I had the privilege of reading my ten year old story, Cowboy Sam and those Confounded Secrets to a huge group of Washington County Title One students and their families last night. It was a celebration of the children's hard work at developing their reading and writing skills. They came and had dinner, each child got a copy of Sam, and for dessert they had chocolate cake and me reading aloud to them. There were balloons and "YEEHAWS" all around. And I got lots of hugs.
All because of Sam.
How wonderful it is to have created a durable story, one that holds up. One that doesn't rely on anything but an interesting character with an unusual problem.
But that's it, that's all we have to do as writers.
An interesting character.
An unusual problem.
What does your character want and what are they willing to do to get it. Whether your story is set in 1313 or 2313, that will be the beam that supports your writing.
Our group has been in serious discussion about the future of books. If you haven't seen the children's book app called "Nighty Night" check it out. It's remarkable in simplicity, yet it has hooked both of my bitty grandkids, as well as their dear Mitzi (me).
What do you think the future holds for books?
My own feeling is this, that no matter what, a good story is a good story. Whether we are gathered around a campfire making up scary stories to share, or sitting in an airport terminal reading on a pad, we want a good story.
We want a durable story. One that we remember.
I don't think we need to be frightened or discouraged by these changes, rather we need to just be willing to tell a good story.
Then of course, we need to revise. And revise. And, well, you know, one more revision.