This is the story of Ella Bunt, a young woman with her life undeniably together. She left school with results anyone would dream of only to walk into a job she loved. At the age of 19 she lived in a gorgeous apartment in London and having just finished her first novel was primed to be one of the most successful authors her age. Ella Bunt was a beautiful, confident young woman. But Ella Bunt was fictional.
When I was fifteen I was asked to write a short story for English. There was no guides, no themes we just had to write. At fifteen I was a gangly mess of a girl with one leg slightly longer then the other. I was anxious and shy with a terrible fear of anything that differed from my routine the tiniest amount. Things that most people saw as exciting were huge challenges to me and I hated it. So I decided to write about a character the opposite of me. I wrote a character that was charming, glamorous and completely unfazed by the idea of a new adventure. Unfortunately it was also the dullest story known to man.
It turns out a story about a woman who doesn’t get excited or nervous about anything, doesn’t make a very good story. If there is nothing a character needs to overcome then the story has already ended. When my English teacher returned my work she told me that what makes a character interesting is their flaws, someone with fears but still facing challenges and going on terrifying adventures is what makes them brave.
I have clung to that lesson ever since. We all have flaws. We all have fears and troubles that we need to overcome, they’re horrible, often painful but they’re also what make us brave. I am still a gangly, anxious young woman but my story is still in its early stages, I still have challenges to overcome and fears to face but at least I know my story will be interesting. Plus my legs have evened out now so that’s something.