In the words of that great mid-90’s folk anthem: “This is my heart, bleeding before you.”

One thing that I really like that I do is write. I’ve always loved good stories and especially the ones that come out of my own head. I really haven’t written much creatively outside of school assignments, but there were LOTS of those. And it’s something I think about doing a lot. I frequently get original scenes and/or characters stuck in my head. Sometimes I forget them, sometimes, the good ones I hope, stick with me. For the last month or so I’ve been thinking about a new idea for what might be an epic first novel. But I’m not ready to talk that one yet. Instead I wanted to get some of your e-pinions about an older project. It’s one that is precious to  me.

I don’t often talk about my creative writing ideas often for two reasons. 1) They are tender, almost like an open wound. A bleeding heart, something like that. I’m afraid it will hurt to place any pressure/criticism on them. 2) I am proud, and I worry about people stealing my brilliance out from under me.

But I have two reasons for sharing this now. 1) I understand the principle of constructive criticism. Like cauterizing a wound, or removing scar tissue, ideas sometimes require painful treatment in order to develop properly. 2) I am stuck. I think I am mostly stuck by fear of the time commitment that is inherently required by this project and fear of not being a brilliant as I hope (I’m not sure which is a wrose sign of my character).

The project is a novel, a family novel—that is the genre I like to think of it fitting into. Something I would read to my children, and enjoy reading myself. Incidentally Disney University taught me this is what Walt wanted in his park when he designed Disneyland: a place he could enjoy as much as his 8 year old daughter. If he can do it so can I.

It is based on a fairy/folk tale that I read in a book soon after coming home from my mission. (Thanks Grandma!) The story has stayed with me very clearly since then. I have around 40 pages written. I am sharing with you the second chapter, which I think gives a good flavor for what the rest of it is like, and introduces the young versions of most of the most important characters.

Say what you will. I am tough, and you can’t see me cry. I don’t care one bit to hear about the typos. Tell me how it makes you feel.

So if you have a few more minutes to humor me, let me try to humor you:

The Three Princes of Serendip: Chapter Two, genetic-heredity-and-custard

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8 thoughts on “In the words of that great mid-90’s folk anthem: “This is my heart, bleeding before you.”

  1. Ok, so we already kind of talked about this, but I thought I’d comment anyway.

    I did what you asked us to do and ignored typos and grammar stuff. I concentrated on how it made me feel. Well…it made me want to read it! All of it! I wanted to know what happened to the characters, how the princes grew up, what choices they made, etc. I was impressed that you captured that feeling in just one chapter. I enjoyed the sense of the narrator reading the story out loud to someone. It has a whimsy that belies a deeper meaning that I love about fairy tales.

    Really, I enjoyed it! There were typos and grammatical issues, but those are easily corrected by a good editor. The hard part is creating a good story that people want to read.

    I hope you finish writing it soon (like next week – teehee), so I can read the whole thing! 🙂

  2. Besides the fact that I think it’s awesome that you are taking the time to write like this, I also really liked the story. Very creative and well thought out. Cool that you threw that definition in the story. I’m not sure if you are trying to have the Princes be likeable characters or not- or maybe the jury’s still out at this point in the story. To me they seem annoying at this point- in case your wondering how they could be coming across to someone at this point in the story. Like a first impression I guess. But great job and I love your ambition! Keep it up

  3. First off, the voice in the writing is awesome. It made me feel like you were reading this aloud to me, even though I was reading it. You know, like the sagacious part. And I loved the part about strong and handsome men being able to get along in this world without brains. That was awesome!

    The writing reminds me of books more like “The Princess Bride” and less like “Harry Potter.” It’s like you’re telling the story, and I tend to like that style.

    You should definitely finish this and just see what happens.

  4. I agree with Cardine, the style reminds me of “The Princess Bride.” I really wanted the rest of the story! And lately, keeping me interested in a story is quite a feat.

  5. Thanks all! I’m glad you all got around to reading it finally. I want to work on it again. I just wish I had more time… sigh.

  6. I’m really glad you decided to share this.
    I think this is a bold in exciting project that you are pursuing.

    I also like that you are getting multiple opinions.
    It sounds like people are pretty favorable to it so far,
    I especially like that Julie is so revved up about it,
    and I don’t know, maybe girls hear it different than guys, but I was glad I got the opportunity to participate.

    Here’s what I got out of it
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dfd445rn_13d83gg8hp

  7. Hey Miranda! I just read your story and I have to say I really like it so far. To me the mark of a great children’s book is when you can tell a complex story in simpler terms, and you seem to be doing just that. What you have is very good, and you leave me wanting more 🙂 Your writing style reminds me of C.S. Lewis ‘ Narnia series in the narration and how you define words for your younger readers.

    I do agree with Kate, I’m unsure how much I like the three princes, but I think that could have more to do with the prince stereo type than your writing.

    My suggestions are, that I would have liked to know earlier on the ages (or other physical attributes) of the princes, so I could picture them better. I was also a bit thrown by the characters Silida and Orbin (I’m not sure how they fit into the story). I do realize though that this is the second chapter, so these questions may very well be addressed in chapter one.

    On the other hand, I really like the relationship between Cookie and the King. I smiled when Cookie swatted the King’s hand with the spoon (it is interaction like that, that children can relate to and parents can laugh at). I am currently rooting for Diana, and I am expecting her to be clever and brave like her namesake 🙂

    Good luck with the rest of the book! I am really impressed and I can’t wait to pick up a copy of the full story in Barns & Noble some day soon 🙂

    -your cousin

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