“Are you ever going to get around to telling my story?” Katie’s voice surprises me. She isn’t supposed to talk to me.

“Well, yeah, I’m…” I trail off, knowing there’s really nothing to put on the end of that.

“Yeah, you’re leaving us here staring at each other. We’ve been looking at each other through the screen door for how many years now?”

There’s no answer for that. Too many years. The story that won’t leave my head can’t seem to make it to my fingers. They stay on either side of the door and I try to excuse myself from it.

“Why won’t you write it?” she asks. I’m so surprised that she’s still talking – or even talking at all – I give her the truth.

“I’m scared.”

“Of what?”

Not being good enough, what the fuck else? But it’s more than that, it’s a fear of being actively bad. Of writing the next Twilight. Or Fifty Shades of What the Fuck is this Shit?

It’s fear of writing a love story.

No. Tell the truth. It’s fear of writing a fairy tale. That’s what it is, what all love stories are and who the hell thinks the world needs more fairy tales?

“Fuck the world, I need it.” I don’t dare contradict her. Or point out that she’s merely a figment. Since, you know, I’m no longer entirely sure she is.

“Please. No one has to read it except you. And you won’t ever use a mother hamster eating her babies as a descriptive during a sex scene, so just how bad can it be?”

She has a point there. A couple of them.

“I’m afraid you’ll break my heart, Katie.” It’s her turn to not answer. She could give a fuck about my heart when hers is stuck in time.

The silence spins out. We could stand here all day. It’s not like she has something better to do.

“Ok. Even if it’s so bad I have to burn it.”

“Thank you.”

I wait for more but that’s it. She’s gone back to her place in the foyer, just on the other side of the staircase. I go back to the dishes. When I’m done I get a cup of coffee and open Word. I hold the picture in the front of my mind, talisman and shield and sword, and follow the path to her front door.

By Brenda

40-something-something stay home mom, floating somewhere between traditional and strange. I’m addicted to music, making things and my computer.

14 replies on “Determined”

It’s from 50 Shades – I swear I couldn’t believe it either when I saw the quote. Just, there’s no way something that awful could be real, right? But yes, yes it’s how whatever the fuck her name is described what’s his nuts looking at her.

(I really need a ‘gag me’ gif right about here)

Thank you. I will take all I can get :-D

Pretty much all the books I read are fantasy or sci-fi. I’m a very big user of GoodReads. No matter how great the book, someone will have something nasty to say about it. No matter how bad the book (Twilight, 50 Shades), someone will probably like it. I use good and bad books as inspiration. If there are tons of people in love with Twilight but don’t realize (or care) how badly it’s written, then that should give you hope.

Every time I start reading a new book, I’m reluctant. It takes about 20 pages for me to get interested. It’s very rare when a book grabs me from the beginning, and yet I still read. I’ve never finished a book and regretted it. I will notice when a writer isn’t as good as another, but that doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy their work.

If you start to feel like your fantasy book is silly, then think about all the other premises for fantasy books. Even the weakest, most out-there stuff (Kids battling to the death/Hunger Games, Time-traveler in a phone booth/Doctor Who), can still become good stories. Those of us who read fantasy do so because we love it.  I watched Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon religiously when I was little. How silly are those?

I always want more fantasies. Stuff that is completely fresh. Stuff that sounds a lot like what’s already out there but is slightly different. I love it all.

That’s another thing I forget (ignore?) – not every piece of work needs to be a masterpiece to be good or worthwhile. It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to make sure the story is Smart, or Important, and lose sight of actually telling the story.

Thank you so much for the reminder.


I think losing my interest with my most recent project (besides deciding on cutting a big piece from it and not daring to exactly do it) is because my main character is a bit of a dud. And the cool extra characters are ..not around. I need to fix this!
And give up that even though it is better in my head, it doesn’t mean I can’t put it on paper.

I did that with another story – cut a huge part of it out because I was uncomfortable with the subject. I pretty much changed the whole idea I started with, and then couldn’t figure out why I just wasn’t into writing it any more. D’oh.

Sometimes how good it is (or isn’t) matters far less than simply getting it finished.

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