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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Author Insight: Stopping Short

Have you ever stopped short while writing a scene because you were worried about what fans would think of it?

 
"Fans? Do you mean the oscillating kind?" - Amy Kathleen Ryan, author of Glow.


"I try to stay true to what the character would do in a situation, rather than thinking about how the fans will react. However, in an earlier version of Everneath, one of the main boys in the book did something so wrong that I wasn't sure readers would be able to get past it and root for him again. And I needed readers to be able to forgive him. I ended up taking the scene out, more because in the end I didn't think it was true to his character." - Brodi Ashton, author of Everneath.


"There have been times I’ve held myself back from doing something I thought was too creepy. So far, I’ve always just said, oh, what the heck, I just write creepy. If they don’t like it, they can read something else." - Anna Sheehan, author of A Long, Long Sleep.



"Never because of what a potential reader would think, but I've definitely stopped short out of questioning why I was making a particular choice. Am I doing this just to be dramatic? Is it going too far? Is it dishonest? Generally I forge ahead and give it a try. If it turns out I'm writing something for the wrong reasons it's usually pretty apparent." - Jeff Hirsch, author of The Eleventh Plague.

"Yes, during the few scenes where blood is spilled. I am not into gore, so I write about violence without too much graphic detail. My books are not especially bloody compared to some, but I am aware that I am writing for a young audience and I have a responsibility to them." -Teresa Flavin, author of The Blackhope Enigma


 "Yes, that's happened, and for the most part I listen to what my brain is telling me. I may decide to continue with the scene anyway, but it's good to think about who your readers are. It used to be easy- I wrote for kids and respected the market. But now adults email me or post comments on my blog and I lose track of the fact my key audience is still kids and I should still respect that market." -Susan Beth Pfeffer, author of Blood Wounds.

 
"There were a couple of scenes in The Beginning of After that I questioned, because I knew a reader might either love them or hate them. Those were the scenes where I just had to re-focus on the characters, and what they needed to do, and not worry about anyone else." - Jennifer Castle, author of The Beginning of After.

 
"Small Town Sinners was hard to write--I thought a lot about what readers would think. In the end though, I had to think about the characters and how to make their stories true. If you make it as real as you can, readers will respond well, I think." - Melissa Walker, author of Small Town Sinners.


"I wrote the scene the way it happened and then let my editor tell me if it was too much." - Julia Karr, author of XVI.


"No, I can’t say I’ve never not written a scene that belongs in a story. If needs to be there – I put it in." - Kiki Hamilton, author of The Faerie Ring. 



"Yes. Now that you mention it. It's usually because it feels deeply personal somehow. In the past I used to pull back when I hit that feeling but I've been trying to go the opposite way and get even deeper into it. It's hard, though, because it feels like the opposite of instinct." - Jaclyn Dolamore, author of Between the Sea and Sky.



Find out Thursday if the rest of the authors have every stopped short of writing a specific scene!
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