  Did dad like mom cracking back on him, or did he pass it along to you and shake you until the truth fell out? 

Did you slap yourself in the face hard enough to make a bruise for your girlfriend and her sisters to kiss the next day because they didn’t have anyone care enough to take a beating for them?

Write him a thank-you letter.  Let him know you forgive him for your stupid behavior. 

Tell him to pass it along to mom.

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