Writing for Class (aka-Now for Something Totally Different)

I can’t remember if I’ve ranted about how much I dislike this next assignment for my Creative writing class. To give you a little background on the piece, it has to be written from the point of view of someone who has a mental or physical handicap. Not bad right? Oh, did I forget to mention that it also has to be written in second person? I haven’t written in second person since way back in my fan fiction days (That’s years and years ago for those of you who haven’t bothered to keep track). I’m not sure how hard it is for other writers to plod along in second person, but for me it’s completely and totally exhausting. It involves getting so thoroughly into your character’s head that they literally become a part of you. They’re like a mask that you can put on and take off. I know some of you are sitting there saying “quit whining, it can’t be that hard”, and normally it isn’t. Normally I have no trouble getting inside my character’s heads. Then again, I’ve never tried to write from behind the eyes of a character who has a serious mental problem. The fact that I do not have any serious mental problems myself (diagnosable, stupidity doesn’t count) compounds this so that I am almost literally unable to write the character I want to use. If I didn’t know and grow up with people with the problems I’m thinking of using, I would never be able to write Lucy. I’m sure that there are people that will argue that I never will anyways.

Just to give you a small taste of the challenge I’m up against, Lucy has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Reactive Attachment Disorder. She has the mind of a child, the body of an adult, and while she trusts no one, she’ll go out of her way to get any kind of attention. I can’t be lying when I say this is one of the hardest characters I’ve ever had to write (and yes, I know I brought it on myself). I’m currently trying to get to know my character better by RPing her with Havoc. Poor guy, I’ll probably be subjecting him to a lot of this. I hope he and his characters (mainly his characters) don’t hate me after this is all over.

I’m already starting to get a feel for Lucy’s story. It’s going to be fairly disjointed, a total emersion into Lucy’s world. She lives at a mental hospital I know, or something like one. It’s definitely an institution for the mentally incompetent. I don’t think all of her life there is a happy one, but hopefully I’ll be able to show a sort of progression. Oh well. I’m going to have to try really hard not to copy the lives of the people I know who have these same problems, even if it does make things a lot easier for me (one of them has such a soap opera like life, that my creative writing professor probably wouldn’t accept it as plausible!

Remember, the more outrageous real life gets, the less likely people are to believe it.

Comments are appreciated. They make me feel loved.

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One comment

  1. Well, I don’t think I’ll mind TOO much. 🙂 She seems like a very interesting character from what I’ve seen so far. I’m curious to learn more. Also, though it could just be the wording, are there any others you want to get to know better? 🙂

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