Once upon a time I was twelve years old and I started writing a novel. This wasn’t the first time. I was ambitious from age six, and I had notebooks stuffed full of my literary attempts– attempts that usually fizzled out after a chapter, or even after I’d made a detailed list of the characters, their full names, defining characteristics, and physical appearances.
I was as surprised as could be when, the summer I was twelve-almost-thirteen, the story I started just kept on telling itself. It was the most magical summer of my life, and for the first time my dream was coming true. I was writing a novel: a real novel, with chapter after chapter that flowed from my fingers, and characters that enthralled me the more I got acquainted with them. And sure, the plot was full of bits and pieces of other stories that had captivated my imagination, ranging from fairy tales to a children’s radio dramatization of Les Miserables, but to my enchanted senses it was a world entirely new and thrilling. I was discovering it and creating it at the same time. I was intoxicated.
I hastily finished the novel (with a wedding, of course) on my thirteenth birthday, and sat in a daze when I typed the two words I had been aspiring towards for all those years of notebooks and abandoned beginnings– The End.
Little did I know it was just the beginning.
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