I have finally gotten around to writing my first novel called The Matilda. Writing a novel has been one of those things that I have wanted to do since I was a wee kid.
Now, to be honest, I have written plenty of stories throughout my life. I even wrote a probably the longest thing I had ever written prior to this book back when I was 12. I worked hard at it and was incredibly proud of it. My grandfather was one of the first to read it and he laughed and laughed. I don’t think I had ever seen him laugh so hard before in my life.
Now he wasn’t laughing because of spelling mistakes, grammar or any of the other things that I would have expected. No, he laughed because of how it was written. He got an entirely different meaning from the words than what I had intended. I was a bit heart broken in response.
It was quite the learning lesson. I bucked up and went back to reread it with what he had told me on the top of my mind. And where I had thought I had written the greatest adventure story, I found to my dismay that I had written quite the brutal and strange comedy.
But, you know what? I actually enjoyed my story that much more. With a simple change in how to interpret the wording, I had two stories for the price of writing one. I reread it many years later and it was a weak tale, adventure or comedy wise, but the lesson stayed with me. Sadly, this story was lost to time.
Understanding these nuances helped immensely in my writing of scripts for short films and short fiction. And it continued to help me in writing my very first full length novel, The Matilda.
I’ll talk more about that journey in later posts.