Most of us, when we are very young, constantly change our minds about what we want to do with the rest of our lives. Even when we’ve thought we’ve decided on something, and we believe we’ve decided on it for a couple of years, our decision can still change. Some of the things that we want to do with the rest of our lives are perfectly achievable, like becoming a teacher or a nurse. Some of them are harder, like becoming a star ballerina or musician. Sometimes we change our minds because we hear about what it’s really like from somebody who’s been there, and we don’t like it as much as we thought we would. Sometimes we just realize we can’t do it, or that there’s something else that simply sounds like more fun.
In a medieval-type society, there might be many more reasons why your character will never achieve their dream: class, gender, colour all play into those societies in a way they no longer play into ours. In a science fiction society, your character might be capable of doing anything, but have realized somewhere along the way that their childhood dream is not really as glamorous as they thought.
This week I would like you to write a Dear Diary entry talking about your character’s abandoned dreams. Have them examine what they dreamed of as a child and why. Then ask them why they gave up those dreams, and what they’ve replaced them with. Explore all the possibilities of these questions. And remember that while you are aiming for a certain word goal, it’s perfectly acceptable to write much, much more on one day and a tiny bit less the next–as long as you write every day.
What were your childhood dreams?