Where’re you headed, Shelly Cooper?

You ever think you know where you’re headed, how long it will take, and how bumpy or smooth the ride will be, but as you get into the first few moments of it, suddenly that journey stretches out miles and miles ahead of you with no end in sight?

That’s a big question I’ve just asked, so take your time a moment to think about it. Really think about it. Whether it be in life/career/dinner choices while you’re sitting in a fancy restaurant and you haven’t made a decision yet and the waiter keeps coming back frequently? Whatever it is, I’m sure you all know what I mean when I ask the question ‘Where’re you headed?’ In whatever context in life.

I thought I knew. Oh, did I think I knew?!

On the 12th of May 2014, just a few days ago in case you’re wondering, I started on a journey which in my mind would only take me a day, if not two or three at the most. After all, how long could a short film script take to write? My expectations were somewhat impacted by my pervious experience of delivering a script within hours. So imagine my surprise when I found myself in the throws of a story that refused to end quietly, nor at a length I was hoping to sum it up. Nope, the journey of Shelly Cooper, who is the protagonist of the newest script I’m currently in the midst of writing is not one that wants their 5min of fame, but is demanding an audience for the entire feature length.

I don’t really mind, to be honest. It is a wonderful story that touches people’s heart, or is promising to at least. How do I know this? I was barely able to look at the screen without a film of tear blocking my view (and I’m not afraid to admit it). It also however has the potential to touch others. One wonderful friend of mine has been there with me from the start of this journey and has followed Shelly’s story, and she found herself wishing for boxes of tissue before I would send her the next bits of the story as I continued writing.

It is she who is encouraging me to consider writing Shelly’s journey as long as ‘Shelly’ wants, and you know what? The more I write, and the more we both keep reading, we have come to a realisation that perhaps this is only the beginning of the story. I am now 22 pages in, and the world of ‘Shelly Cooper’, a 14 year old teenager is beginning to look like a journey full of great moments in a story where the core thread in a painful reality to so many families and individuals in any country around the world.

I don’t know exactly what’s in store for me as a writer, but all I can do is continue writing the story that is demanding to be written all the way ‘To The End’. Yup, that’s the name of the story, and maybe one day I can reveal the plot a bit more without sacrificing the suspense.

Write, as long as the story demands. Write!
And enjoy the ride!

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