I write in short sentences. Not necessarily on this blog, where I can be myself, but in my fiction writing, when I'm being somebody else. It's starting to irritate me, actually. I would like to write long sentences full of dependent clauses and adjectives. But my main characters just don't think that way because I'm in love with unreliable narrators.
My main characters lack focus: one gets in trouble at school for angry outbursts and not paying attention. They all struggle with schoolwork to varying degrees and don't see school having any connection to their future. None of them see themselves as very bright.
I'm not sure why I like to write from this point of view. I was a good student in high school myself, an honor roll student who couldn't wait to go to college. Most of my friends weren't though, and my high school friends didn't stay in college for long. I never clicked with the rest of the kids in my AP classes. The things they cared about seemed trivial to me, I guess. In their quests begging for two more points on an English essay, they seemed worlds away from the things my friends worried about: sick family members, money, substance abuse, car crashes. The kids pursuing nothing but grades didn't seem to have the same level of maturity or responsibility. In retrospect, I can see that they most likely did have the same problems the rest of us did. But they sure knew how to hide it from me.
And I guess I'm not all that interested in writing about kids who don't have problems. Who is, right? When you're smart, the world is easier. When you make good decisions, your problems are fewer. So my main characters may not be the sharpest knives in the drawer, but I have fun writing about them. I just have to figure out how to get them to be more descriptive.
What about your main characters? Are they as smart as you were?
-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages