It’s FML Friday!
So, as you know, I have a book coming out June 25 of this year. It’s called FML, and it’s the story of Simon Cross; his best friends Ben and Coop; the girl he loves, Cassie; and a motley cast of awesome characters. The story is unique in that it shows two different stories about the same party, based on a choice Simon makes at the beginning of the night. FML is a comedy of errors, and a love story for a modern age.
But one of the things that made FML so much fun to write, was tapping into the FML moments in my own life. I don’t know about the advice “write what you know” but I do believe in the advice: Write what you feel.
For me, high school wasn’t the greatest time. I was skinny, geeky, awkward, and shy. Back then, I didn’t know much about girl (or guys). I didn’t know I was gay, because, honestly, I didn’t even understand what the concept meant. I was vaguely aware of it as an insult, but nothing more. All I knew was that I was drowning in hormones, the Homecoming dance was nearing, and all the cool guys had dates.
I had Algebra class fifth period. In that class was a girl who sat near me. I don’t even remember her name or what she looked like. I only remember that she was pretty damn popular. So, I can’t explain what made me think that I’d ever have a chance with her, but for some reason I got it in my head that I could do this. And my mom always told me that pretty girls often don’t get asked on dates because guys are too intimidated by them.
As the dance neared, I steadied my nerve and prepared to ask this girl out. I sweated it the whole class before I made my move. I practiced what I’d say, how I’d answer her if she said yes, how I’d be cool if she said no. And when the time came, I did it.
Asking that girl out was a lot like sky diving. Or rather, that moment, when standing on the edge of the plane, poised to jump. It was exhilarating and utterly terrifying. I managed to bumble through the words that sounded very much like the part in the movie version of Goblet of Fire when Harry asks Cho out in tower with the owls. One long word strung together with fear and desperation.
To be honest, I didn’t even know what I’d do on a date with a girl if I got one! I just know that I had to do it.
So this girl, she looks right at me. Looks me up and down, almost in disbelief that I had asked her out. I’m not sure what went on in her head, but those seconds while I waited for her reply were days I spent in agony. Finally, she stares me down, puts her hand on her hip, and says, “Do you have a car?”
“Oh.” Silence. Then she walked away.
F M L
When it came to writing Simon, I had a deep well of angst and humiliation to draw from.
Every Friday, from now until release day, I’ll be sharing some FML moment or story about writing FML. And feel free to share your own stories!