If you’ve read through the novel Plethora, you probably noted that the date the book takes place on is April 18th, 2008. If you look on the calendar for that year, you’ll notice it’s on a Friday, a natural date for a prom night. You probably didn’t think the date too consequential…but is it?
I believe when a writer tells a story, a little bit of his/her soul goes into it. I could mention several things off-hand from Plethora that made their way into the story because of the effect something from the real world had on me. And one of those elements is the date, April 18, 2008.
On that date in history, I went to my high school’s prom (technically it was called a “Junior/Senior”…but I’ll just call it prom). Just like Matt and Laura, I was a senior in high school, itching to have freedom, to grow up and leave behind high school life. And also like Matt and Laura, I saw prom as a getaway from the stress life was compounding on me (there are a number of ironies in the previous 2 sentences that are a whole other post altogether). Once more, like Matt and Laura, that escape wasn’t quite what I hoped for.
I didn’t get pulled into a wild adventure in some far-off land, but the night turned unexpectedly in so many ways. It touched off a sequence of events that would drag through my final month of high school. I allowed for Matt and Laura’s crazy prom night to fall on the same date as mine because life would never be the same for them after that, just as it was for me.
To this day I still remember the date, probably in part thanks to Plethora. If I revealed all the reasons why the date bears such a mark on my soul, you’d probably think me melodramatic and pitiful. And I would agree with you. But I can’t deny my past and what’s shaped me…or in this case, what shaped a story.