Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Stranger, Indeed.

Sometimes I feel like the things I write are just too much to believe. Sure, everything that I committed to paper or computer screen is make-believe. That's the point of storytelling, but I don't want my readers to have their suspension of belief pushed to the breaking point.

I felt bad about the way I portrayed the teenage sister of one of my characters. She was whiny, obsessive, and a ginormous pain in the butt. "Surely," I thought, "this is has way too much snark-fu. This is unfair and I've stacked the deck. Bad Lynn, bad." A few days later (I'm not even close to exaggerating), my writer's groups was cornered and held hostage by a rabid teenager that made my fictional teen look like Nancy-freaking-Drew. Hand to God, I'm telling the truth. I have witnesses to back me up (scarred and horrified as they may be).

Everyone has their preferences, I guess. Which isn't bad, just immensely interesting. I recently read a review of a book that I loved that was written by an author that I admire (waves). The reviewer had a slight qualm with the extraordinary bad luck of the main character, coupled with the ability to for said main character to miraculously wriggle out of the trouble she got into. I think the reviewer thought the author may have been pushing believability (that's the impression I came away with, anyway). That aspect of the character happened to be completely believable to me, and I loved it. The bad luck didn't phase me one bit. I know people with the bad luck and the phenomenal ability to make it work in their favor, eventually.

No matter how off the wall I think I get, reality always has a way of showing me otherwise. Which is good. It helps to get rid of the self-censorship. So any time I get a little worried about some of the weird things I write, I go out for coffee or a bit of shopping and just listen. I soon feel better.


  1. Lynn, keep writing. I'm sure your unbelievable look on life is shared by others. As long as you get the technical stuff right you should be fine. As for the whiny girl, I've met a few over the years, lol.

  2. That's what I hope, that more people believe the improbable and dang-near unbelievable. Things are more fun that way.

    And, yeah, I SO felt not guilty over the whiny girl after a bit of time to reflect. Lol.

  3. I like pushing the boundaries of belief. Isn't that what spec-fic is supposed to do? If you push them far enough, then someone will say, "She's writing brilliant satire!"

    It's all a matter of taste. And teenagers can be extremely narcissistic, whiny, egotisitical, self-centered, obsessive, etc. and STILL be normal teens. That's part of the definition.