Wednesday, January 20, 2010

About me

Contrary to what you might think, this isn't going to be some kind of rambling "get to know me" session.

I had a thought recently that I wanted to remember. I'm in the process of editing. It's really my first attempt at serious editing since I only have two completed first drafts and I'm learning a lot about the process as I go. The things that work for me and the things that don't. Mostly, right now, I'm trying to make sure that I have a good grasp of my characters.

The current project is focused around a girl who has been trapped by circumstances and has overprotective parents. She's willful, independent, and prone to rebel against the situation she finds herself in. It's been hard to portray those aspects of her without making her come off as a total brat. She's also kind and concerned about others, but in that teenage, what's it going to get me sort of way.

I didn't realize until last night that I was really writing about myself. If I tried to describe my young adult years, it might go like this: parents wouldn't let me date. Parents tried to help me be my best self (which I saw as being interfering.) I stayed out late with a boy (frequently) to show them I was old enough and smart enough to handle myself. When they tried to talk to me about my behavior, I didn't listen. I knew all the answers. I distinctly remember one particular discussion in which I stopped paying attention to them and eventually interrupted my mom with "I think I need a new yellow shirt." I walked out of the room and continued to do what I thought I wanted. It's not that I was trying to be a brat. Or that I didn't appreciate my parents. I just didn't have the same perspective that they did or that I do now.

That is the journey my character is taking. She's rebellious and independent, but only because she hasn't learned to appreciate that she doesn't know everything yet. Just like pretty much every other teen I have ever known. I don't know if every other writer puts a little of themselves into the characters they create, but they always say 'write what you know' (whoever they are.)

So, my story is about me, wrapped all up in fairy tale trappings. I hope somebody thinks I'm fascinating enough to want to get to know.

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