“Cynthia’s Voice” (Monday Writing Essential)

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on May 10, 2011 0 Comments

This is Cynthia’s opening monologue in Simply Average, the third book in a teen fiction series. I am starting the book in June, but this exercise helped me to create the voice ahead of schedule. Thanks, Greg!]


“Cynthia’s Voice”

I am an only child. But I’ve been a disappointment to my parents since before I was born. I caused preeclampsia in the womb and showed up five weeks early, wrinkled and tiny, fighting for a will to live. Apparently, I caused more problems during labor, making me the only offspring of two overachieving type-A soulmates. At seven, the doctors gave me the diagnosis of dyslexia. I got the asthma label at nine. And by thirteen, I had developed a propensity for pimples—the only sign of puberty in an otherwise underdeveloped body.

While my friends emerged with labels, like smart, athletic, beautiful, I was, and probably always will be, label free. I am simply average.

Today is the first day of school. Many kids see the possibilities—like popularity, better grades, or making the team. But I see it as my last year until freedom.

At school, I live under the microscope. My father is the principal; my mother is the superintendent; and every teacher treats me like a year-long teacher evaluation. I don’t get “special” treatment; I get constant treatment.

My only escape is at home. Most kids feel pressure at home. I don’t. My parents are never there.

I cross the threshold of Central High, glance up at the clock, and think, just eight more hours to go.


Today’s challenge: Let us hear your voice.

Write in a distinct voice.  Write a poem, a prayer, an essay, a rant, a narrative or a conversation – but when you are done, you should know and we should know that the voice we hear is unique.

About the Author ()

I'm the author of Nothing but Trouble after Midnight.

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