reacting to my old writing (TATMIAU pt. 4)

Welcome back to the blog, friends! Today, I’ll be doing part 4 of my reaction to my old story, Tessa and the Murder in Avon, Utah.

If you haven’t already, check out parts one, two, and three to see the first parts of the story and learn the full history of my so-far-very-short-lived-wannabe writing career.

I started this story when I was about 10 or 11 years old and it’s supposed to be a Nancy Drew kind of mystery. So far, we’ve had a weird creepy guy with a moving black bag, moody teenager issues, and cringe galore, so this will probably be a continuation of all of that.

This might take a while, so let’s get started!

page 10, part 1
  • Lol, that was actually a little funny. But it does beg the question: if she did think she was dreaming, why did she respond to her anyway?
  • I don’t think people wake up that easily, but okay.
  • The paragraph describing them waking up and getting ready for the day could have been written a lot better so that the transitions were smoother and the phrases weren’t as awkward. It’s like I wrote what came through my head instead of refining it into a proper paragraph.
page 10, part 2
  • *cringes at all the bubbly giggly references* I really need to learn how to better describe little kids.
  • Low blow, Tessa, low blow.
page 11, part 1
  • Ok, there are a hundred different ways that Tessa dearest could have handled this situation. Maybe simply saying, “Maddie, would you please grace me with your presence in your room?” would have worked? But of course, we need some dramatic moody teenager who’s slamming doors so that would be far too simple.
  • Lol, ok, this is almost straight out of Disney. Maddie’s heartbreak literally transformed her from an evil wicked teenager to a misunderstood hurting princess? I can’t, this is so cheesy.
  • I don’t remember how old Maddie is supposed to be (16 I think?) but she sounds more like a kid than a teenager in this moment. If it were me, I wouldn’t have said anything, just said I was fine, insisted I was fine, and told her to let. it. go.
  • “feeling properly sorry for herself”…is there an improper way to feel sorry for oneself?
page 11, part 2
  • Someone please scrub that paragraph out of my memory.
  • No, scrub this entire part from my memory.
  • First of all, I find it really annoying that Tessa is acting as if Maddie is some rude child who doesn’t know how to deal with kindness. It’s not because she doesn’t have manners or doesn’t know how to deal with it, it’s because she’s probably been hurt so many times before and she’s being “hostile” to avoid getting hurt again. This assumption is just so annoying and I hate how she just reduced the entire situation into “don’t worry, you’ll learn” and moved on.
  • “For the first time in forever, she was being hugged by a hostile person” what in the world, younger me?
  • All these Frozen references can go crawl into a hole somewhere far away please.
  • How can you tell she has a lovely personality from a cry-laugh?
  • Tessa had won her love. Right, and I’m the Queen of England.
  • Life. Doesn’t. Work. This. Way.
  • Lol, this page just makes me so upset.
page 12, part 1
  • Why would the lights be on anyway right after breakfast?
  • I think I forgot to finish that sentence describing her eyes.
  • Ok, I think this is problematic. Maybe. First of all, why Nada? And second, why did I think that she needed an “English” name instead of her “Asian” name? I don’t know, that just rubs me so wrong and I feel like it’s really problematic.
page 12, part 2
  • Fantastic job Maddie, just fantastic.
  • Tessa listened for a beat how exactly? Sheila’s supposedly on her front, and I don’t know, can you hear a heartbeat from someone’s back?
  • I took a Forensic Science class recently, and I’m cringing at the thought of how that crime scene has probably been contaminated.
  • And not to be callous, but I’m kind of glad the mystery is finally starting. Though it’s probably just going to be even more cringe.
page 13, part 1
  • Teresa must have a magical way with kids if she could get them to practice writing by themselves. (and I thought they were like 2 to 3 years old?)
  • So “stupid” is no, but “what the heck” is okay? Right.
  • Maddie darling, how is Sheila being killed in mid day stupid? Because it was during the day? Well they got away with it so far, so I don’t think that’s the right description.
page 13, part 2
  • Lol, if I called an older adult and told them to do anything, I’d be in so. much. trouble. for being so rude. I’m sure Tessa didn’t mean to be rude, but that could have been written a lot better.
  • Also, I don’t know, but do people really start closing up and hiding at home when they hear a murderer is on the loose? Maybe because it’s the initial panic? And maybe because it’s a small town.
  • Teresa must have been an English teacher in another life lol. And Maddie must really love writing to practice essays without much of a fight. even so, I like writing and I still wouldn’t willingly practice essays
page 14, part 1
  • Oh how kind of you, Tessa. Interfering in a police investigation, tampering with evidence (even if it’s for the sake of investigation), and trying to be Mrs. Changying’s savior is obviously the right way to go about dealing with your friend’s murder.
  • And what on earth is “And anyways, we’re American” supposed to mean?
  • A few pages ago, Sheila’s house was described as “small but…homely house” and now it’s “simple yet lavish”
  • No, you shouldn’t be doing this at all, Maddie.
page 14, part 2
  • And how do you know they’re lazy when you haven’t even asked their permission to interfere assist in their investigation?
  • I think eyes, not lips, are supposed to be grim lol.
  • Correction: they were CONTAMINATING a crime scene when Maddie called them.
  • Hmm, 16 year old Maddie has a revolver. And it’s now at the scene of the crime. Interesting.
  • Also, if Sheila’s body has already been moved to the hospital and there was crime scene tape there, then shouldn’t the police actually be there collecting evidence, or at least making sure nobody comes to tamper with it?

I think I’m forgetting that Younger Me didn’t really know all of this stuff and that it’s because I’m older and I’ve learned these things that I’m able to critique and see all the issues with the story. So maybe I should cut my younger self some slack.

I actually didn’t mention anything about most of the spelling and grammatical issues this time around just because those are simple mistakes that can be fixed with editing. This was a first draft anyway, so I’ll let that slide for the most part from now on.

I think the part with Sheila’s name was problematic. I don’t know, it just makes me feel off. Let me know in the comments if it’s bothering you too or if I’m just overthinking this a little.

Honestly, I don’t really like any of these characters, and the way they’re acting annoys me. Especially Tessa, which is ironic since she’s supposed to be the main character.

Overall, this wasn’t the best. no kidding, rukky I don’t think I liked anything here per se besides the mystery finally starting. And even that is so far already giving me a headache. I think once I’m done reacting to the whole story, I’m going to have to rewrite it, or lock it up in a crevice of my mind where it will be forgotten for another couple of years.

Some questions for you:

  • So, what did y’all think? Did you enjoy this installment of the series?
  • Did you find Sheila’s name issue problematic as well?
  • What do you think of the mystery so far?
  • Any thoughts or suggestions?

Chat with me in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “reacting to my old writing (TATMIAU pt. 4)

  1. Sheila’s name is an interesting topic. I’ve had professors and I know of some people who are Eastern Asians and have Asian names, but among other people, they have a more non-Asian name. For example, “Byung-hoon” was changed (not officially, but like he prefers to be called that and uses it everywhere) to “Brian”. I honestly prefer the Asian name better because it sounds ever so nicer (and Brian brings to mind some sort of big, “red-neck” sort of person and he’s not that type of person at all – though I do know that that’s stereotypical), but I’ve always wondered why they have names like that. So people don’t mispronounce, think it’s weird, or just to make it easier for others? I’ve always been curious about the Eastern Asian perspective on that…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If the person chooses it for themself, no problem. I just felt really icky that I’m the one who wrote that for her. So maybe it’s not really problematic, but it’s also not really the best. And yeah, I’d think it would be to avoid mispronounciations and just to make life simpler in a way. I do the same when my name is troublesome for others.


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