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It Always Had Dancing

I've been writing for as long as I can remember, but the first time I asked for feedback, I was told that my story was too sad.

By Karina ThyraPublished 8 months ago 3 min read
It Always Had Dancing
Photo by Adam Littman Davis on Unsplash

I've been writing for as long as I can remember. Stories are my lifeline. I don't like asking personal questions, but I can listen with rapt attention if someone tells me their life story without needing to be prompted.

It's also one of the reasons why I love books, movies, and TV series so much. Give me the drama! Give me the style! Give it all to me. And like Oscar Wilde, I believe that there are no bad stories, only poorly written ones.

Fiction and prose, for example, are things I'm not particularly good at, whether in English or my native language, Filipino. When I was a child, however, I did not mind that I wasn't very good at writing in that genre. I kept writing and illustrating. I wish I had brought my hundreds of papers with me. I had an entire saga about Kaye Bulaklak (Kaye Flower), a fairy living in the human world, particularly vexed by an annoying woman called Lulu, whom she turned into a worm; Pudelina - a woman obsessed with purple and poodles; The Poor Star Apple Tree - inspired by the chopping down of our very old Star Apple Tree; Aura Learns to Finish her Food - a story about someone visited by the food fairies because she was a food waster... And a lot more.

There were always elements of whimsy, and I almost always wrote about the people I already knew. Well, except for Pudelina and Kaye. However, there was one story that I never kept and I forgot what I called it now. It was partly inspired by The Nutcracker and my own experience in ballet at the age of 6. Mind you, I was never particularly good at following the rules. I just loved the pretty dress. But I did always like to dance (in my own way).

By Kazuo ota on Unsplash

The story was about a young lady entering a dance competition because she was good, but she was really poor, and she had to work really hard as a house help just to afford decent dance clothes for the competition. Well, it so happens that the daughters of her nasty boss were also competing and did everything they could to thwart her performance. Like in the Cinderella story, these mean girls did everything they could to sabotage the poor dancer's performance. They ruined her dress, they accused her of stealing, everything on the day of. But the poor but talented dancer did an interpretative tap dance that wowed the judges and launched her into relative stardom.

There was more to that story, almost martyr-like. I asked someone to read it, and it was the first ever feedback I didn't like. They told me that the story was "too sad," and what I had to do was to balance what I had written. I remember feeling frustrated because the "too sad" part was what I wanted. Even at that age, I knew from telenovelas that people would root for you if you were the underdog!

By Kyle Head on Unsplash

After that, I shelved the story, and I didn't see it again until about a year later when I was cleaning out my drawers. I unfolded it and saw that it was the story that was "too sad." I reread it, and because I was already 7 and had already written better stories, I screamed at that paper, and then I tore it to pieces.

In retrospect, I shouldn't have done that. I was just annoyed by the feedback given to me by a grown-up. But from then on, I swore that if I were ever to write something that was "too much" of anything, it really had to be "too much."

I still write fiction, as a challenge among friends, and whenever I do, I still include dancing. If it's themed storytelling, I pick one emotion and run with it, never mind that it's "too much" of that one.

That poor tap-dancing champion story ran so the others could fly.


About the Creator

Karina Thyra

Fangirl of sorts.

Twitter: @ArianaGsparks

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