Metamorphosis of a Story- Part 1
A story isn’t just written. It evolves.
Well. Maybe that isn’t true. I guess some are just written, but for me, a story comes along slowly. Usually painfully. Its probably not unlike giving birth, but I’m a guy and though I saw my wife do it, what do I really know about . . . I’m getting off track here. . .
A story really is a metamorphosis from idea to the finished work. I’d like to invite you on my journey as I pick up another project and hack it to death. Let’s see how far along this one goes. Maybe it will end with it being published. Maybe it will end in the trash can with somebody peeing on it (well, maybe it won’t end in the trash can, but I can guarantee you it will be pissed on—plenty of times).
So, first step. You got to have an idea.
I’ve been muling over some for the last few weeks. A lot of the stories I conjure up have to do with people turning into animals or spirits or something. I had been strongly considering writing a story that took place in Colonial America and would have to do with werewolves based upon American Indian legend. Then, last night, I was reading a historical fiction (aka a bodice ripper) and I thought, why are so many stories set during this time period? Dumb question. The Victorian age is just damned cool. I just stopped writing a story set in the same century.
I thought to myself: a lot of paranormal-type stories happen during this time frame. I wonder if there was a way I could put my own spin on it. A lot of those stories had to do with high society. What if it was low society? I thought of the clichéd idea of the two lovers from different classes. But what if they were both from the slums? What if there was a werewolf in the slums? What if it wasn’t your typical werewolf? What if the werewolf was an Irish immigrant living in the New York Slums and the werewolf was more in line with the werewolves of Celtic mythology? What if it wasn’t just about werewolves, what if was magic based on Irish/Celtic lore? Well now . . . that has some legs. So, this is what I’m gonna do . . .
I’m going to write a group of fantasy short stories that are based upon Celtic mythology and legend that are set in the Irish slums of 19th century New York.
OK, so, I got the idea. Now, what I do is start some research. I’ll tackle Celtic Mythology first—get a pretty good grasp on its icons and themes. Then I’ll go do some research on 19th century slums. All the while, I’ll write down story ideas as they come to me. I’ll write down possible scenes. I’ll write down character descriptions.
So, that’s how I usually start my stories. How do you go about starting your stories? Got any advice for me as I tackle this thing?
Note: Some of you may remember the original Metamorphosis of a Story I did back in the day. That thread kind of went kaput after awhile when I ran out of steam on the project. I am renaming it to Sphinx. This will be the new Metamorphosis of a Story.
This entry was posted on August 23, 2012 by danbracewell. It was filed under Metamorphosis of a Story, My Manuscripts and was tagged with aspiring author, Celtic mythology, Copper, Five Points, Gangs of New York, new york slums, urban fantasy.