Award Winning Best Selling Florida Author Yvonne Mason

My Books, writing tips and reviews

Write What I Tell You!


I get asked all the time how long have I been writing. My answer is I don’t remember a time when I didn’t write either in my head or on paper. When I was a small child most of my writing was in my head because I was discouraged from writing by those who taught me in school. Well they didn’t actually discourage me in the sense of not writing- but they wanted to control my ideas. It became a game of write what I tell you to and not what you feel- But yet the instructions were to write what I felt. Go figure. When I wrote what I felt the paper was returned to me with a big red mark and a note that said, “This is not what I expected from you.” Really? You told me to give you my thoughts not yours.

A prime example was when I was in seventh grade we had to read “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote. Yes, boys and girls we were not censored by some idiot parent who thought their tender little children didn’t need to read such a cruel and horrible book.

Anyway, our wise and wonderful teacher had us write a paper. Part of this paper was to define which perpetrator was the most guilty.

Okay, for those of you who are sitting at your computer going what the hell is she talking about let me just give you the back story.

In Cold Blood is the true crime- one of the very first ones I every read at 12 years old- it is about two men who broke into a home and raped and murder the women and killed the males. There were two perpetrators one who sort of just followed and the leader who was a narcissistic psychopath. They were both condemned to  death and Truman Capote decided to write their story. He became friends with the one who was the follower and believed he should have received a lighter sentence. This book is a classic in the true crime Genre and has been made into a classic film. Circa 1960’s. Okay fast forward to my seventh grade year.

I am 12 years old reading this very graphic true crime and understanding all of what I am reading and knowing what and how I want to write this paper. I am very proud that I have thought this thing through with logic. So I sit down take pen to paper (for you young ones it predates computers) and set t0 work.

As I carefully and thoughtfully write my paper I see the crime in my head. I see the family members brutally murdered with a shotgun blast to their heads. I see Richard “Dick” Hickcock   and Perry Smith as they attack this family in Kansas. Perry Smith was the less violent of the two – Hickcock on the other hand was as unstable as a vial of nitro.

After very careful deliberation I determined that even though Smith didn’t participate in the actual murders he stood by without doing anything to stop them. When I wrote the paper I stated that both me were equally guilty because Smith did nothing. Now remember I was told to write my thoughts and feelings not the teacher’s.

Imagine my fury when I was handed the paper back and told that was not what she wanted. Seriously? I was pissed. So I went back to my pen and paper and really ticked her off. I stated that since my previous thought process was not in line with her opinion then as far as I was concerned Smith was more guilty because he did nothing. He stood by and allowed Hickcock to slit Cuttler’s throat then blast him with the shotgun then killed the rest of his family.

She didn’t like that one either. I used logic and explained my argument simple enough that a child could understand. But needless to say I didn’t receive a good grade all because I thought outside the box and it was my opinion not hers. I never forgave her for  that.

I just decided then and there that I would never be put in a box, I would never be the one who allowed others to tell me my opinions.  Because of that my creative style of writing was slammed by teachers for years. All because I refused to think like they did. I was not encouraged to be creative in my own right. I was not encouraged to stretch my imagination beyond the boundaries of  the norm.

Instead I blazed my own path, I took the road not traveled and I never looked back. For those of you who read my work you know that about me. Those of you who take pride in criticizing my work live in that same world as my seventh grade teacher. You haven’t yet opened your mind to things outside of your comfort zone. What a shame.  You miss so much! You cheat yourselves of  new things and exciting things on a road not traveled.

Capote was criticized for In Cold Blood, Edgar Allen Poe died penniless, Shakespeare was laughed at. If these men can do it and not worry about what the world thinks then so can I . That is why my  true crimes are different than any you have ever read before, they are not sanitized, they are not sugar coated and they are not kind to the perpetrator. They are raw, factual and for the victims. Even my crime fictions are not sugar coated.

That paper- the first one I wrote was well done- it was articulated and logical, the problem was the teacher had a closed mind and refused to think about anything except her concept. Such a shame.

April 21, 2012 - Posted by | yvonne mason | , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: