Can the justice system condemn a teen for something she didn't do before trial? Does public opinion mean so much to people that they'll take one person's word over another before evidence is processed? Does it happen in America today with all our technology? Does instant information lead to instant judgment?
Bec is a teen with everything. Her dad loves her. She doesn't have anything but normal problems with him. Even those aren't huge. Her friends follow her lead. She's an honor student. During her last semester before graduation, she tries to help one of those friends. His motives are less than honorable but she doesn't pick up on those. Instead, she finds herself doing things she never did before. The guy leads her astray and she cuts all ties in an effort to have something she never had before - fun without anyone telling her it's wrong. Well, her friends and dad try to tell her. But she refuses to listen until it's almost too late.
When she breaks it off, events take her to a place where she faces public ridicule and condemnation. Now she's fighting back. Can she do it? Where will it take her? Will anyone respect her after they find out all the details? Worse, what if someone discovers the pictures she never knew about until she told a creep no?
Bec fights her demons, both external and internal. Her problems are compounded because her dad's the district attorney. She didn't think that made a difference. After all, it's her life she was living not his. No one really told her how much her actions would cost her because of his job. Now she has to disprove a series of lies, regain her dad's respect, and make everyone believe she would never hurt someone on purpose. She also learns that the justice system doesn't work well for the innocent. Her determination wavers at points but she holds firm to one idea. She would have never hurt the person she's accused of injuring. He was the only person who still believed in her.
In finishing my 2007 NaNo project, I find my character's voice coming out clearly. How clearly? She's a teen with issues. Her friends have issues. They all have secrets about their lives they don't want anyone to know. Julie does. She holds them close to her heart. Then the unthinkable happens. One big secret has to come out but she forgets. Who can blame her? She has to adjust her life from freedom to confinement in a wheelchair. She has to deal with the death of two friends. Another marries. The fourth, the last member of her gang, he's in jail. He depends on her to remember what he needs and yet she can't. It niggles at her memory but she still can't pull it out. His incarceration bothers her. She wants him out of jail. She works every day to get him released but no one's cooperating. They even say she lied. How can she? No one lies about something like this. Her small, conservative Southern town turns their back on her, with very few exceptions. Now she finds the strength to keep fighting, to ignore hatred, to learn to deal with a world that doesn't want to believe the unthinkable. As I finish her story, I find she has far more strength of character than any one I've worked with. Julie, my girl, you fill find a home.
Can it be? I still have to plot out my project that sprang to mind during NaNoWriMo but another is tickling my creativity. It's been there for a long while but now it's springing to life. No matter what I do or where I focus my concentration, it shoves into my face and says tell others what I have to say. Guess I'll have to start with the basic notes and see if it's willing to wait. If not, I'll find myself pounding out not one but two more first drafts this month. And they say the human mind isn't totally tapped. Goodness gracious, if that's true, my fingers will just have to get faster. More later as this very strong teen comes to the forefront.