I am not the only writer in the family. This is the story of how my girl's fan fiction earned her an A+.
I'm putting this post in the Trichotillomania category, because every bit of encouragement, every ounce of positive, self-esteem boosting feedback is incredibly important to my oldest who struggles with trichotillomania.
What is trichotillomania? It is the compulsive desire to pull out, or break off one's hair. My oldest does this without even realizing she's doing it. Then, suddenly, she has bald patches and uneven lengths.
You can imagine what it's like for a 7th grader whose appearance is affected this way.
So, getting to my story...a few weeks back, my bright, creative, quirky girl's Accelerated Language Arts class was given a writing assignment. They all had to write a narrative essay.
She started writing, and writing, and writing. In looking up what a narrative essay is, I thought it was supposed to be something personal and creative.
What she wrote was very creative. At first glance, one might not think it was personal, but it is, even though the story is fiction.
As she finished each chapter, she let me read it. The story is a Transformers fan fiction piece, long enough and worthy enough of being an animated episode.
Granted, I'm biased. She is my brilliant girl. But, seriously, this is a great piece of writing.
However, I was really concerned about some of the subject matter - blasters, battle scenes, serious injuries, bleeding wounds, etc. - in a day and age where schools have a zero tolerance rule for everything.
Not wanting to disrupt her creative flow, I never expressed my concerns. I prayed that only good would come from it, and I let her write.
I was also concerned of its fan fiction style. Recently, I read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, where the main character received a failing grade from a teacher that didn't find any value in fan fiction.
I wasn't sure how my girl's teacher would receive this piece.
My hope was that the quality of writing would outweigh any hindrances. Did I mention that it's a fantastic piece of writing?
Here's the opening paragraph to Midstar's Revenge:
Scarlet optics glowed brightly in the darkness. The night was cool, and the only light came from Cybertron’s one moon and the mysterious, glowing, bright crimson eyes. Ahead, about five miles away was an Autobot energon storage supply. Stocked to the brim, the Autobots took some extreme measures so that the Decepticons wouldn’t attack tonight. That energon was being sent to Optimus Prime himself. Word had it he and his troops needed the energon for a large strike against the Decepticons. Under the crimson optics, came a large, evil smile. In the Decepticon’s hand was a charge detonator, and with the flick of a thumb, she pressed the red button as it made a satisfying, quick “beep, beep.”
My most favorite part about this piece? She wrote it from the antagonist's point of view and the antagonist is a GIRL! How cool is that?!
The story is a bit dark and macabre.
It isn't a traditional good vs. evil where good wins all the time. It's exactly what my "outside the norm" kid would write.
After she wrote a horror story in 5th grade for a hardcover book they had "published", I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised.
She turned her paper in - all 12, double-spaced, typed pages of it in booklet format - on October 3rd. All of the kids have been waiting for their grades since.
Today, the teacher handed them back to her students, calling each name in alphabetical order. My girl realized her name had been skipped and didn't know what was going on.
Her teacher saved her story for last, proudly handing it back to my girl announcing that out of all of her students, my girl's paper was the only A+.
Midstar's Revenge received a perfect score of 32/32 points.
This moment, this small (HUGE) thing the teacher did to encourage my girl was monumental.
To praise her in front of her peers, to give her the only A+ out of all those very bright, accelerated students was a self-esteem booster I could never give her.
I am so grateful.
So, here's to fan fiction! Here's to the teacher that understands my girl! Here's to my girl, the writer! May she take over my blog someday, or maybe even be the next Stephen King.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (CEB)
11 So continue encouraging each other and building each other up, just like you are doing already.
Psalm 127:3 (CEB)
3 No doubt about it: children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a divine reward.
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