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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Stories That Make You Cry

I've been working on finishing up a story I started a couple of years ago, writing it in different formats (free verse and prose) to see which one works best for the subject matter. I think free verse works best for this story. It's about a girl in her mid teens whose mother has died of cancer. On the night her mother died the girl could not make herself go to the hospital to watch her die. They had been very close and she couldn't bear to watch her mother slip away. But since then she has regretted that she was not with her mother when she died. She now wants to die too so she can go to her mother and apologize and tell her why she was not there. The girl takes her kayak out on a river intending to kill herself, but while there she is caught in a storm, hits her head, and then dreams of seeing her dead grandmother and Celtic characters of fiction (about whom her mother always read stories to her), and they convince her that dying is her choice, but will not solve anything. She also learns exactly how her mother died, and this changes her life.

The thing is, every time I go into the story to edit I find it so emotionally draining that I can only do a small amount before I have to quit. But, this is also how I know it is a good story. The very fact that it causes such strong emotions to well up in me is evidence that the story will probably do the same for readers. It is one test I have that hasn't failed yet. If my story evokes strong emotions in me, then it usually evokes the same from readers.

Now, on to the story that needs more work in that area.