The First Story

In my book, one of the characters, at one point, cries ‘To the library!’. It is, she admits, a not very stirring war cry, but it is a far more useful one.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? I was seven, and my class was writing stories for the class below us. I don’t remember much about it, but I do know it was about a bunny rabbit.

It was not a great revelatory moment, leading to a desire to become a writer. I was seven, I wanted to be Princess Leia, or possibly R2D2. But I did enjoy the experience, and I had found something I was good at it, which is precious when you’re seven.

I was lucky. All the schools I went to encouraged creative writing. And so I wrote and wrote and wrote, right up until the special A-Level module in creative writing. (I wrote a story about Arthur Conan Doyle, the curse of Tutankhamen and a cursed ring. I am quite proud of that story).

Every writer needs to start somewhere. Without that encouragement in school, I probably would still be writing now, but it would have taken me a lot longer to discover that was what I was meant to do.

So do you remember that first story? The moment when you picked up a pen, and made up a tale, and put it on paper? That was the moment you discovered what your mind could create.

I’ll always be grateful to that bunny.

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