Monday, April 04, 2005

I've heard that most first novels are autobiographical. So far, none of mine have been. It would be difficult to find many traces of my life in any of the three novels I've written significant portions of so far, or most of the others I've jotted ideas for. However, the one I've been contemplating lately (the YA that would involve a death) would include incidents inspired by events in my own life. I don't want to write about the actual events from my life, or the actual people I knew, partly because that would be weird and seems dangerous, and partly because the actual events were too bizarre and convoluted to be believed in fiction (Greg Leitich Smith has a great blog entry about this). But it's still a very difficult thing to approach, and it's hard to figure out how much of real life I would need to include, or what the most important elements of the story are. I want to include some things I actually wrote back then, because I don't think I could do a better job now of getting those raw, powerful emotions onto paper, especially in the voice of a teenager. But that makes it tricky, because then the character would have to face situations that are somewhat similar to mine without being the same. I also have to think of an ending to it all, and that's hard, too. So, for now I just have ideas swirling in my head, and am leaving most of the writing until later. I definitely need to finish my midgrade novel first in any case!

I recently wrote a crucial scene for the midgrade, though I'm not too happy with the way it turned out. I'm trying to write the book without major revising, just making notes for future revision as I go along, but in this case I may rewrite the scene before moving on. I'm pleased today, though, because I thought of yet another twist I might add that could tie several loose threads from the story together. If it works, it could solve some of the logistical problems I've been having with the story, as well as adding a bit more quirky fun to the manuscript. Here's hoping it does!

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