Chatting with Linda Sue Park about writing yesterday was just what I needed. I don’t know about you but I do love hearing how successful authors struggle with insecurities. I don’t wish pain and suffering on anyone but it does make me feel a bit better to hear well-known authors talk about floundering at different stages of creation. Linda Sue shared some of her thoughts on the importance of structure (which she feels is the must-have first thing for her which got me rethinking an original idea for structure I had for my project a long time ago) which led to her making the comment that there were two universal themes for stories: hero goes on a journey and stranger comes to town.
I admit to hearing that before but I hadn’t stopped to think about that in regard to Plant Kid’s book. So last night when I was in that in-between falling asleep time I gave it some more thought.
First thought: “That SO totally doesn’t work for me.”
Second thought: “You must not be a real writer then because, come on, Linda Sue Park, HELLO?”
Third thought: “Well it’s not like I have a real plot yet. MAYBE it could work for me.”
Fourth thought: “HELLO?Linda Sue Park, remember.”
Fifth thought: “Well B isn’t going anywhere for real and I don’t think he is going anywhere emotionally so that journey thing is totally out.”
Sixth thought: “You’re not trying. Remember what Linda Sue said, if you want easy, bake a cake.”
Seventh thought: “But no one new comes to town. Everyone already lives there. See, it totally doesn’t work for me.”
Eight thought: “You’re really dense sometimes. Remember what else she said? Remember how she said she wrote three different endings to Kite Fighters? You have to try them all out.”
Ninth thought: “What if M wasn’t someone who already lived there? What if M is the stranger who came to town? What if he came to town because . . .”
The last thought I remember having before falling asleep was about birds which suddenly had the potential to matter in the book which made perfect sense NOW but which I hadn’t even considered before.
Thanks, Linda Sue!
So what about your story? Do you think it fits into one of the two universal themes?