I have never in my life written a novel.
Oh, I’ve tried. I’ve just never finished one. At least, never finished anything that was good in any kind of literary standard. In the seventh grade, I thought school was too easy (this is not a lie), so I started writing a novel and finished three months and 140 pages later.
It was so awful, when my dad accidentally recycled my laptop, I was relieved nothing could bring it back from the dead.
But yet, here I stand, ready to try it again.
The problem with not finishing things arises both from boredom and from a lack of motivation. I don’t take my writing seriously; I hate telling people about it. I don’t talk to my family about it. I don’t even tell them when I’m trying to write and finish something. Nothing gets done because I don’t think any of what I write is worth getting done.
But S.E. Hinton wrote The Outsiders when she was 16 so damn it all, I can do it at 18.
I read somewhere that telling people that you were going to write a book would motivate you to finish it.
So here we go.
I have no title for it yet, which I guess I should’ve thought of before I started this post. But no matter, I’ll just give a brief summary of what it’ll be about and we can all go about our days. Or nights. Or Netflix marathons.
I’ve had a lot of friends suffer depression. I know from minor personal experiences what depression is like. (Now, mind you, I don’t go about telling people I’ve ever been depressed, because depression isn’t a mood, it’s a mental state, and I want to be respectful of that fact.) That being said, I have a lot of experience and encounters with depression and bipolarity. I want people to know and understand depression and mental illness and emotional instability, so we can all move forward with treatment.
The basic plot line of the future novel is as follows:
Four teenagers living in a rehabilitation center on the outskirts of a small coastal Southern town learn what it means to feel. Often people mistake depression for chronic sadness or something, but actually depression is most often simply an inability to feel anything substantially. That’s why sufferers (I reject the word “victims,” on principle) turn to self-harm; they just want to feel something–usually (friendly reminder that the generalities I’m making about mental illness and depression are stupid but necessary to keep this explanation short and concise).
The story is told from the points of view of three of the four characters.
The first, Teddy, is the new kid in town. Originally from Connecticut, his parents are psychologists whose most unstable patient attempted to kill them. They are now hospitalized and undergoing intense physical therapy. Teddy’s sister has a manic bipolar disease and Teddy himself has been diagnosed with chronic depression. They both inhabit the rehabilitation center, under the special protection of the head nurse and family friend, Jody.
The second, Ocean, is a sweet and sour black lesbian with a disturbed past of sexual abuse. Her father is the local pastor and her mother is the quiet, unassuming cafe owner. They placed her in the center after she had a triggered panic attack at school. She finds small ways to rebel, from her golden-dyed hair to her multiple piercings and tattoos.
The third, Bass, is the tough transgender former gang leader. Ever since his gang of loyal friends ferociously beat him almost to death after he confessed his true identity, Bass has been in an emotional and mental free-fall. His family has remained supportive, but without his friends, Bass finds himself almost to the brink of suicide.
The fourth character, whose point of view we never hear, is Toby. She (yes, she) is the unstoppable force in the rehabilitation center, the life and energy that brings everyone’s spirits up. But she, too, has a dark past (cue the dramatic soap opera music) that she is struggling to overcome, but without letting her friends know the extent of her condition.
The story focuses around this rehabilitation center, the shenanigans the friends get up to, and the struggles and setbacks they encounter on their less traveled road to recovery.
Coming soon to The Leatherbound slash Amazon(?) on or about July 12, 2016.
That’s all from The Leatherbound.