This is inspired by by Merry Farmer’s post, How I Became a Writer. Every superhero has an origin, and every writer has an origin.
Mine was when I was eight years old. I was in the 4th grade, and I was best friends with Rebekah. She came from Missouri and lived right across the street from the school in a house with an acre of land and tangerine trees. She was a big reader of Little House on the Prairie, and I was reading Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and Kim Aldrich. I didn’t care for The Hardy Boys, but The Three Investigators always made for an exciting and dangerous read.
Rebekah was writing a play for the class, and I thought this was just the greatest thing. I wanted to write, too!
So what could I write? Mysteries! I created my own girl detective, Sharon McCall. She was a teenager like Nancy Drew and had long, straight blonde hair, hair I wished I could have. She was athletic, which I could never be. She also had something like seven brothers and sisters and lots of dogs and cats. I even drew pictures of Sharon jumping off hills, her hair flying; some of the other kids reads the stories and drew illustrations for them. It was a lot of fun doing the stories, because I could make adventures!
Many years later, when I was in my 20s, I was having a conversation with my parents and somehow Sharon McCall came up. My mother blurted out something about “that dreadful Sharon McCall,” and it was said with real loathing. I’m guessing she always felt that way, but she didn’t say anything at the time because it would have really hurt. But that character was still a part of me and part of fond memories, and she just slashed right through it as it didn’t really matter.
Writers: Who was the first character you wrote about? Tell me about him or her! Everyone: Have you ever discovered something that you thought was true turned not to be many years later? What was it? How did you react?