A Story Beats Within Me

“I am a product of long corridors, empty sunlit rooms, upstairs indoor silences, attics explored in solitude, distant noises of gurgling cisterns and pipes, and the noise of wind under the tiles. Also, of endless books.” – C.S. Lewis


There is a story that beats within me, pounding against my mind. One that would befit a book, with a host of characters, distinct setting, structured plot, and a firm, yet poetic voice. I can sense it there most all the time, but especially when I stare out into bleak and starry nights. The story does not beat to the rhythm of my own physical heart, no. For the story I wish to write is not my own, it is not of me. I am merely the vessel; the conveyer and communicator. But this story is indeed mine; I claim it, and it is I alone who can correctly write it. Sometimes, in day-to-day life its pulsations mingle with my own, causing me to slip into a sort of reverie, in which I can tinker with its characters or events. It was from these many daydreams such as these that I came to the realization that I was invested in this story, and I needed to write a book on it. And so I set my mind to actually writing a book, literally speaking this time.

I have attempted novel writing sundry times in the past, and yet all of those ideas were fleeting, their substance not worth the effort of writing (one time I tried to write a story about a young lad who had a cruel parent and finds a magical portal in his basement. Can you say cliché?). And I still have many other stories that dwell within me, but the one of which I write to you about now is the most prominent one. It won’t leave me be. And do you know what the funny part of all this is? I have not the slightest clue of what this story is about. Only recently I have begun to discover who its characters are, and I then found out that one character in particular stood out, and the story should be centered on them. I then followed that discovery of where my novel (or should it be a series?) is set.

This way of writing a novel may seem like folly to you, and perhaps you are right. I have been working on the idea for this book for about a year or so, and yet I still haven’t quite unlocked all of the mysteries of its plot. And it is just that: a mystery to me. I have to be the Sherlock Holmes here, and deduce my characters, discover where and when the events took place. But it is indeed there, whole, within me. I feel as though this single story is at me from inside my head, urging me to artfully spill its contents onto a page. Sometimes I catch glimpses of images or phrases that match this particular tale perfectly, as they fleetingly run through my mind (or my Pinterest page) and whenever this happens I get a small glimpse into the world of my novel, and the plot becomes all the clearer for me. And for now this is enough, but know that this story swears to never depart until I have disclosed all of its secrets to the world in my book. My book.

And so, with these musings concluded, I wonder: is there a story that beats within you, too?

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2 Responses to A Story Beats Within Me

  1. 2cupsofjoe says:

    Writing is not folly, it is and an experience that translates both the unconscious and conscious self and somehow imparts the thoughts unto a readable format. I always thought about writing, but what I do not know. I think a few pages on the daily observations of life around the place I live in. Describing the way the summer whether hails itself bluntly while life around it moves about. Cool, go for it, can’t be a good writer without almost endless practice, same goes for me.

  2. E. Sigerson says:

    This is such a lovely description of what it is to be a writer. Good luck unlocking your story; I’m sure it will be beautiful when it is finished.

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