April 17, 2010

Author's Notes for Counting

Author's Notes

This story came about while I was thinking about work. I work(ed) with children that have autism and there was one family in particular that had two "normal" children and one child that had autism. I always wanted to write a story about autism, but I was so worried about getting things right and getting big details wrong. I figured that a workshop would be the best way to do this because it is a first draft. The character Josh would be considered high functioning in the autism spectrum, but people in workshop mentioned that despite his "quirks" he was actually pretty aware of his surroundings. I didn't intentional set out to write him that way, but that's the way he came out. He's kind of sarcastic and highly aware of the problems that are wrong with him. I'm not exactly sure whether it's authentic or not, but it works for his character. I think I'm going to correct it a bit, but I enjoyed writing that aspect of his character.

Many of the comments I received in workshop mentioned that the story lacked a focus which I agree with. I wanted the story to be about Josh and his sister, Megan, but for some reason I couldn't get the scene to work. I just let the story go where ever it wanted to go and that's what a first draft is all about. Now that the story is out, I want the focus to be the entire family through Josh's eyes. I might expand this story to encompass the whole family, the mom, and the sister, and the dad. I might break it up into scenes and see how it goes. I'll probably try to send out the final product to literary magazines and what not.

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