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A Story Problem
A story written for Literature class that was almost true, but greatly exaggerated.
I'm 15 years old and my interests are Drama, reading,writing, and hanging out with my friends.
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|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (1)
Free Period (Novels) Six teenagers must deal with some out-of-the-ordinary problems at school. [2,588 words]
A Story Problem
“ Three weeks! I have only three weeks to finish my novel and I’m only half done.” Alexis thought, “ Why can’t I get my ideas down on paper? Mr. Jones is going to kill me if this isn’t on time.”
Author Alexis Browning had a big problem. Her next novel was due to be released in two months so it needed to be at the printer within a month. Her publisher, Marcus Jones, had been at her for the past month about the book.
She really had an almost legitimate excuse for being so late in writing: Midterms. Alexis was actually a seventeen-year-old senior in high school. She wrote under the pseudonym “Martha Barrings” so that her classmates would not know that she was the hottest new author. The only writing her school knew about was for the school newspaper.
Right now Alexis was in study hall trying to write, but she had serious writer’s block. It also didn’t help that Justin Devin was sitting at the table with her. They had been friends since kindergarten but even he was in the dark about her writing.
Justin grabbed her paper and said “ Lexie, what are you doing? This is supposed to be Free. Have a little fun. Forget school for a while.” He read what was on the page and looked confused.
Alexis quickly took the paper back and said, “ It’s for creative writing. I need to get it done and I can’t wait because it’s due tomorrow.”
She had gotten used to lying like that. It was necessary to protect her identity. Sometimes it made Alexis feel bad but then she would remind herself about freshman year.
Alexis had submitted a story to the school literary magazine and the editor had published it. She was happy and told her friends. Soon everyone knew and she was teased and tormented because it was “uncool” to be a writer. For the rest of freshman year Alexis refused to write except for school.
Luckily, her sophomore English teacher, Mr. Edward Blaize, encouraged her to start writing again. She did in private, but never submitted another piece to the literary magazine.
Mr. Blaize sent one of Alexis’s stories to a publishing friend of his. He showed it to Marcus Jones, and that had gotten her a writing contract. Marcus was under the impression that she was a contemporary of Edward Blaize. He never met Alexis.
No one knew when The Faction came out that the very student they had tormented to tears wrote it. In fact, everyone loved it.
When this happened Alexis decided to keep her writing a secret until graduation…
“Hey! Lexie snap out of it!” Alexis was jolted back to the present by Justin who looked concerned.
“Are you ok? You seem to be majorly stressed today. Is something wrong?” he asked
“No, I’m fine. I’m just worried about this assignment. It’s a killer.” Alexis said. “ Shoot! I need to go see Mr. Blaize. I’ll talk to you later.”
She hurried out of there and went to Mr. Blaize’s room.
He looked up and said “Hello, Alexis. What can I do for you?”
She answered “ I need to meet Marcus Jones in person to discuss the progress of Crime and Intrigue. I’m having some trouble.”
“Well, I believe it would be possible. But what type of trouble are you having?” he asked
“ I’m having problems finding time to write between schoolwork and my other responsibilities.” was her response.
“ Ok, let me make a phone call and I’ll be right back with the details.” Mr. Blaize said
“Alright, but please hurry. My study is almost over and I’ve got a test next period.” Alexis said as he left.
A minute later, Justin walked in and said “ Ok, Lexie, spill. I heard the whole conversation.”
Alexis looked up surprised and exclaimed “ You heard everything? Great! Now my secret will get out.”
She looked about to burst into tears so Justin put his arm around her and said, “ Don’t worry. Your secret, or what I know of it, is safe with me. Would you at least explain all this?”
“ That’s only fair.” She said, “ Well, do you remember how I used to write a lot in grade school and do you remember what happened during freshman year?”
“ Yeah, that one witch told everyone about your story so you stopped writing.” Justin said.
She continued, “ During sophomore year, I started writing again. I’ve now been published under the name ‘Martha Barrings’”.
“ Dude! You’re Martha Barrings? I should have known. That book sounded like an idea that you once had.” He said.
At that point, Mr. Blaize walked in. He heard that last remark and looked at them both funny.
Alexis looked at Mr. Blaize and said “ Justin knows my secret. It’s ok to talk now.”
“ Well I’ve got good news for you. After school, you can speak with Marcus. Go to the coffee house at the corner. He’ll be sitting at the table by the window.” Mr. Blaize said.
“ Thank you. I’m extremely grateful.” Alexis said
Then the bell rang so Alexis and Justin ran off to their next classes.
After school, Alexis grabbed Justin and he drove her to the coffee house.
They walked in and Marcus Jones was sitting there. They walked up to him, and Alexis said “ Mr. Jones, I’m Alexis Browning. You know me as Martha Barrings.”
Marcus looked at her incredulously, and said “ You’re Martha Barrings? But I thought you were a great deal older!”
“ No sir, I’m your writer. I have a problem with my book.” Alexis stated
“ What? Is it interfering with your schoolwork?” he asked
“ Yes sir. Between school work and my activity, I have no time to write.” She said
Marcus asked “ How much extra time do you need?”
Alexis answered, “ A few months should be ok.”
“Well, we need to talk about this” he said
In the end, they came to a compromise. Alexis was given two extra months to finish her story and Marcus had a promise that it would be in on time; he also had a better understanding of his writer’s mind and life. Justin kept Alexis’s secret until she revealed herself at graduation.
|READER'S REVIEWS (4)
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"Yes, another pearl of brilliance!" -- Tyrant.
"Not very realistic in any way and not very developed." -- Alithium, Tucson, Arizona, USA.
"Too much middle, and harly any end. Doesn't look like you put much effort into it. Like I said before... reviewers on this website are tough and you have tough competition. Read other people's work before you submit your own." -- christy mack.
"Okay what? I'm so confused. Do you have a thing for a guy named Justin? *Wink, wink ;)* And I couldn't find the focus in the story. You're story had background information but I don't understand where you were going with it. Also the Epilogue isn't really in its entirety. Why would anyone just believe what she said if she was soooo ridiculed? An what was the graduation's collective reaction? Why was Justin even there? Was he the unnecassary love interest? I have so many question not enough time to ask them, but to say it could have been better and I'm not afraid to say it. (Usually Im nice about this, but why is it so...random?) " -- Julissa Gayle Raven.
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© 2000 Kathleen Quigley
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