Friday, July 31, 2009

The Story I Wrote When I Was Fifteen

(This is a collage I made in middle school - you can see that my life revolved around swimming, cute celebrity boys, food, and gorillas.)

I moved to a new apartment at the beginning of February, and in the process of packing/unpacking, I came across a copy of a story I wrote when I was a sophomore in high school. The story sort of, very roughly, chronicles my freshman year of high school – or at least a lot of the main character’s thoughts, if not her actions, were similar to mine at that time period. The story doesn’t seem to have a title, but it is 64 pages (typed, double spaced).

I have been struggling with minor writer’s block for a few weeks, so I remembered the story and pulled it out a week or two ago and read it from start to finish. I'm amazed that I can say it wasn’t half bad, considering my age at the time I wrote it. The story has more than one dimension. Even better, it has a lot of heart.

It’s about a 14 year old swimmer named Jordyn Riley who wants nothing more than to beat her rival July Hawkins in the 200 freestyle and see her name in the headlines on the sports page. But Jordyn gets distracted by her long-time crush Shane, who finally shows some interest in her despite already having a girlfriend. Her swimming suffers from it. Meanwhile, her best friend Seb shuns her for dating Shane, her coach loses faith in her, and her little sister depends on her to solve her problems, too.

After I re-read this I thought, “I can easily turn this into a YA novel.” So I am. Or I am trying to. This is the other project I'm currently working on.

As I was browsing through some of my old Word documents, I found two other 30-40 page stories – one chronicling my 7th grade year, another for my 8th grade year, both also about swimming and boys. There is not as much re-usable material in those stories, but they interested me to read nonetheless. It was like peering into a diary and remembering what it was like to be 12 and 13 years old again.

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