Story 4 & 5: Cows, Birth, Houses, Death

I'm clumping stories four and five together because I wrote each of them back to back in two days. Not because I'm trying to force things, but because I'm trying to force things for the NaNoWriMo challenge. Story four focused on a girl in the snow heading out to retrieve a wandering cow. It was...okay. It's not literary gold, but there were some good lines in there. As the story goes she finds the cow and it promptly begins giving birth in the middle of the snow just as a bear is seen roaming nearby. With some heavy revision, this story could turn into something.

Story five went much better as a tale about three older teenagers heading to an abandoned house and roaming around inside. As the story unfolded I was pleasantly surprise by a tie in that the house was one of the teenager's mother's house growing up and he was looking for something specific as his mother had recently committed suicide. There was a lot more grit to this story and a lot of meat to work with when you factor in childhood memories, death, what home means, etc..

I say I was surprised about this story because, as many writers know, a lot of the time you have no idea where your story is going and where it will take you. Characters suddenly start doing things you didn't know they were going to do, like lunge at one another and start a fist fight or clam up and stay silent. That's the kind of stuff that a first draft is all about; letting the story tell itself. While I love to plot out stories ahead of time so I know where I'm trying to get to, I find it's easier to not fight your characters when they start doing something unexpected. Just let them go, let them explore and you can clean up, clarify and cut information in your revisions.

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