Posted: Friday, November 30, 2012 6:08:58 PM
All of my life, I’ve known I’ve had talent in the art of writing. I wrote all the time about everything I could think of, and I loved doing it. But I didn’t really know I wanted to be an author or have a career in creative writing for sure until fifth grade when I read the book “Stargirl” by Jerry Spinelli. I was just sitting in the classroom at my seat, when the teacher announced that we all have to pick a book from the classroom’s library to read. I know I should never judge a book by its cover, but the cover of one specific book- “Stargirl”- was beautifully simple with a bright palette. At the time I was really into sentimental and subtly romantic books - and I still am. I loved reading about relationships. But what made “Stargirl” different was that it really introduced a new perspective on story writing for me, specifically that establishing relationships require a lot of description and specific thoughts and feelings that have to be realistic, and that one person can affect you entirely. I remember how sweet all the things that happened as the book went along were, which I really enjoyed reading. One thing I especially remember in the book was when the main character, Leo, is sitting in class. He's minding his own business when he glances out the window. To his surprise, there was a sign. On it was the phrase, “Stargirl loves Leo.”
After reading “Stargirl”, it made me think, Someday, I want to write something like this. To write something to make the reader really feel something. And personally, I’m the type of writer who really loves details. The main character, Stargirl, had so many small ones that really said something to me. Like how almost every other day she was singing happy birthday to someone on her ukulele. Or, how when she was a cheerleader, a basketball player on the opposing team was injured, so she ran to help them -which, at the time I really admired. She chose to help as opposed to stand around like everyone else and watch. I loved Stargirl's drive in her care for others. Or how she had a weird pet that she’d take to school with her every day. But now that I’m older, I can appreciate these details more and really see the point of them. They were all developments to Stargirl’s character, but at the same time, can make the reader smile. So, as you can guess, since looking back on it, I’ve really started doing the same for my characters. Even in doing so I learned that it’s not as easy developing a realistic character but to also provide them with a plausible characteristics and little details. It could be the clothes they wear, their actions, how they react to things, ect.
All the little details and careful description of the relationship between the main characters really made “Stargirl” stick, as well as the characterization. Not only this, but it exposed me to new ways to do things. Like the ending of “Stargirl” for example. It ended with the dance, and then suddenly time skipped to show what happened to Stargirl and how she affected those around her. This taught me that characters have to change in stories just as they do in real life. For example, after certain events or the conflict is faced, how the character is like afterward. All I know is that even now, I find it to be one of the most inspiring books I have ever read.