This week has been hectic. Blame standardized testing and illness. But I have still read and written, like a dutiful aspiring author. The book I read this week was also for my class, although I don't have to have read it until later. It was The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams. It is about a 13-year-old girl who belongs to a polygamist colony. And it made me mad.
Not the writing, of course. It was very well written, an excellent book. No, what made me mad was what happened in the story. It felt like I was reading a dystopia novel, like The Hunger Games or The Giver, but this didn't take place in a future world; it is a present day story. I don't know how much of it is an accurate representation of what life in a polygamist colony is like, but if it's like how Carol Lynch Williams wrote it I have a right to be upset.
As for my writing, it's going well enough. We've moved on to middle grade writing in my class and so I have drawn sketches for three middle-school aged kids. One of them really shines - he has a very distinct, very strong voice and I want to pursue this. I call him Jeremy, he's 12, and he provides his fellow middle schoolers with a service that isn't always legal. All right, he's a bit of a thief, although he would call himself a "retrieval specialist." I've even drawn up a fake advertisement Jeremy may have written.
"Forget something at school and now the door's locked? I can get through. Someone steal your lunch money? I'll take it back before the lunch ladies pick up a pan. Homeroom teacher confiscate your iPod? You won't be without it long. Your lost or stolen property will be returned to you, no matter how impossible the job may seem. And I promise, no one will ever know."
Still polishing it up, but you get the idea. There's a lot I can do with a kid like this.
I've also been working on my current "big project," aka my thesis novel. It's time for me to start revising and making my characters a little more human. Right now they represent ideas of where I want them to be. But they have to have more weaknesses. For example, my 26-year-old Thomas was pretty wise and collected at the beginning. Now I added a paragraph about his worries and his video game-esque pursuits that make him less of an adult and more of a man-boy. Don't worry, he'll grow up quite a bit through the novel.
So that's me this week. Busy in many directions, but still a fan of stories.