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Sunday, May 4, 2014

30 Week Writing Survey- Week 4: Tell us about one of your first stories/characters!

My first story? That's a tough one and I didn't keep any of them. However, I have memories of stories through the years.

I can remember sitting in front of the TV or in my room drawing pictures and writing stories for them. I use to call them "books."  I remember taking one of them to school to show my teachers and they looked at it and read it. However, I don't remember their reaction afterwards.

As I got older, I would write stories at my little desk in my room. I wrote them long hand because I didn't know how to type and we didn't own a computer.  (Y'all, this was the 90's before EVERYBODY purchased a computer and got on the AOL bandwagon). This was an old typewriter in the closet, but I had no clue how to use it.

In the third grade, I wrote a story about a male substitute teacher named Martin.  In the fifth grade, I wrote a story for a statewide writing contest about a girl who attends a celebrity party. There were a lot celebrities at the party who were popular back in 1994-1995.  I didn't win the contest and I got a note on my paper which said, "I don't get it."  I vaguely remember that story, so the judges were probably right.

I continued to write stories here and there.  In the eighth grade, I entered a similar statewide contest. This time it was an essay on my dream trip to California.  I was a bit obsessed with wanting to visit California. Partly because a lot of movies and TV shows take place there, characters from books live or visit there, and Dawn from The Baby Sitters Club moved from there and moved back in the spin off series, The California Diaries.

Honestly, I didn't expect to win, but my essay was one of the winning essays  I received my award at the award ceremony.  I didn't write many stories in high school, partly because I was too busy with school work and writing in my journal.

After graduation, I had this idea that I would write a book.  I decided to write a story called Juliana in Love. It was about a black girl named Juliana who falls in love with a white guy named Josh.  I had never dated and been in any sort of relationship.  All I knew was what was in my imagination, how interracial relationships were played out on TV and movies, and the bits and pieces I got from real life.  I soon abandoned the story because I hit a dead end.  I didn't want their relationship to seem far fetched, unrealistic, or destined for doom.  In other words, I didn't feel confident enough to write such a controversial story and I didn't want to write a stereotypical story.

For the past nine years, I have been attempting to write a novel about a girl who is visually impaired who has to drop out of college and decides to go away to a job training program. While she's there she falls in love with a guy who is also visually impaired. Problem is, no one approves of him.  He is older and more experienced and she is younger and not experienced and green-VERY GREEN.

I have attempted this novel several times, but abandon it every time. I have received mixed reactions to this story. On one hand, I had read it in front of a writing group, and they said they loved it and it was different because it is something you don't see everyday. On the other hand, I have gotten who's going to read it, aint nobody got time for that, and so forth.

There are not many books out there with physically challenged characters. The last time I attempted this novel back in 2010, I was determined to be different. I was (and still am) sick and tired of seeing so many vampire stories on bookshelves.  I think that it is time for something different.

In this situation, you have to be really careful about how you want your character to be viewed. What do you want your readers to take away from the story once it's done?  I don't want to write fluff because there is plenty of it on bookshelves and the Internet.  

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