One of my few talents in writing is the ability to create amazing cliffhangers. I can start a story with a strong main character, a sarcastic, humorous tone, and a mostly cliche plot. However, after two and a half pages, it stops. The story dies in my head and it ceases to unfold on paper. I do not do this on purpose. I always try to be positive and tell myself, “You can finish this, Lourdes. All you need to do is see it through.”
I see nothing through.
Instead, one unfinished story after another inhabits the contents of my journals. As a matter of fact, the other day I was rummaging around my memory boxes (You caught me, I watch Oprah too, though I did not know my sneaker boxes filled with random sheets of paper were memory boxes.) and came across a novel in the making entitled: “A Guide to Being Someone Else: The Journey of High School.” Based upon the contents of the four handwritten pages I came across, I wrote this some time around my sophomore year in high school.
As I was slowly sucked into the story I began snorting and laughing. Not only was the voice genuine and honest, it was funny – I was not expecting this. It took me a moment to realize I was reading, in my handwriting, a story I’d written. Suddenly, I became glum. This story will never be finished. I could try to pick up where I left off but I am 22 now. I am more conscious of the mistakes I could make, the words I do not know how to spell off the top of my head, and mastery of cliffhanging I have procured.
I should not think this way but rather follow the wise words of Stephen King: “When you sit down to write, write. Don’t do anything else except go to the bathroom, and only do that if it absolutely cannot be put off.” But I cannot seem to control my bladder or my rare talent.
So for now this unfinished novel will remain in my multi-colored, dollar-store journal, buried beneath piles of fliers for events attended, newspapers written in, and Harry Potter candies uneaten.
I have to share a few of my favorite lines from “A Guide to Being Someone Else”:
“I am one of those people you would call a ‘floor-mat,’ ‘push-over,’ ‘dollar-girl,’* and my personal favorite** ‘nice.’ Add to this the fact my parents are one of the most overprotective, never quitting, always knows what’s best for their daughter types and you have the ingredients to form a perfect homogeneous mixture of ‘you’re screwed.’”
* When I was younger I would always let my friends have, not borrow, a dollar. This trait of mine would spread around and classmates would ask me for dollar loans as well. It was a difficult habit to break.
**In my journal I wrote ‘favourite’ instead of ‘favorite.’ The characteristics of a self-promoted Anglophile were already seeping through at age 14. Thanks Rowling.
If you have your own cliffhangers to share, please do so in the comments or on our Facebook page.