Monday, May 30, 2011

My First Story

As a writer you create worlds-- entire new worlds with crack monkeys, pitchfork twins, and sprawling landscapes of filth intertwined with bliss. Your first story is one of those that you don't imagine will ever see the light of day. By first story of course, I mean that one you wrote as a small child. The one that made you think for a brief moment that you would be a writer when you grew up, enchanting the minds of thousands of helpless people with your imagination.

Today's post is about my first story. Technically this story was a short story, which I am going to gladly post as a homage to National Short Story Month. In the first grade we were given a blank book, with about 15 blank pages inside. The hard cover had an line drawing, mine was a Unicorn. Not only were we required to fill the book with poems and stories, we also had to color this creation's cover as well. My talent's of color and coordination as a 6 year-old were not so great. Meh!

Now my formidable, extremely intelligent, 1st grade teacher Mrs. Wolf helped us by formatting the content of our book. Certain pages were saved for poetry, and she would provide the outline of the poem. Then 5 pages were set aside for a short story, which had to include illustrations.

I'll admit I was at a loss until my father said, "You should write about duck food."

So began the creative process and hence my delightful children's tale 'Duck Food':

The Duck woke up by the barn. He was hungry. He saw animals eating. So he went by the horse and he said, "This is not duck food."
He went by the cow and he said, "This is not duck food."
He went by the dog and he said, "This is not duck food."
He was sad and he was hungry. He walked with his head down. He ran in to a board. He looked up. He saw ducks eating.
"This is duck food!" He said and he was not hungry.

By:  6 year-old Landra Graf

My question: What was your first story about? Did you have horrible hand drawn pictures? What inspiration caused this story?


  1. I don't remember the details of my first story, but I do remember creating it. And yes, it was almost all pictures.

    What's interesting is I distinctly remember getting frustrated with trying to tell the story in words and started just drawing it because that was easier and faster (I've always been a pretty good visual artist.) Writing is hard! I'm glad I stuck with it, however. :)

    EDIT - Oh my goodness; my random word verification is "revisr". Perfect!

  2. I don't remember much about my very first stories, but I do remember the first story I ever tried to get published. I was ten and I had Highlights in my sights. Typed out on aqua-colored paper with lots of whiteout, and 3-holed drilled with brads holding the pages together. It was about a girl and her Thoroughbred horse who are both injured in a jumping accident during a show. The girl has to wear a leg brace and works with the vet to develop a similar brace for her horse's broken leg (I was always distressed about horses being put down for broken legs). I had hand-drawn illustrations of the brace, both on and off the horse. Of course, both girl and horse recover and go on to jump again.

    In hindsight, it was geared to an older audience and too long for Highlights. I'm SURE that's the reason the editor rejected it.

    I LOVE that at 6 you were sophisticated enough to describe a thing by first describing what it isn't! And all that parallelism, too! Yes, indeedy, writing is a natural talent. You can improve it with practice, sure, but at its essence, you either understand the elements of storytelling or you don't. That youngster understands story :o)