Linda Maye Adams

Origins


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?

10 Comments

  1. I loved Trixie Belden when I was a kid–my absolute favorite childhood series! My mom read them when she was a kid and got me hooked. 🙂 (And she had a great time reading all the new ones that had come out since she had stopped reading them!)
    My first character was a girl my age who was allowed to do all the things I wasn’t allowed to do–and all of the amazing times she had doing them. Maybe not the most creative character, but definitely some creative stories! 🙂

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    • Trixie Belden rocks. I remember the stories being better quality writing-wise than Nancy Drew. I tried reading a few of the Nancy Drew books recently and was surprised at how awful they were.

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  2. I’m so sad for you that your mom slashed right through your beloved character! I hope you still have some copies of what you wrote and your drawings. You never know, they could be the next Nancy Drew series!

    P.S. I love the new look of your blog. 🙂

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  3. My first character was written when I was in 7th grade. Her name was Mandy, she was 16 (the age I thought I couldn’t wait to attain!) and like your character, she had a truckload of brothers and sisters! Mandy was very much inspired by “Practically Seventeen” by Rosamund Neal du Jardin. I fell in love with that book when I found it in my school’s library, and it lit a fire under me to write my own. I have no idea what happened to that story, but I still remember it!

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  4. In about the 5th grade, I wrote a story about a girl crossing the prairie in a covered wagon. Would you believe I was a Little House fan?
    😉
    And bad snap at your Mom for her nasty comment!

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    • The comment from my mother was particularly strange because was generally a non-offensive person. She went out of the way — perhaps too much — to not offend anyone. I think that’s what made the comment feel worse than it was.

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  5. kristylyseng

    My first original story was about an apprentice magician who couldn’t get a potion of hers to work right. Everyone in the school ended up trying to help her with no luck. I forget how it ends. I think I tossed out that story a long time ago. There wasn’t much of a point to it.

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  6. My first story was in High School and my character was really me. A thinly veiled love story of a boy I was crazy about. There was a kiss, and emotion and I don’t even remember what else. When the teacher tried to compliment me, referring to it as taking our own experiences and fictionalizing them, I was horrified with embarrassment that she knew it was based on my young love. (I was painfully shy then) I wouldn’t write again for years. Ha!

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    • LOL! I don’t think anyone would have said my stories — particularly my later ones — were out of personal experiences. In high school, I submitted a serial killer short story to the writer’s contest!

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  7. Personally, I thing Sharon McCall is a great idea. Perhaps she should be brought out of retirement and given a new assignment. I think she’d rock.

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