As promised, last night I finally sat down and tackled pre-conference challenge #6 on the SCBWI MD/DE/WV blog, in preparation for the upcoming regional conference. I've been procrastinating this one for almost two weeks now, not because it was a particularly difficult challenge, but because I had too many possibilities! The challenge? Take a famous quote (from a movie, a book, a song, a well-known saying) and use it as a first line to a story. Write the openings for two different stories using that same well-known quote. One should be light and humorous, while the other is dark and serious.
I spent over a week trying to decide which quote to use!! I considered:
* You can't judge a book by its cover.
* Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
* Nobody's perfect.
* The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
* Time flies when you're having fun.
* Laughter is the best medicine.
* Reading in the dark will ruin your eyes.
* Actions speak louder than words.
Which one to choose? I couldn't make up my mind.
So I asked my husband for help. He suggested: "I reject your reality and substitute my own." or "Failure is always an option." (both quotes - Adam Savage from Mythbusters) But which one should I use? More choices did not make the decision easier! I needed someone to provide me with ONE quote that I would have to stretch my brain to work into a story.
So I turned to my son. As I should have expected, he suggested "Luke, I am your father." Okay, I could work with that. I sharpened my story pencil and pulled out my notebook. But before I could begin writing, he changed his mind and gave me a different quote.
The most disturbing movie quote EVER....
"I know. Somehow, I've always known." (Bonus points if you know what movie that line is from and WHY it is the most disturbing, shudder-inducing movie quote ever!!)
So I started with the light/humorous:
I know. Somehow, I've always known. Probably because my mom has been drilling it into my head for like, my entire life. Still, I'm always amazed at how many people just don't get it. You should never combine plaids and floral prints in the same outfit!
Moving on to the dark/serious:
I know. Somehow, I've always known. It's not a feeling you can describe, really. Knowing the exact day and time your pet turtle is going to make a break for it....
Ummmm..... yeah. Turns out, I'm not so good at the dark/serious kind of writing. (As my family told me last night: "Duh!") I like to laugh too much to ever take things very seriously!! But I'm also stubborn. As you know, I can't let a challenge go lightly. So I worked and agonized until I came up with this:
I know. Somehow, I've always known. That doesn't make any of this easier. George said he would come back for me after, but the truth is, there is no 'after.' Not for George.
Yep, it's cheesy and cliche. I could probably improve it by working farther into the story. But I had to stop myself before it became another story about a pet turtle making a run for freedom. My son told me that the funniest part about this whole challenge was watching me try to be serious, because it's such a difficult/unnatural state for me. I'm too upbeat and happy. I think I can live with that kind of reputation. :)