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  • June 6th, 2011 | 10:45 AM
characters write back

Last week I wrote some letters to my characters. Today they wrote back.

Dear Author,
I'm not that complex. I'm a kid who wants what ever other kid wants, a normal family that doesn't hassle me all the time. A best friend to do things with. Less homework and more pizza.

If you want to tell my story, maybe you need to go back farther than what you thought was the beginning. Mr. Mac says that there are some seeds that sleep for years just waiting for some kind of explosion in their life to wake them up and start them to growing. Like a fire. One day they're just a bunch of seeds in a bunch of dirt and then suddenly, a month or two or three after a fire, when everything else is black and dead looking, those sleepy seeds wake up and punch through the ashes toward the sun.

Of course not all of those seeds wake up. Some of them just go right on sleeping forever.

Maybe my family is just like those seeds, sleeping in the dirt, waiting for the explosion to wake them up. Or maybe that explosion happened a while ago, like when my dad died, and now they've forgotten how to do anything else.

Plant Kid

Dear Author Who Will Figure Out the Balancing Act When She Needs To,

You asked me to surprise you and I'm sure how to do that. I was going to tell you that me, Frankie, and that other guy you were writing about, Cooper, were probably the same guy but it looks like you figured that one out for yourself already. You already know I used to have a baby sister but now I don't.

Did you know that it's my fault that she's dead?


Dear Authory Person,
Before you give up on us you might want to know the story about how one of us, and probably not the one you were thinking of, had to make a visit to that grey building over on Galindo Street. You know, the one that has the people carrying signs out front and screaming at the people going inside? The one where you practically have to have a guard or a boyfriend with really big muscles walk you from the car to the inside? Yeah, that one.

And she wasn't going there to pick up some more pills.

The Sisters

There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 7 comments — Leave comment )
June 6th, 2011 05:56 pm (UTC)
I love these, love these, love these.

It's like a cliffhanger. A mystery. Seeing how the characters work and think and change.
June 6th, 2011 10:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Yes, they are like cliffhangers to me, too, spurring me to write just one more scene so I can see what happens next. :)
June 6th, 2011 07:09 pm (UTC)
OMG...this is so cool...now I want to know more about the characters and their story....love this idea!
June 6th, 2011 10:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'm glad I caught your interest. It's my way of trying to plot because plot is such a weak point of mine.
(Deleted comment)
June 6th, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Joyce. I enjoy doing these letters because it helps me think out next steps. As for doing a book this way, interesting idea. Doesn't Linda Sue Park's Project Mulberry have something along the line of this? I can't remember offhand.
June 6th, 2011 11:35 pm (UTC)
I love your characters:) They're great pen pals. Great post, I love your creativity:)
June 7th, 2011 05:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Laura!
( 7 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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"Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties."
--Bonnie Friedman

"As writers, we must be willing to feel our sadness, our anger, our terror, so we can reach in and find our sweet vulnerability that is just sitting there waiting for us to come back home."
--Nancy Slonim Aronie

"Writers write about what obsesses them. You draw those cards. I lost my mother when I was 14. My daughter died at the age of 6. I lost my faith as a Catholic. When I'm writing, the darkness is always there. I go where the pain is."
--Anne Rice


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