“Write the story that only you can write,” one of my writing teachers once told me.
I wasn’t sure at first what that meant. At the time, I was writing a historical mystery set during the days leading up to the first Turkish coup, when Ataturk’s generals stepped in to restore his vision of westernization, which was gradually eroding. It was an exciting story, with lots of drama and suspense, and it was inspired from my personal experience.
But it wasn’t my story. A historian could’ve written it, and probably a lot better.
The manuscript spent a lot of time languishing in the bottom drawer of my desk while I pondered and researched even more. And then that writing teacher’s advice finally clicked with me. He had been talking about a sort of “designer seeds.” The story seeds that were designed especially for me to write weren’t about the historical events but instead about the American dependents living there at the time and interacting with those events. That was me, and it was my story.
So, my imagination got to work, with the help of those story seeds designed just for me, and I embroiled my fictional American dependents in those events preceding the coup. It became the story with a slant that only I could write.
Once we writers find our “designer seeds,” I think we end up with stories that are more unique and filled with passion.
Continuing this month’s metaphor, I’m super pleased to announce the planting of seeds of my book. Dancing for the General will finally sprout in the garden of books in July!