Natalie Bina is a writer and lover of words who finds daily life incredibly fascinating. She is intrigued by the joys and trials of adolescent life and plans to continue expressing them in stories. When not writing, she enjoys singing, dancing, acting, and baking a wide variety of sweet treats. She is currently attending Wesleyan University.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I have always been a storyteller and, when I was very young, I would dictate stories to my babysitter while she wrote them down for me. I vividly remember lying on the floor of my living room tracing pictures in the air with my toes as I told her a story about three mermaids who jumped from pool to pool in search of their princes. In the process they battled killer deer, poisonous frogs, and spear-shooting fishermen.
What is your writing process?
I obsess over detailed outlines, either based on a character’s arc or a series of plot events I want to happen. My brainstorming process for these outlines often consists of writing down random excerpts of dialogue as they come to mind. The dialogue of a scene normally comes to me before anything else. Then, I try to frame it into a coherent scene. If I’m lucky, the ideas will really be flowing by this point and I will write for hours – I call it “binge writing.”
Cassidy attends a high-stakes academic summer camp and is astonished by her host family's laid-back attitude toward intellectual achievement. She must reconcile the single-minded focus that she's been taught to have with the possibility that there is more to life than academic perfection.