Sunday, April 17, 2016 / No comments

I Wrote a Few Short Stories and Figured I May Not Be the Best Writer, But Bless Me, I Try!





For as long I can remember, I've always loved reading.

In second grade, my teacher had each of us keep a list of all of the books we had read that year. At the end of the year, came one of the proudest moments of my younger years. My teacher was giving out awards to my class and she awarded me with reading the most books in a school year- 200 books! It still boggles my mind that I read that many in one year, but then I remembered that kids' books are much shorter and there could be dozens of books in a series (Babysitters Club Little Sister, Sweet Valley Twins, anyone?). Also, I keep forgetting that children don't have to work. Ah, that's where the times goes now!

As an avid reader as I have proven above, books have transported me to different places and the people who write them are geniuses. How can a person compose sentences that will take you to faraway or make believe places and introduce you to incredibly real or fantastical characters? Only special people are able to write a book to transport you back in time or to another world. I've always devoured books and their magnificent stories, but as merely a reader, could I also produce my own work to captivate others?

Almost as much as I love reading, I also love anything in the horror genre. Mostly in the supernatural, ghosts, exorcism sub genre, less so in the slasher sense. I get extremely excited when a new horror movies pops up in the theaters or on Netflix. I will see it even if I know it's going to be a dud, because even if it's a crappy horror movie, I need my ghostly fix!

Watching all of these terrible horror movies and shaking my head at the wasted potential of all of these could be fantastic story lines and characters, an idea popped in my head: what if I wrote my own horror stories, ones that I knew wouldn't be crappy?

This idea also came from the fact that horror novels to my taste are very hard to come by. It doesn't seem like a lot of traditional ghost stories are very "in" right now, unless they try to make the ghost a love interest in a paranormal book series that are popular at the moment (no offense to paranormal romance fans out there!). So last year, I sat down at my laptop, put my fingers to keyboard keys and wrote my very first horror short story, the Widow's Walk.

From there, the ideas just flowed and I wrote a few more stories. My stories varied in their styles and writings. Some had to do with ghosts, one with a mysterious pumpkin patch on Halloween, and another about a supernatural creature who steals childrens' souls (I know, I know. I'm weird). I got incredibly inspired and thought, "what if I actually wrote a book?" And also: "are my stories even that good?" To test out these theories, I signed up on Wattpad (well, I rejoined. I had actually made an account a year or two before and then promptly forgot that I had) to see what others might think of my writing.

Going in, I had no idea that Wattpad was a community all to itself. You had to make a cover for your story/book, you had to advertise your work, leave comments and vote on others' stories to get them to do the same for you, and so much more! One very kind soul reached out to me and offered to make me a cover for one of my stories, Mr. Tallman (Most likely because I have no idea how to use Photoshop so all of the covers I've made for myself look incredibly amateur).

But the most interesting I've learned about Wattpad is is that there are some very good writers out there. As in, WAY better than I ever will be. As in, they've been offered deals with publishers, because publishers noticed how good their writing and stories are. It's incredibly impressive and inspiring and also very frustrating because as much as I love writing, I know that I'm never going to be half as good as some of these writers on Wattpad.

And then I think about my favorite books and their professional authors. Can the words in my stories truly flow, like Libba Bray's do? Would they make others laugh with their wit, like Lemony Snicket? Would they transport kids to a magical world, like JK Rowling? Would they horrify a generation of people, like William Peter Blatty? Or will they truly make everyone's eyes tear up with the beauty and tragedy of the world, like F. Scott Fitzgerald?

In all honesty, no, I don't think my will ever do those things. The world of publishing is tough and I don't know if my little stories would ever catch anyone's eye. They may never make a big impact on the world or on anyone's specific world, but you know what? I like writing these stories. I like knowing that I created a world, a story, characters, a creepy situation or a scary entity. I love writing something that I know I'd love to read as a story in a published book.

And so what if my stories on Wattpad aren't at the top of the horror chart? The people who have read and commented on them have liked my stories and that's so gratifying to hear that my stories don't completely suck.  So I'm going to continue to write the stories I like, because it's a fun hobby and it satisfies my creative side and my spooky twisted side, as well. It's also nice writing just for me, and not for a deadline, editor, or even a specific audience. It takes the pressure off and just lets my creativity (and obvious dark ideas) flow.

 I'm going to consider any stories I put on Wattpad as published, therefore I'm going to check off "write a book and have it published" on my checklist. Just putting my stories on the internet when I hadn't even showed a friend my own stories was brave in and of itself. I'm a proud mama author showing off her little baby stories. Of horror. And death. (Do I have more issues than I let on? Oh, who cares I just love anything spooky! The more ghosts, the better!)


-Emily

PS. And if you would like to read any of my stories, here is the link to my Wattpad profile. Leave me a comment and vote if you like any of my stories! Or comment here, if you'd like! I'm always looking for feedback.

(Wattpad is free if you would like to sign up with your e-mail or even your Facebook. It's a great place to find new books and discover new authors!)
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