An Aspiring Writer's Blog Site

Metamorphosis of a Story- Part 2

“Children of Lir”
By Zara Marie

I can’t believe it. My first short story based upon Celtic myth set in 19th century Irish slums came to me within a couple of hours after reading An Introduction to Celtic Mythology. I mentioned I struggle with getting ideas for short stories, so to me, this is nothing short of miraculous.

Legends are tricky. They don’t follow modern writing conventions. There was one tale that dangled out there at the end of the margin. I was turning the pages wondering where the rest of it was. Weird.

I considered a few stories, but in the end, the one that  stuck was The Children of Lir: some children are turned into swans by an evil step mother and are doomed to be swans until a specific event happens (the event changes depending on the story teller). Many years later,  the swans are returned to human form, but are now old and die shortly after.

For me, what makes this story what it is, is the transformation of children who remain in that form until they are very old. This means my story must take place over a long period of time.

I thought, what if this happened to one of my Irish immigrants when they were a child and the spell wasn’t broken until they were old. How old? Pushing 90, I thought. If they were children in the early part of the 1900s, that means they’d be old in the 1980s.

This is something I can run with.

I have done most of my research (80s fashion anyone?) and have written my bursts. Next up–the rough and first drafts. I may be done with this story within a week.

Where do you guys get your ideas for for your stories and how long does it take you to write them?


6 responses

  1. It’s great to hear that you got inspired for your short story! The premise sounds very interesting and unique.

    I get ideas for my stories from so many different mediums – music, art, films, books, people, weather. I have inspiration A.D.D. I think. As for length of time – I mostly write novels so it can take anywhere from 3 months to several years.

    Happy writing! 🙂

    August 29, 2012 at 11:23 am

    • Thanks for stopping by, Sara. A novel in three months-wow! Sign me up for a lesson! 🙂

      August 29, 2012 at 11:25 am

  2. Hey Dan, it sounds like an intertesting yarn, how long are you planning on the short story to be? I ask because I can’t ever figure out what to do for a short. I can do flash, which to me really just feels like a scene, but shorts always seem to grow and grow in my mind until they’re full blown novel ideas.

    August 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    • Yeah, I understand that completely. I was having the same issue when I first started out. You just need something quick and to the point. I’ve been reading short stories and it has helped me understand how they do it better. 5,000 words or less is my goal for this write-up.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:32 pm

  3. Cat

    Fantastic that you have gotten an idea from your research – it’s good to read that you’re finding your confidence with short stories.
    I’ve always been what they term as a ‘pantster’ when it comes to short stories: I start having no idea where it is that I’m going and sometimes end up with something that other people have termed ‘genius’ (their word, not mine) – I’m fond of twists when it comes to short stories, so I often look for a way to reverse the expected and surprise the reader.
    With novels, I’m much more of a planner: need to know what I’m writing before I actually write it! Though, novel ideas have often surfaced from stories.
    Looking forward to hearing how you get on – especially given your 5,000 word limit. Keep us updated!
    Take Care, Cat

    August 29, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    • Key, Cat! Thanks again for stopping by. Hey, that’s really interesting. I’ve never heard of anyone being both a pantser and an outliner. What you said makes sense, though. Wow, I feel honored to be in the presence of a genius. 🙂

      August 29, 2012 at 9:33 pm

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