Today’s question is a continuation on Martha’s. You can see the first part here.
What inspired your first story?
Most authors hate being asked what inspired a specific story. In fact, in person I might fidget slightly if asked this question on any story other than the first. But I am happy this specifically asked about the first novel because I actually have a good response other than “I don’t know” or “life happenings in general.”
I am considering my “first” story to be The Curse of Atlantis because that was the first full-length novel I ever wrote. Before that, I would mimic novels I read and songs that I listened to. These would last about twenty pages, and–before anyone asks–no I will not release them as short stories…ever. I was in the 6th grade at the time and my understanding on the world–as well as how to conduct a plot line–was super small. I read them only when I want a laugh.
The second attempt at a novel was a murder mystery, and lasted fifty pages. This is mainly because I got bored of the story. Therefore the beginning is thoroughly developed and then it ends. Even still, I don’t know if it would have come close to novel length…even for the typically shorter genre. I have no idea where this story came from. But, I did disturb my mother because, as a seventh grader, I wrote a novel that opens with a family of five being murdered in their own home by an assassin. Given the state of schools nowadays, I probably would have been forced into counseling when I shared it with my teacher.
So, that leaves The Curse of Atlantis. I had already dabbled in two traits that make up this novel: fantasy and historical backing. This is not to say they are historical novels. But, I had previously based a shorter story on the Bermuda Triangle. I discovered that I enjoy twisting lore with unique plots. I think that helped me when I was sitting in my World History class as a sophomore in high school.
I had the best teacher that year…at least for me. He would act out history in his lectures, making the events seem more like a story than a string of events. This, of course, captured me from the start. I can’t remember what we were studying or how it came up–however he did proclaim himself as somewhat of a psychic–but he announced one day in class that we will discover Atlantis in seven years. That captured my ear. What if we did discover it? The original story began with an explorer discovering Atlantis at the bottom of the sea. Then, while examining a statue of Poseidon, he is transported to the new Atlantis where there is a curse.
The trouble with that plot line was that he had to come in when the curse was in full swing, which meant a lot of back story to explain how it developed. Not to mention, his being new in the area was a hindrance to the plot. Points of views switched, the beginning was cut, and the new story developed. But it all started with a teacher and an idea.
What is interesting to note is that within seven years researchers found what they believed to be the ruins of Atlantis. They didn’t discover a lot, most speculation based on the location, which is why it’s not all over the news. But I remember smiling when I heard the small story. I guess it took the world a little longer to find Atlantis than for me.
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