The embellishments stop here. I wrote this today, June 6th, 2011. Don't kill me if I don't update for months at a time!
"Anyway, it's a bad habit to rush everything. But then again, does life ever pass as slowly as normal teen fiction?"
I recently replied to a review with that exact quote. It got me thinking. I didn't want to bore the reviewer with paragraphs of boringness, so I decided to make an essay instead.
So, I wrote this story a bunch of years ago, and I was sixteen when I got the idea and started writing it. At the time, I felt so high and mighty and downright awesome when I discovered my ability to make stories out of random scenes around me. They came to me left and right, came up and scared me, and even knocked on the door to my brain protesting their captivity. So I wrote the ideas in a small flip-book with a potential title, short summary, and character types and personalities. It was a good step for me because 1, I have ADHD and sometimes I forget things when I don't want to, 2, the book was small enough to carry around, and 3, if the idea sucked a few days later, I could just erase it or cross it off and forget the idea existed.
What happened to the ability? I have it under control. I pretty much only write down stories that seem like they can go on for a few chapters, and I could write them for hours and not get tired or feel like I'm forcing myself in a bad way. It's much like practicing an instrument: you want to get better because you love what you do, so you practice and ignore your life. Your true friends would understand if you can't go clubbing for one night.
Getting back on track, I really wanted to say that I write like an adult sometimes. Well, I am currently twenty years old, so I guess that counts as an adult… But I have read so many books written by adults for adults where they do what I have done for years. It makes me feel normal.
I've seen this in teen fiction written by teens: "Today this happened, and the next few days nothing happened."
Teen fiction written by adults: "Today this and this and this happened, the next day this happened, the next day this happened, and a week later some stuff happened, but it was mostly boring."
Adult fiction: "Today this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this happened, the next day a bunch more stuff happened."
What I wrote at the time that story was written: "Today this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this happened, and the next day this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this happened, and a month later nothing happened and it was boring."
See what I mean? If that doesn't make sense, then you should stop reading because I'm only going to make less and less sense. Just saying. If it does makes sense, I congratulate you, so keep going.
I think I've gotten better at this "pacing" stuff, but sometimes, people aren't used to it. I feel the need to remind whoever reads my stuff that "it's only been five days, and we have about fifteen chapters here, jam-packed with stuff." Some stories are structured like that on purpose. With me, most of the time it's a complete accident, especially when I write stories with people who have weird-freaky powers or quirks. I ask myself daily, "Why can't I write normally for once?" I never get a reply from me.
I've asked my sister this question, but she gave me one of those answers that pretty much rearranges the question and doesn't really have any disclosure: "Do I think like a teenager, or did my teenage self think like an adult?" Maybe it's because I haven't gone over and re-read my stuff recently, but it still bugs me. (legit writers are probably all like, "You need to read your own stuff and revise it!" My answer is, "This is a hobby, you know, and because I'm a musician, I have no life. I'm writing this right now because I'm going to forget this happened if I don't write it down. Did I mention it's almost 6:00 in the morning?") I think she answered, "I don't know. You haven't really changed much, but the way you think really shouldn't have changed since you wrote it." Something along those lines. I get frustrated, okay? I did that all the time in high school and now I know why my teachers gave me bad grades in English class.
I'll tell you one thing, though: I have obsessive compulsive tendencies, and when you combine that with proofreading abilities… let's just say that it potentially breaks up friendships. I refrain from replying spelling mistakes on Facebook with people I barely know, but I do it all the time with the people that know me the most, my family and my four best friends. Ever since that day in second grade when they gave us the proofreading learning worksheet, so you can learn to correct your own mistakes, I was riveted. It pretty much runs my life now. I freak out when I see those squiggly lines under words in Microsoft Office programs, and more recently, my Internet browser, Google Chrome. I only ignore them if they are names, places I made up, or sound effects.
Let me know when you stop reading.
This is why I'm on meds. And this is what happens when I haven't taken them in a bunch of hours…
I have music stuck in my head, but I can't sing the lyrics because it got no words! Cue squiggly line any second now… Wait, no squiggly line under "I got no"? Weird. I've also picked up a bad habit from my sister, who, when she makes a mistake in a word, like switching two letter while typing, she deletes the whole word up to that point and retypes the whole thing. It doesn't matter if she's typing " (first try! I changed a random letter in the middle to test it out, too.)", she'll see a mistake in the middle and delete the whole last half to change it. In my case, not only do I do words, but sometimes even whole sentences. It all depends if I get to the end and put a period on it.
As I re-read this, I wonder where I was going with it. But now that I have, I'm not in the mood to start the subject again.
Now that you've had an unintended peek into what I call my brain, I'll end it with a spoiler that has nothing to do with anything I typed up in this essay thing just now. Nightcrawler's biological mother is Mystique. Bam.
I love you all,
Annelisa :D (That's my real name)