At a very young age of about 6 years, my dad always bought me books to read (mostly kids story books) and then after each book, I must have to write a story or an essay. And in all the books that I read, the stories always started with “Once upon a time …”, so I started my stories with that phrase every time. My mum was always proud of me and my stories but my dad will always criticize saying, “You can do better” or “Be creative!” I started to lose interest in writing stories and eventually I stopped writing.
Some few years later, after getting admission into secondary school, we were given an assignment in English class to write a story of not more than five hundred words. I was really pumped because I thought that my years of writing stories beginning with “Once upon a time” would pay off. So, I wrote a story about the lion and the tortoise and even added some flair to it to make it more funny and interesting. Then, I submitted and waited restlessly for the scores which I had started bragging about. I was sure that I would get an A-grade.
I eventually saw my grade and it was a good one(A-grade), and I was happy but then my teacher commended another person’s story and had him read it out in class – I was jealous and infuriated. Then after the class, I asked him (my friend) to give me his story and what I saw shocked me. His story started like this:
“BOOM!” a banging sound exploded beside me as I was running and jumping over heaps of bodies – dead bodies. Bullets whizzed and buzzed past my ears as I was pacing other people and scaling broken down walls. And then, I felt a sharp sudden sting on my leg as I stumbled and fell – I had been shot. I screamed for help but to no avail, the enemy was already above me. He cocked his gun and pointed it at me as I stared into the black emptiness of the barrel. BANG!! – The last sound I heard as I started falling into nothing. Then, I started to hear faint voices, wake up Peter! Wake up! Are you alright! Blood! Let’s take him to the school clinic! I could hear my best friend’s voice. Then I opened my eyes and saw that my friends were all over me with worried looks on their faces. I asked them what happened and I learnt that I had fallen from the top bunk while I was screaming and rolling in my sleep…..”
After reading that, my mouth was left wide open for some minutes before I closed them. I gave him his book and complimented his story. And since then, a new world opened to me and I started reading new novels and learning new ways of writing stories.
Then, I wrote a story for my dad and when he saw it, he also was amazed and for the first time smiled at me and said “Well done”
I had been blinded by my way of writing stories that I did not see other ways of doing such.