April 6th, 2006

Writing contemporary fantasy...

So I've started a completely different thing for me -- well, different in that it's contemporary. And that means darker. Plus, I'm writing in first person, which I've not done before (well, I tried once, but I hated the outcome). This time, I do like it so far, but I'm only 14K into it...it's so much darker than I usually write.

I was inspired, so to speak, by the SCBWI thread about myspace.com. My book is definitely about bullying and humiliation -- and what that does to all the characters. I've just finished the backstory, really. Not that it reads like backstory, I don't think; but it's the setup for the rest of the book, where the mc has to dig deep and see if she has what it takes to 'save the world'. And she's just been stabbed in the back by one of her closest friends too...the friend who has all the power so far -- and who got that power out of her humiliation at the hands of the 'in' girls.

I've had the idea for a while now, but reading that thread really got me going (as any of you who check in to it will notice -- I get on my soapbox a couple of times). My kids aren't old enough for me to have to deal with that kind of thing yet, but having been a teacher, I've faced it in other ways. Bullying really upsets me -- I used to cry whenever any of my students did that to another...seriously. I would sit there and cry while I disciplined the offending student(s). I had a sharp tongue when I was in high school -- and I know I hurt people's feelings now and then. But I don't think I ever destroyed anyone -- I certainly pray that I didn't!

Despite my strong feelings about parental involvement (including my struggle with those who believe you shouldn't 'snoop' in your kids' things -- privacy is an illusion, imo, that doesn't truly exist until you're an adult and know how to handle it responsibly -- but that's another topic), the parents in my book aren't really a part of it. After all, it's young adult. I want the teens to solve the problems all on their own, whether that's realistic or not.

Thanks for listening!
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