What Kinds Of Stories Do You Tell?

Everyone has a story (or two) to tell. What’s yours? That is the question.
Last week, I talked to you about writing the kind of story you wanted to write, and not the kind you thought readers wanted to hear. In order to do this, it is vitally important to figure out what kinds of stories you enjoy putting down on paper.
I am unapologetic about my own inclination towards sentimentality. While this post is published on Monday, the 24th, I am writing it on Saturday, the 22nd. It’s been four months today since my beloved dog, Scooter, passed away suddenly. I miss you so much, buddy! If you were here right now, you’d be laying down on your dog-bed next to me as I write. I wish you were.
Since childhood, I have understood that life is a gift. Since I had to fight to keep this gift in my grasp as an infant, I can’t help but empathize with others, at any point in their lives–be they infants, elderly, or otherwise–who are engaged in the same battle. And I like to write about the battle, the aftermath of the battle for those who must stay behind, or about the life and loves, the journey, that preceded the battle.
I’m not a religious person (although I respect all religions, and a person’s right to follow any religious teaching they wish). I believe in God. That’s about it. But I firmly believe the people I’ve loved, who have passed away before my own time, are waiting for me, cheering me on from up there, helping me along my own path whenever they can, and they’re reading every short story I put together, every book I finish. So far, that would be one book, of which I am immensely proud. (I wouldn’t want them to read my drafts. No self-respecting writer wants anyone to read their drafts. If a story’s not done yet, it isn’t time to read it.)
I once had an editor say to me of a conversation in one of my stories, “It’s too Hallmark.”
I was immediately offended but said nothing to the editor. I kept it all internal. That conversation hadn’t been birthed from my imagination, as most of my dialogue is. No. That conversation had actually happened.
The only conclusions I can draw from this: Maybe the world needs a bit more Hallmark in it. And, if you believe in your story, tell it. Someone else somewhere is bound to understand your intent and fall in love with it, too.

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