Decisive Moment

In class, we were asked to write about a short story that happened in our life.  We were given a few minutes to write it down on a note card.  We were then asked to edit and review this story throughout the semester.  After the first draft, we were given the option to either keep going with that story, or maybe pick another.  I decided to pick a new story, but here is my first draft from class:


Dear friend,  Over the break, my friends and I visited the Detroit Auto Show.  It was a last minute decision made the night before while watching the Pittsburg/Kansas City game.  Troubles arose in the morning when my friend Jonas, who was picking me up, parked in front of the wrong house for 15 minutes.  Then, when we went to Belle Tire, the air pump was out of order.  We arrived at my friends Zack’s house with minutes to spare, and it was smooth sailing from there.  The Auto show was great, and there…


As you can see in this draft, my ideas weren’t very thought out.  There were some redundancies, and basic grammar mistakes.  Based on the limitations of this exercise though, these things can be expected.  When there is a limited time, I just tried to write as much as possible to get the whole story.  In reflection though, I felt that this story wasn’t that important to me, it was recent so it was easier to remember.  When given the option to change stories, I took that route.  I wanted to tell a story that had more of an impact on my life, so I picked a new story.  I chose to write about the first time the band I was in went to a recording studio:

Life is made up of important decisions.  Things like what you’re going to wear today or maybe what roads to take when going somewhere.  These decisions make us who we are, and some stick out more than others.  About five years ago, I had to make a very important one.

During my senior year of high school, I was in a band with some of my friends.  We had been writing music for a couple of months, and playing in a bar once a week.  As we were in the middle of practice one day, I noticed on Facebook that a recording studio had an opening because someone cancelled, and they were willing to let people record for cheaper.  So, we decided to check the place out.

The producer at the studio seemed nice and everything there looked very professional.  If we wanted to record, we would have to make the payment on the spot though.  It was $250 to record, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but for high schoolers who had part-time jobs that barley paid minimum wage, it would be hard to get that money together.  Luckily, I had enough money to pay for it, but I had to decide: Do I trust my friends to pay me back?

Most people have a pretty good idea of how their friends handle their money, and I knew I wasn’t dealing with the most responsible group.  Also, paying for this recording would significantly drain my funds.  The band made it clear though that they would understand if I didn’t want to pay for it, and I wasn’t pressured into my decision.  I decided to go for it, and it paid off in more ways than just one.

Everyone paid their share, but there were so many good things that came from that.  Recording in studio was one of the best experiences of my life.  We had a lot of fun and recorded a lot of music, the rest of the band even got in on some group vocals for one our songs.  The producer gave some good tips and really helped us clean up some of our songs.  We never finished an entire album, and the band even broke up before we could start selling the songs, but the experience of recording was well worth it.


As you can tell, this version is much more thought-out.  While working on this version, I wanted the focus of my story to be about my perspective.  The first draft was just a retelling of the event, and I didn’t delve into emotions.  This version is much more personal,  and flows better than my original story.  I feel this project has showed the importance of editing and review.  By going through multiple iterations, I have been able to see what a really polished story can be.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be longer, but be concise with your ideas.


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