Dental Story

I’m working on a short story, and I don’t really know where to take it next. I don’t expect that you, dear reader, will have any ideas on where it could go, but I figure that if I talk for about three hundred words maybe some idea will pop into my head. At least, I hope that will be the case. Anyway, let me tell you a little bit about this story of mine.

It begins on a hot summer’s day, the sun glaring down with the intensity of a very hot star. My protagonist, Anthony Wonder, has just finished his first dental appointment in years. He has visited the best Bayside dentist but comes out with his gums feeling just as sore as before. Although he is certain that the dentist did an excellent job, there seems to be no helping him. Anthony begins to wander around town, feeling sorry for himself. That is when he bumps into an old friend, Jackson Wander. The two of them get reacquainted after many years without seeing each other. Jackson reveals that he works for a bank, and offers Anthony a job there so that he can afford dental implants if he needs them. Anthony is so offended by the idea that he might need such help, that he pushes Jackson and runs away. He’s sure that his teeth will be absolutely fine, and he won’t be needing any implants.

That’s where I’m stuck. My creative writing teacher once told me that any good story is just about some guy wandering around with a problem, which can’t be solved. Eventually, in the end, the problem has to be solved. So I’m not really sure how to solve Anthony’s problem with his gums, especially if a great dentist in the Bayside area can’t help him. It seems impossible.

Maybe I’ve written myself into a corner with this one. As my old writing teacher used to say, if the first draft is bad, throw the whole story out. It seems like all my first drafts are pretty terrible, though. What if I’m a bad writer? Either that or I had a really bad writing teacher.