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Thursday, May 3, 2012

More Author Insight: Make-believe it (and the giveaway winner!)

How do you balance creativity and believability?

"I think by making people act in ways that are true? If your characters read true, then I think you can be fairly creative with other aspects of the story." - Bethany Griffin, author of Masque of the Read Death.

"I’m not sure I truly balance them; I think creativity wins out big time. That’s one of the great things about writing middle-grade fiction — younger kids are totally open to all sorts of meta-fictional silliness. But in writing an animal fantasy, I did want the fantasy elements to be layered over a foundation of natural science — animals living, eating, behaving like real animals, not just being stand-ins for human characters." - Barry Wolverton, author of Neversink.

"I tend to have wild, huge ideas to start with, but one of the things I learned about my writing process early on is that my ideas do not always come with logic attached. Sometimes this is okay, but 99% of the time it means I put a lot of work in exploring my idea and how to make it believable to people who don't live in my brain." - Jodi Meadows, author of Incarnate.

"Anything can be believed (or at least encourage the suspension of disbelief) as long as its written with emotional honesty." - Elizabeth Miles, author of Fury.

"I like to ground most things in reality.  I like real-world science and physical laws to influence even the fantastical parts of my stories." - Sarah Wilson Etienne, author of Harbinger.

"For me this is a push/pull process that happens throughout the writing and revising of the story. I try to swing for the fences when I write out the first drafts, then I go back with a more scrutinizing eye and question the decisions I’ve made, and make adjustments. I also rely on trusted readers to point out gaps in the world, or breaks in plausibility." - Veronica Rossi, author of Under the Never Sky.


"I always go with creativity first. If it’s in my head and feels like it’s a part of the story, I’ll write it in, no matter how off-the-wall it seems. I always know I can go back during revisions and edit it out, or scale it back, or brainstorm ways to make it more believable and plausible." - Marissa Meyer, author of Cinder.

"Easy.  You find yourself a really brilliant editor.  : )" - Jess Rothenberg, author of The Catastrophic History of You and Me.

"In my stories, I’m always stretching the envelope of credibility.  I want to see how elastic the narrative structure can be. I know when I’ve gone too far when my editor writes 'No!' on my manuscript." - David Macinnis Gill, author of Invisible Sun.

"I write paranormal stories, so believability is really important to me.  I try to focus on the emotions the characters are experiencing, so readers can relate on that crucial level, and create a logical, consistent framework for even illogical characters.  For example, if a vampire can’t fly on page one, he can’t suddenly fly on page forty-five." - Beth Fantaskey, author of Jessica Rules the Dark Side.

"I grew up in the acting world, so believability supersedes creativity every time. The trick is to take it as far as possible and still maintain the readers’ suspension of disbelief. Having access to lots of teen beta readers helps me keep it real. They are quick to tell me when I am 'lame.'" - Mary Lindsey, author of Shattered Souls.

"I grew up on Alice in Wonderland and Roald Dahl, so as a reader I’m always looking for a good excuse to suspend my disbelief, and as a writer I push myself to be as original as I can. What can I say? I’m a pretty whimsical girl." - Aimee Agresti, author of Illuminate.

"The key is character motivation. As long as the character has a good reason for taking unlikely steps, the rest will fall into place." - Jennifer Echols, author of The One That I Want.


"And that is why I write Steampunk." - Suzanne Lazear, author of Innocent Darkness.

And the winner of the huge Author Insight giveaway is... 

Kelly F. 

Congratulations Kelly! I will put the books in the mail to you ASAP. Thanks to all the authors and publishers for their generous donations. 

This post brings yet another round of Author Insight to a close. Round 7 will begin soon, so stay tuned!
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