Do I really know what love is?

Ever since I could write stories, I knew that one day I wanted to write even longer stories!

Throughout my childhood, my stories had been filled with wonder and innocence; I’d be exploring different ways of telling typical fairy tales and I had fun with my imagination in ways that I now don’t even remember.

Adolescence, my story writing may have taken a darker, or perhaps even more typical teenager-ish turn. Until one day my English teacher pushed me in a way I hadn’t expected. She said, “You’re a great writer, but the plot is too predictable. There’s nothing for the reader to learn.”

Too predictable?!

Too predictable.

That week of my life, I actually had only about a three night time frame to revise and resubmit that particular assignment. I remember sitting up in my then-boarding house dorm room and wallowing around, “I’m such a failed writer! I’m so crap at this! That’s it, I don’t care I’ll just get a C, whatever!”

And then I started listening to some music and mulling over it and over it. “Too predictable… too predictable…” How was I going to come up with something that – as I was already so attached to the original plot – wasn’t so predictable?!

Well, to be honest I don’t know how I did it. But I do remember I came up with something that at the time as I was typing it, I started chuckling with glee, “I’ll show you what’s not too predictable!”

Then I got an A+ for it. She was so proud of me and admittedly I was proud of me too. Then by university I felt, “Maybe I peaked in high school…”

I’ve had many and various attempts at novel writing and there was one particular phase in my early 20s, I felt I almost grasped it. So close! Almost. Where am I going with this? How does it end…?

I couldn’t finish it. And then I definitely wondered, “I guess you need to know the ending before you start writing.” Though other writers have disagreed, there’s of course, both possibilities but for me, I left it there.

I actually felt, well, of course, it was a love story and I felt I didn’t really know what love is.

And then life happens and years go by, another Christmas! Another New Year’s! Yet I really hadn’t thought of setting this as a New Year’s Resolution until recently.

Let’s write that novel, whatever it is. Like a writer’s version of climbing Mt Everest.

I actually do know the ending this time, and it amuses me because now I feel; so, at the end of the day, I do know what love is. I know it, doesn’t mean I have any proof that I’m in it! But at least my characters will get to experience it.

A bit like the Jane Austen type of writer’s tragic realities…