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What I’m Writing {3}: The Best Friend Origin Story

September 25, 2011

Hey loves!

So, this week I’m gonna talk a little more about my currently-untitled-YA-book-in-progress that I am not so creatively calling “Airport Book.” [BOOK TITLE SUGGESTIONS ARE WELCOME]

I introduced the premise of this book a little bit last week. And this week I’ve been focusing on a chapter from Willa’s perspective. So let me introduce her PROPERLY to y’all.

Willa Thompson is 17 and she lives in NYC. My goal is for her to be smart and serious about her future and responsible, but sort of eccentric and goofy at the same time. We’ll see if I ever succeed on that front. And Willa’s best friend is named Ana Cabral. In this particular area of the book, Ana is traveling with Willa to visit her dad.

So, I wrote this whole Willa-Ana friendship origin story and now that I’ve written the damn thing, I don’t think it REALLY matters. I mean, what’s more important is that they’re friends, right? I don’t want to bore my hopefully-somewhere-in-the-future readers with this whole expositional story if in the end is has absolutely no bearing on the rest of the story.

Buuuuut . . . I kind of really like their little origin story. It’s not all that shocking or weird or different, but I think it does a good job of explaining the dynamic between the two girls. So! After the jump, feel free to check out the very very rough edit of the BFF Origin Story.

After take-off, I grabbed my copy of Candide and cracked the cover. Before I could even take in the first word Ana grabbed my book out of my hands and said, “Willa. It’s June. We literally started summer break last week. You are NOT already doing next year’s homework.” 

“So what if I am?” I countered defensively.  

“Willa. Give your brain a break.” She handed me Vanity Fair. I look back at her and say, “You do realize that this particular magazine has a reputation for great articles.” 

“No, I don’t realize that. Because all normal people do is look at the pretty pretty pictures.” 

“Are you saying I’m not normal?”  

“Girl, everything about you is not normal,” she quipped without looking up from the pages of Vogue 

This is why I love Ana. 

[THIS IS WHERE I MADE THE CUT]Which is funny, because when we first met five years ago, we loathed each other. We were in the second week of sixth grade, and she had just enrolled. I was assigned by the counselor to be her school guide and I was fascinated by Ana, whose family had moved to New York from Brazil. But she made it clear she wanted nothing to do with me. In fact she said in her perfect English, “Just because you’re my tour guide doesn’t mean we’re friends.”  

It wasn’t until a year later, when we were forced to work on a history project together that we spoke again. I was in the midst of my goth phase (meaning I wore black nail polish, skull barrettes, and Doc Martins, much to the chagrin of the nuns. There was no way they’d let me get away with safety pins in my uniform or fishnet tights. My mom wouldn’t either.) and Ana was the most popular girl in school with her couture handbags and naturally shiny black hair. But it wasn’t an insta-friendship by any means. We did our project, made an A on our presentation, and that was that.  

And then Ana started saying hi to me in the hallway. Not that that was earth shattering or anything, but before the project, she didn’t deign to look at me. And then one Friday she asked if I had plans, and I said no, and she said good, and then invited me to a sleep over at her place. When I showed up, the other girls were completely confused. Some of them thought it was some sort of evil prank Ana had planned. But Ana gave me a big hug and invited me in and glared at the other girls until they were nice to me. I even let them give me a make-over. Ever since then, Ana and I have been friends. [END OF CUT SECTION] 

For the rest of the flight, we chatted and looked through magazines and picked out our must-haves for the fall. Well, Ana picked out must-haves. I made mental notes to find knock-offs or vintage. I kept waiting for her to push me about the Samuel/Dan situation, but she didn’t. 

That made me nervous. 

©Bethany Larson, 2011 
Alright, so that was it! I know it’s a little boring, so feel free to tell me that. But, what I’m more curious about is if this sort of background info is of interest to you when you read or if you just don’t care about how your characters know each other. Lemme know in comments, s’il vous plait! 
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