September 18, 2013

little laura explores dialogue

Blogger's Note: Thanks to my family's pack-rat tendencies -- and my vanity -- I've managed to keep documentation of my progress as a writer from kindergarten on. Instead of letting those cedar chest gems go to waste, I figured I might as well do what I do best -- post them to my blog. This is Little Laura Learns the Ropes.

No. 10: The Blabbing Plant
Date: Winter 1996-1997
Age: 10
"Mine, mine, mine," is what I'd say if someone took of mine. It was true I adored fighting. One day I decided to plant a Venus Fly Trap. When it wouldn't grow I yelled at it. My sister and I always seemed to fight in front of the Venus Fly Trap. One day it grew. I yelled.

"It's about time," I said.

"Well excuse me miss perfect!" This couldn't be true. I the queen of talking back had been beaten by a weird plant.

"Iiii dddooonn'tt bbbbellieevvee it," I stuttered.

"Well it doesn't help when I have a bad influence," it answered. Lucky for me dad yelled, "Amy time to go."

By the time we got back I had forgotten all about the plant. I went out back. It yelled, "Where've ya been. I've been yelling at myself."

"Well for your information I've been on a nice long cruise in the Caribean Sea. So there," I said.

"You didn't (snif) have to (snif) have to (snif) go and (snif) say that," he cried.

"Oh, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings," I said kindly.

"Well you did meanie," he said."

"I am not," I said.

"You are."

"No you."


"You." I have no idea how long that went on. I told my friends Amber, Ashley, Amanda, April, Alison, Adam, Arnold and Alfred. Everyone said they hated me and said I was crazy. I went home friendless. What should I do?

Continued in Blabbers Back.

OK, let's start with the bad news. Little Laura is still struggling with comma placement, she's made a few spelling errors (Caribbean is a tough one, but sniff isn't) and she missed a couple of words in her hurry to tell this epic story about a bratty kid and her brattier plant. Still, those are grammatical lessons she'll learn with time.

I'm more troubled about Little Laura choosing an easy out on the ending. Instead of answering any of the questions raised by the story -- Did Amy make any new friends? Did she and Blabber resolve their differences? Did she learn to stop being such a dick? -- LL left the resolution "to be continued." And then, she never wrote it. That's on par with ending a story with, "And then I woke up. It had all been a dream." Totally amateur.

What would Twi-hards have done if Stephenie Meyer never wrote the final installments of the Twilight saga or Suzanne Collins stopped at "Catching Fire." Teens (and, heck, old people who dabble in YA like me) would've lost their shit.

Fortunately, no one in my class nor my teacher -- likely the only people to ever read this story -- apparently weren't that invested in Amy's outcome. Still, what if you had found an audience, Little Laura? You would've left them hanging thanks to your laziness, or at least your desire to get back to drawing that little sketch of yours.

The sketch is pretty cute though, LL. Even if you're still obsessed with illustrating blonde kids. Don't worry, someday you'll learn to love your brunette locks.

There are some other elements that are working with the story. For one, you've created a complex main character. One who isn't entirely sympathetic upon the initial meeting. It's easy to want to write a character who will be universally liked, so mad props for stepping outside of the mold on that one.

The story itself is also kind of cute. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the teacher's documentation sheet for this story, but from what I recall of fifth grade, this was a time when we did a lot of creative writing. Sometimes we were given a prompt on the writing or the story, but we always had to write and illustrate something.

I wonder why the teacher chose this as my example instead of the murder mystery story Little Laura wrote at the end of the year after she discovered Agatha Christie and Law and Order...

Little Laura is also beginning her fascination with dialogue. Sure, it's a bit trite. And yes, there are entirely too many tags, like "yelled" and "said kindly." You still pull crap like that as an adult, but you'll figure it out someday.

I hope.

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  1. Oh, Little Laura. You had me with all the yelling.
    Amy, Amber, Ashley, Amanda, April, Alison, Adam, Arnold and Alfred. HA!

    1. Little Laura is still feeling her list-making. At least this one had a theme that's kind of funny. :)

  2. It seems there are also some inconsistency problems there little Laura. Wasn't she already at home with Blabber? And yet at the end she states she went home alone. LL, you should maybe consider hiring an editor to help catch these things. I also really thought that the Venus fly trap would eat someone. Isn't it like introducing a gun into a story? It's got to go off by the end.

    Love the drawing. Love that A-list of friends!

    1. LOL. You make a good point. I could be reaching, but I kind of think Little Laura forgot to add a sentence explaining she ran from her house to tell her friends. Which is bad form, really.

      And maybe Blabber will eat or bite someone in the unwritten sequel! Ugh. This is such lazy writing, Little Laura.

  3. I was wondering if Little Laura had just seen Little Shop of Horrors when she wrote this? LOL Frankly, I'm a bit terrified of this talking Venus Flytrap. I'm surprised Adult Laura didn't go into writing Horror. ;)

    I love that "Amy" only had friends whose names also started with "A." Hee!

    That cover art is fantastic! I couldn't draw that well NOW. LOL that both Blabber and Amy are sticking their tongues out at each other.