This is a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be.As I continue to work on my Nano book/musical, High School Yearbook, I am pleasantly surprised with its depth in plot and the gentle steer away from stereotyping my leads. When I was planning out the story, I was a little embarrassed with how pop-ish it seemed and how Disney-esque the whole story line felt. Some of my students (for those who don’t know, I teach high school and advise our school’s yearbook team) wanted it to be exactly like High School Musical, where I would write more of a fan fiction piece than an original story. This would have been easy to do, of course. Just watch the movie and plug in “yearbook” every time they said musical. Change a few of the names, and you are set.But I knew that, by doing any such thing, I would be compromising my own vision of this story; I would fall into that trap of reinventing the wheel and wasting my time on something that would never, could never get published.So I broke every rule and did not study the tapes.
Yes, I confess. I am writing High School Yearbook, and I have never watched High School Musical.
I get the main idea, though, and I’m running with it, using every stitch of previous knowledge I’ve gained about working with yearbook teams over the past 20-plus years. What I’m realizing is that these teams that I’ve worked with are micro-dramas capturing all that is real to the rest of us, regardless of our age. The concepts of love, fitting in, doing your best, and working together are universal themes that, even if you’ve never worked on a yearbook team, you can relate, even if you’ve found yourself on the other end of any of these concepts.
Maybe that’s what is so fun about this: I’m writing about you, about me, about the rest of the world, and I’m having the time of my life doing it.