School is a very formative time in all of our lives, but one thing that stands out to me when I think back to that time is that kids can be so very cruel.
When I started gathering ideas for my first ever stories, I was surprised by how many of them focused on that time, either with pre-nagers as the main characters or the experience of school itself.
The idea for Left Behind came from a word association exercise. If you haven’t tried it, I recommend you give it a go. What I do everyday, is scribble down a list of 20-30 words or small phrases. The key is not to think about what you are writing (and you’ll write down some pretty weird things).
Upon reading them back, some characters might start to grow and begin to tell you their story. It’s a technique that Ray Bradbury swore by. The theory behind it is that the ideas will be closer to your sub-concious, and be more honest.
On scribbling down the words ‘Left Behind’, my mind instantly went back to school and Mitch, the main character, leapt out at me.
How far would a smart kid go to ensure they weren’t slowed down in class? What would drive such behaviour?
I hope you enjoy this one. It was the first story I got published and it will hold a special place in my heart, forever.