Be a Better Writer -- COMING OF AGE STORY

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

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Re: Be a Better Writer -- COMING OF AGE STORY

Post by glorybee » Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:11 am

Allison wrote:So since you say it changes the child for the rest of their life, as they move into adulthood, does it really need to a teen? Or can it be a child reflecting on how it WILL affect the rest of their lives? What if that event is something where the child isn't sure if they will reach adulthood? Can it be a reflection on their (possibly) short life? Say... something like Anne Frank, but slightly younger, or a younger child with a serious illness? So a child who is old enough to contemplate serious issues, but isn't yet transitioning to adulthood? Does that make sense? Or can it be a mental transition to adulthood, as opposed to a physical transition?

Also, for a coming of age story, I just happen to be re-reading "To Kill a Mocking Bird" right now. I'm really enjoying reading it at a leisurely pace.
Yes. To all of that, yes. It will work. It's the "coming to wisdom" bit--the epiphany--that would bring those scenarios into the coming of age genre.
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Re: Be a Better Writer -- COMING OF AGE STORY

Post by swfdoc1 » Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:34 am

OK. How about a Coming of Age limerick:

There once was a lad from Azerbaijan
Who traveled to Rostov-on-Don.
Big adventures he sought.
But disappointment it brought,
A lesson sine qua non.
Steve
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"When the Round Table is broken every man must follow Galahad or Mordred; middle
things are gone." C.S. Lewis
“The chief purpose of life … is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all the means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks. To do as we say in the Gloria in Excelsis ... We praise you, we call you holy, we worship you, we proclaim your glory, we thank you for the greatness of your splendor.” J.R.R. Tolkien

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Re: Be a Better Writer -- COMING OF AGE STORY

Post by glorybee » Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:49 am

swfdoc1 wrote:OK. How about a Coming of Age limerick:

There once was a lad from Azerbaijan
Who traveled to Rostov-on-Don.
Big adventures he sought.
But disappointment it brought,
A lesson sine qua non.
First rate!
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Re: Be a Better Writer -- COMING OF AGE STORY

Post by swfdoc1 » Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:57 am

Except line 5 is too short. "And thus learned a lesson sine qua non" would be better.

And now back to your regularly scheduled class.
Steve
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"When the Round Table is broken every man must follow Galahad or Mordred; middle
things are gone." C.S. Lewis
“The chief purpose of life … is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all the means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks. To do as we say in the Gloria in Excelsis ... We praise you, we call you holy, we worship you, we proclaim your glory, we thank you for the greatness of your splendor.” J.R.R. Tolkien

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Re: Be a Better Writer -- COMING OF AGE STORY

Post by Shann » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:01 am

Since children's books and Ya are my favorite genre to read, I immediately went there with Harry Potter (technically when she started the series, it wasn't meant to be a YA because of the dark nature. Of course kids loved it as do many adults. Even though Q was about 10, and Lyd 6, when we read it, we read it together. I wanted to be involved with their reading it, so I read it out loud and would often find M sneaking in, "waiting to talk to me, but soon listening. I ended up having to read ahead because I could only read for so long but couldn't put book down. I've read them all about 10 tines. It's definitely my favorite book as is in the top for Q and Lyd, even though they are both in 20s now.

Sorry didn't mean to digress. I know you said kid's books didn't fit, but the next books that came to mind were Blubber and Forever by July Blume. The first is geared to 8 to 12 and the second YA. So they definitely don't fit? Another one was Summer to Die by Louis Lowry. It was her first book. In Wikipedia, it's classified as speculative fiction. I can google it, but wonder the difference between the two. I suppose Coming of Age is more from an adult POV?

I'm not sure if I've written any Coming of Age stories, but it seems to mesh with my genre so I'll be digging. I'm not sure if this fits or not. It's in the 3rd person, so that goes against the grain, though you said 3rd person may be okay. It's about a granddaughter excited to show Grandma her newest Little House book, only to discover Grandma was the model for Laura Ingalls' nemesis. She learned a lot about how others saw her and it changed her. It doesn't say how old Grandma was at the time, but I saw her as a young newlywed, in her 20s.
http://www.faithwriters.com/wc-article- ... p?id=35293

This one is about a tee's first job. This might be closer to it, though it might fit a conspiracy theory,, if that's even a genre.
http://www.faithwriters.com/wc-article- ... hp?id=4851

Thanks for the great lesson. I so appreciate your time and hard work. I'm not sure if everyone gets how much time you spend on helping. :thankssign
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Re: Be a Better Writer -- COMING OF AGE STORY

Post by glorybee » Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:15 am

Shann wrote:Sorry didn't mean to digress. I know you said kid's books didn't fit, but the next books that came to mind were Blubber and Forever by July Blume. The first is geared to 8 to 12 and the second YA. So they definitely don't fit? Another one was Summer to Die by Louis Lowry. It was her first book. In Wikipedia, it's classified as speculative fiction. I can google it, but wonder the difference between the two. I suppose Coming of Age is more from an adult POV?
Blubber really doesn't work. It's primary audience is children, and it's written specifically to appeal to children. It doesn't have the sophistication required of coming of age stories.

I'm not sure about Forever (haven't read it), but I don't think books written primarily for a young audience--in general--work as coming of age fiction. Some will, if the writing is of the sort that appeals to adults as well. I've seen lots and lots of adults read the books on the list of the lesson, but very few read Judy Blume books (in my experience). Her niche really seems to be YA. However, having said that--there WILL be exceptions, and Forever may be one of them. I'll leave you (and others who have read it) to determine that.
Shann wrote:I'm not sure if I've written any Coming of Age stories, but it seems to mesh with my genre so I'll be digging. I'm not sure if this fits or not. It's in the 3rd person, so that goes against the grain, though you said 3rd person may be okay. It's about a granddaughter excited to show Grandma her newest Little House book, only to discover Grandma was the model for Laura Ingalls' nemesis. She learned a lot about how others saw her and it changed her. It doesn't say how old Grandma was at the time, but I saw her as a young newlywed, in her 20s.
http://www.faithwriters.com/wc-article- ... p?id=35293

This one is about a tee's first job. This might be closer to it, though it might fit a conspiracy theory,, if that's even a genre.
http://www.faithwriters.com/wc-article- ... hp?id=4851

Thanks for the great lesson. I so appreciate your time and hard work. I'm not sure if everyone gets how much time you spend on helping. :thankssign
3rd person is fine.

Your first story seems to be to be written toward a younger audience, as well, and your second one links to a story by someone else. Try again, maybe?

Thanks for the kind words! I really appreciate them.
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Re: Be a Better Writer -- COMING OF AGE STORY

Post by CatLin » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:35 pm

When I first read the topic and then your lesson, I was excited - I remember writing lots of "coming of age" stories. (I'm not sure what that says about me... ? ) But as I was reading through the ones I was sure qualified, I thought each one of them was weak in one of your "requirements". Was the lesson the MC learned life-changing?

The one I chose to share seems to meet the criteria, but I'm not sure. "I'm Thinking" is about a teenager's harmless prank gone wrong.

I'll be trying hard to enter this week!
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"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (The Message)

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Re: Be a Better Writer -- COMING OF AGE STORY

Post by glorybee » Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:07 pm

Catrina, that one works for me.

Thanks for sharing it!
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Re: Be a Better Writer -- COMING OF AGE STORY

Post by alanrkane » Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:33 am

How about coming of age in a spiritual sense or psychological sense

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Re: Be a Better Writer -- COMING OF AGE STORY

Post by glorybee » Sun Nov 23, 2014 1:29 pm

alanrkane wrote:How about coming of age in a spiritual sense or psychological sense
Alan, if a child or adolescent has a spiritual or psychological epiphany, that's fine. In fact, that's what most of the realizations will be--something internal. But I wouldn't try to stretch the envelope so far as to have the main character be an adult who matures spiritually or psychologically. The main character really has to be young.
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Re: Be a Better Writer -- COMING OF AGE STORY

Post by merrimj1122 » Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:49 pm

Hi!
Well,this is very last minute, i have been working on a story and i just got to this now. I may have to can the whole thing.
So quick question:
Does "coming of age" absolutely have to be a young person or adolsecent "finding the growing up moment"? Or can it be when an adult "comes of age" to maturity, leaves the childish attitudes behind when struck with a serious incident in her -adult life?
Its a biggie for me. If that is acceptable and wont lose points for MC not being the child when "coming of age" i will submit it. I also have another main character that catapults the MC into adulthood. But if you think i will lose points bec the character is not a young child or adolscent i will have to halt.
Waiting anxiously
:thankssign

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Re: Be a Better Writer -- COMING OF AGE STORY

Post by glorybee » Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:54 pm

merrimj1122 wrote:Hi!
Well,this is very last minute, i have been working on a story and i just got to this now. I may have to can the whole thing.
So quick question:
Does "coming of age" absolutely have to be a young person or adolsecent "finding the growing up moment"? Or can it be when an adult "comes of age" to maturity, leaves the childish attitudes behind when struck with a serious incident in her -adult life?
Its a biggie for me. If that is acceptable and wont lose points for MC not being the child when "coming of age" i will submit it. I also have another main character that catapults the MC into adulthood. But if you think i will lose points bec the character is not a young child or adolscent i will have to halt.
Waiting anxiously
:thankssign
Sorry to give you the answer you weren't hoping for--but the main character being a young person is really definitive for a coming of age story. It would be like having a romance story without anyone falling in love, or an action/adventure story taking place from the MC's easy chair.

Hopefully you can re-work your current story in the next day and a half!
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Re: Be a Better Writer -- COMING OF AGE STORY

Post by merrimj1122 » Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:26 pm

Ok, yeah i figured this, i mean i am sure there are many young folk still livin in an adult body , lol, but i knew that i knew i wasnt going in the right direction with this prompt...
:thankssign anyway!

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