I Gave Up on My Blasian Novel

8.6.11 ShaSha LaPerf 3 Comments

Back when I was in college and failing pretty much every engineering major, I decided to change my major to English. No this wasn't just about a last ditch effort to save my GPA, but I'd been writing stories since I like reading and discussing what I read. While I was in the middle of English literature classes, a short story of mine had allowed to take a highly selective writing class (which was a prerequisite to get a creative writing degree I later opted not to do). Anyway while my classmates were trying to see as deep as they could go with metaphors, big words, and "made you think" stories, I wrote a short story about a blasian couple.
We were required to write a story that was at least 20 pages, so I wrote a 22-page story about the end of a relationship between a black girl and her Japanese boyfriend. The story was called "First Time" and has a serious of flashbacks that indicated the first time they did anything all while ending up to the last time they would be together. It wasn't the first time I had written a romantic story or even the first time I had written a story about an interracial couple. But it was the first time I had put though into the story structure as well as the characters. and I got to show off my Japanese language skills. My professor and my classmates enjoyed reading the story and I got a pretty good grade on it.

So last year I found the story buried on a CD and read through it. And man what a bunch of cheesy shit!

It's basically a non-fanfic Mary Sue story. The main character is a black girl in college who loves art, anime, and had braids. Basically that was all me. Her Japanese guy had "almond shaped eyes," "thick jet black hair," and "a slight accent." Yes, those are actual phrases from the story. Don't get me started on the number of times I added "Daisuke," "aishiteru" and "kawaii" in the story. There are scenes of eating at sushi restaurants, wacky parents, and video game playing. Sadly dialogue was not my strongest thing at the time and I actually cringed at some of the lines I put in there.

Now I don't wanna say that my professor gave me a fluff grade. I think the grade was appropriate for me as a college student at the time. but my writing has matured quite a bit over the years so when I look at the story, I can't help but laugh at all the silly things going on.

Okay I can't say it's the worst story I've written. That honor goes to the story I wrote about a gender-bending vampire (umm this was in the mid-90s BEFORE I was into Twilight and anime, but reading a lot ot RL Stine and Christopher Pike). And I actually liked the structure I'd used for the story.

So I decided to rewrite it. This time the characters would be older. The female would be a hot shot graphic designer who would run into her ex-who happened to be a super hot Chinese guy who just so happened to work in her building. The new location wouldn't be in college but would take place in DC. And the story would still have the flash backs but would focus only their culture differences as well as take on the racial dynamics that was happening to them while they were in college. The idea got me pumped, and my writing juices were flowing.

Then I realized I was doing a Mary-Sue story all over again. Shit.

So I got to chapter two before I found myself stopping cold. I was stuck. With my first story, having a few cliches and using a massive amount of slang didn't seem so bad becaise I was still learning how to write. However now I wanted to write this super awesome novel, but didn't know how I could get away from the cliches. It's funny, I when I see the synopsis of many novels, including ones with blasian relationships, I find myself rolling my eyes and scoffing. "This is lame!" "What a stupid idea." "Whatever, I write a whole lot better than this shit!"

But here I was staring at that blank page. I already had a foundation, but I was having trouble turning that foundation into something a bit more. And I was having second thoughts. For all my talk about being a much better writer, perhaps my writing skills weren't as developed as I thought. I know it' pretty easy to get a book published despite how terrible it is, but I wanted to write a super awesome novel that critics and the average reader would love. Perhaps that sounds egotisical or something but I'm about the idea of making a good blasian novel, not just a blasian novel. And I couldn't do it with that story. So I let it go.

Oh well. Maybe one day the juices will get flowing again and I'll get to work on a different idea for a blasian novel. I have a new story idea about a young boy, nightmares, and his little brother. We'll see how that goes.

3 comments:

  1. Don't be afraid of Mary Sue-ing, it can be quite lucrative. The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series proves it.

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  2. LOL I didn't make it through her first novel. :( My friends and I have a writing circle so from time to time I short stories about blasian couples. But I'm trying to focus on the other story idea for now.

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  3. Lot of money in white girl Mary Sue stories, look at Twilight and True Blood.

    I barely graduated with an engineering degree and have a fluffy minor in comparative religion that I used to increase my gpa.

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