O is for Once Upon a Time

by Mr Uku

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Once upon a time there was a writer who wrote a story.

He got as far as finishing the first paragraph and then proudly read back the work he had done. Right away he noticed some spelling errors and corrected them. Then he noticed that he’d written form, instead of from, several times and corrected those mistakes too.

Soon he was moving words about because they didn’t seem to make sense, something to do with split infinitives. Then he read his work out loud and found that it didn’t scan properly and was hard to read. So he deleted a bunch of stuff and rewrote it. Then he read it out again. This time it scanned properly, but it didn’t really say what he wanted it to.

So he deleted the entire paragraph.

Once upon a time, there was a writer who wrote a story again.

He got to the end of the first paragraph and wondered if it would be better if he started with some dialogue. So he added some dialogue in the first sentence.

Happy with his work he continued to write, feeling smug about the clever joke he’d managed to get in right at the start of his story. But as he wrote he began to wonder if the joke was a little too near the knuckle for his intended audience so he went back and edited the joke to make it a little more family friendly.

Joke done he carried on from where he’d left off. But then he found that the tone of the joke at the start didn’t match the tone of the rest of the paragraph, so he deleted everything he had written.

Once upon a time, there was a writer who wrote a story eventually.

He decided that if he was going to write a story then it should be something he would want to read. So he opened with some dialogue and put in some risqué jokes. He chuckled to himself at his cleverness and crashed on happy in the knowledge that if he found it funny, so would other people and that would be his audience.

Then he remembered reading something about never starting your story with dialogue, or the weather, or people talking about the weather… or at least he thought he remembered. So he stopped writing and went to his bookshelf to look for the book he thought he remembered he might have read it in.

He spent over an hour looking for the rule but could only find something that was almost but not exactly like what he remembered. Then he saw a description of the hardship of writing as being like Destruction_of_Leviathanwrestling a leviathan and he paused to imagine what that would be like.

Soon he was trying to find out exactly what a leviathan was.

Upon seeing the picture his brain began racing and the vagueness of a plot began to form in his gin addled mind. Where would a creature like this come from? What would happen if it were unleashed upon the world? What could stop it? Who could stop it?

Soon our writing hero was searching for a pen and some paper to make notes of this great idea he’d had. Leviathan Unleashed he would call it, until he could come up with a better title. Obviously that would require more research.

Once upon a time there was a writer who wrote an entirely different story form the one he had originally sat down to write.

Once upon a time there was a writer who wrote an entirely different story from the one he had originally sat down to write.

He got as far as the first paragraph and began to wonder if he should do more plotting and planning first. You know, just to make sure he knew where the plot was going so he wouldn’t write himself into a corner.

So he stopped and began researching plotting methods…

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Annette April 17, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Once upon a time there was a reader who had no books to read because Gary wouldn’t get his finger out!

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Mr Uku April 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm

OO-ER!
Also, I can’t write any books because I’m being forced to do this A to Z thing so there :p

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Jo Carroll April 17, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Have you been peering into my sitting room? And counted all those almost-started stories?

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Mr Uku April 17, 2013 at 4:34 pm

I always carry a pocket softback Moleskine and Kaweco Lilliput fountain pen when I go breaking and entering into writers homes.

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