I hate driving behind those trailers that carry ten or so cars on them, and it’s because I can’t not think about the story I was told about my great-uncle, who died when one of the chains snapped.
But it turns out – that’s not actually what happened. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I (and perhaps other members of my family) learned the real version, which is that he was driving drunk and his car hit a guard rail. And now, even though I know the truck thing never happened – I still get out from behind one of those trailers as soon as I can.
And while this is a kinda morbid way to introduce an MSWL, I would love to have more mg and YA family lore stories in my inbox. Stories where the character spent the majority of their life believing this one thing about themselves or their families – only to find out that it was never true. How does that change how they live their lives? How they see themselves? How they see their family?
Of course, to sustain a novel, it has to be bigger than just they don’t like to drive near trailers full of cars. But when I think about how that little piece of family lore has stuck with me, it makes me wonder what bigger, more interesting stories could be told with that idea… (and if you’ve got that, query me here!)