When I started writing The Clearing, it was because I couldn’t help myself any longer. The story had been growing in my head like crab grass (which, by the way, is taking over our backyard at the moment) and I couldn’t think – couldn’t sleep – couldn’t do anything until I wrote it down.
There’s another story in my head that’s beginning to do the same thing, only this one is behaving more like kudzu: It’s wrapping itself around all the little parts of my brain and dominating my entire thought process.
I’m absolutely positive that this is happening now because I don’t have the time to deal with it. Which, as any good writer knows, is when our best work tends to come out.
This story is one I started long ago, but never figured out what to do with it. And guess what? Shockingly enough, I still haven’t figured out where I want to go with it. I know that I want my main character to be based on myself around age 12. So basically, she’s going to be a gorgeous cheerleader with perfect skin and totally awesome social skills.
(Reality check: At 12 years old, I was approximately 5’9″, weighed in at a whopping 120 lbs soaking wet, was cutting my own *shag-cut layered* hair, wore ginormous gold-rimmed glasses, AND had braces.)
(No, Sara McClung, I will not post pictures because the “embarrassing” ones you posted were NOT EMBARRASSING AT ALL. Therefore, the Humiliation Committee has ruled that they do not count towards that agreement we made oh-so-long ago. When you decide to post some real cringe-inducing material, we’ll talk.)
So anyway, that’s who I want to write about: The girl that doesn’t fit in. You know why I want to write about her? Well, think back to 7th grade for a minute. Did you feel like you fit in? Did you feel pretty? Did you feel graceful? Smart? Funny?
Yeah. Neither did anyone else.
The only problem with all this is that I’m not sure my agent represents Middle Grade, and that’s what this would be. I think. Or could it be classified as YA?
(Is anyone else totally at a loss when it comes to labeling your work with a genre?)
When I was in the 11-14 year age range, I loved books like this. Books with normal, awkward heroines who felt like people I could be. Prime example? Meg Murry in A Wrinkle in Time. And, naturally, I had to reference a L’Engle book, since she’s haunting me and all. But I mean, Meg was awesome, right? She was gawky, socially inept, and insecure. She had really bad hair, braces, and glasses. She felt ugly all the time.
But not only did she conquer the leader of a foreign (and creepy) planet, she also saved her dad and captured the totally smokin’ Calvin O’Keefe’s heart in the process.
Meg Murry empowered me.
Which character empowered you when you were younger?