A drawing! A real live drawing! I'm so sorry it's been a while. I've been so busy, and drawing takes, like, time. But I finally got this done for Dara, who was a winner in my May contest. (Yes, I know July is approaching and I'm freaking slow, shhh.)
This is Naomi, from her Japanese historical WIP. I'm sure you all can guess I'm a Big Fan of this idea. Naomi is about to partake of the last sake in a marriage rite—a marriage rite that's all for show. So thank you, Dara, for giving me something so wonderful to draw. I hope you like it!
In other news, Cindy Pon is having a contest for two books that I WANT. And so here I am announcing it on my blog so I can enter! I mean TWO BOOKS—Bleeding Violet and Brightly Woven. Hi, I want want want them.
Also, I thoroughly enjoyed your comments on The Most Boring YA Story Ever. I purposely left no explanation as to why I wrote the story; I really wanted to see the reactions.
I find it interesting that half of you said something to the effect of "wow, that was so like my teen years." I couldn't tell if you were kidding or not, but the idea of the "normal" fascinated me. My life was kinda like that—minus the boyfriend and everyone liking me at school...okay, and the RISK thing...also the immaculate self-esteem and no one ever dying...
Never mind. Maybe not so much.
But that was one major flaw of the boring story. Stories aren't meant to be exactly like real life. Because, well, real life is boring most of the time. Days and days go by with nothing interesting happening at all. Just small moments of joy, little moments that make up life.
These aren't story moments (unless they're resolutions). Stories happen when the mundane is interrupted, when opposition occurs, which leads right to the other most frequent comment:
"And then insert-catastrophic-thing-here happens!"
I could see the storyteller in you all! You were all DYING for something BAD to happen. Admit it, you wanted to destroy Sarah's perfect little bubble. You wanted something horrible to happen to her. You wanted her whole world to come crashing down.
You meddlers. You evil, evil meddlers. It's like...you're writers or something.
This is the essence of storytelling: conflict. And this is also why there will always be "bad things" in books, why censoring is ultimately flawed. Storytelling is the exploration of bad things happening and how someone overcomes them (or doesn't, if we're going tragedy). The entire medium is built on conflict.
This is why I wrote The Most Boring YA Story Ever, to show that a story isn't a story until conflict is introduced. Bad stuff. Who's to say what "bad stuff" is acceptable and what "bad stuff" isn't? It's ALL BAD STUFF. It's up to the reader (and the writer) to figure out what bad stuff they feel like exploring.
Either that, or we should just ban all books for daring to explore conflict. I'm thinking that sounds stupid, though.