home           about           reviews           author insight           review policy

Thursday, December 15, 2011

More Author Insight: Stopping Short

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

"Not a scene, but I've got a potential character storyline I'm a bit worried about that begins in my sequel. It's a potential romance that was completely unplanned - my subconscious connected the dots one night, and I literally facepalmed. Because I wasn't ready for it, there's a questionable element to it. Right now I'm handling it by talking openly about it with my editors, writing responsibly while remaining true to the characters, and by keeping my options open." - Lia Habel, author of Dearly Departed.

"Yeah.  Tons.  Usually I listen to the little voice in my head that says, 'This is going to far, Mr.'  I have a thousand EXTREMELY sarcastic scenes that I've dumped, because that's not exactly the vibe I want to put out there.  A little sarcasm is appropriate, because there's messed up junk in the world, but flinging a lot of venom around just because it's funny, doesn't help anyone." - Geoff Herbach, author of Stupid Fast.

"Sure.  For example, I've frozen up writing kissing scenes because I've thought, 'My parents are going to read this!  Or worse, those neighbors that I don't know particularly well...'  The trick is to lie to yourself and say that no one will ever see this scene -- tell yourself it's just practice or it's just a draft and then write it anyway." - Sarah Beth Durst, author of Drink, Slay, Love.

"No. I mean, perhaps it’s easier because I don’t have fans yet. But I try to only think about my characters and the story while I’m writing. Fretting over what potential readers—or my critique partners or my editor—will think is a surefire way to kill my creativity and get stuck." - Jessica Spotswood, author of Born Wicked.

"Yes. And, uh, I haven't got past it yet. I'll let you know when I do!" - Marianna Baer, author of Frost.

"Nope.  I’m shy around people, not my story.  You can’t let fans—or editors or reviewers—into your head as you write or you’ll kill your characters’ voices.  That’s not to say that you don’t listen to your editor; he got to be where he is for a reason and editors see things you can’t just as they know their audience.

True story: At a very intense workshop, I wrote a blistering, very personally risky story—overnight—that one guy said made his eyeballs melt.  (Yeah, it surprised the hell out of me, too, but I blame sleep deprivation.)  The story also happened to be highly sexual, even though the sex wasn’t the focus.  Everyone loved that story, and the guest editor adored it—but she wouldn’t buy it because she knew her audience would never accept it.  Instead, she told me which editor would—and she was right." - Ilsa Bick, author of Ashes.

"I did. In The Eternal Sea, every intimate scene between Camille and Randall took me ages to write. I didn’t want Oscar fans to get angry! But I realized there may very well be Randall fans too, and that conflict is good!" - Angie Frazier, author of The Eternal Sea.

  "Yes, I have. And then I told myself it didn't matter. As long as the emotion/interaction/development was authentic and necessary for the character then it was what needed to happen. I know my readers want an honest story because honest stories are the easiest to get swept away in. I try my best to give them that." - Stacey Jay, author of Juliet Immortal.

 "Not in years. Thank goodness. That's something aspiring writers have to get over if they want to write something worth reading. Write for yourself, not your fans or your family. The hard stuff is the good stuff." - Stephanie Perkins, author of Lola & the Boy Next Door.
"Maybe once or twice. But if it’s right for the story, and if it’s honest, then it needs to be there. " - Amy Garvey, author of Cold Kiss.
"I actually have stopped several scenes wondering what my grandfather would think while reading them!  He religiously reads every one of my books, so I'm always nervous when I throw in something sexy or a character that swears." - Gemma Halliday, author of Deadly Cool.

  "Yes. I advertise that my YA novels are clean and have the parent stamp of approval on them. I realized that the bloodlust in The Sapphire Talisman had become too sexual in its descriptions and I had to tone it down and refocus it as a hunger. If I’m questioning something, I usually ask my friends or family for advice." - Brena Pandos, author of The Emerald Talisman.

"The only thing that stops me is when I cannot write the scene well enough.  Even if the “idea” of the scene is working, even if the book needs that moment, I won’t keep going if, after days and days and weeks and weeks, I can’t get it to work as language." - Beth Kephart, author of You are My Only.

Come back Tuesday to learn what writing technique or storytelling method is most intimidating to the authors.
<< Previous

No comments:

Post a Comment