Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

How Wise (or Clueless) Were You?

In In Other Words, Writing on March 2, 2010 at 5:46 am

I had a writer friend critique a story recently, and his main criticism was that the 14 year-old girl who is the main character is too wise. So I’ve been trying to figure out just how wise a smart, female high-school freshman who’s experienced a few hard knocks (dad attempted suicide, for example), but is otherwise in a stable loving environment should be.

I’ve tried to capture in memory where my own thinking was at that age, and the images I’ve conjured are fuzzy. Life (especially social life) was hard and cruel in some spots, but I felt wild and invincible at others. And thanks to a dear friend who is an insane pack rat, I recently got a peak at some of my writing from high school, when, I was, evidently, pedantic, precocious, and mostly too serious for my own good.

How wise (or clueless) were you at 14? Did your knowledge of the world and how it works come in fits and spurts or more gradually? What didn’t you know at 14 that you know now? Spill it! My character needs to know…