I’m not dead yet

In fact, this medicine is definitely helping. I don’t feel great, but I’ve stopped telling BH to order me a pretty coffin with built-in bookshelves. Thank you to everyone who made me laugh yesterday (and this morning, Jerry).

Congratulations are in order for one of my favorite YA librarians, Stephanie Squicciarini, from Fairport, NY. Stephanie is the genius and energy behind the fantastic Rochester Teen Book Festival, as well as one of those librarians able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. And she is one of the winners of the Library Journal’s 2008 Movers & Shakers Award. Brava!

More writing questions.

daimeera writes two questions: First: have you ever written a character (or more than one) whom you’ve personally disliked, but who has been popular with your readers? I ask because no matter how hard I try, I’m not particularly fond of one of my own characters, yet I’ve received feedback that she’s likable (admittedly few people have read the novel, but I was surprised to hear it at all).

Hard question. I don’t think many readers like Teri Litch, from CATALYST, but I really love her a lot. Some day I might a book from her POV. We’ll see. You might want to explore, on paper, why you don’t like this character. As you write about her, you’ll probably uncover more details and layers to her personality. Could be fun.

Two: do you feel it’s dangerous to begin a story with a character who isn’t immediately likable? I’ve heard mixed feelings on this; some people will put the book down within a few paragraphs, others are more intrigued by this type of character. Have you found it makes a difference, or do you have a personal preference?

There is no one correct way to do anything in writing. If you are worried about the impact of your opening, experiment with it. Write a couple of different openings and see how it affects the rest of the story, The most important thing is to write the book that you want to read.

TWISTED good news update: It was chosen for the Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Senior High/Young Adult). It’s also nominated for the Kansas Heartland Award, so thank you, Kansas!

In closing, Bookavore passes on an article about common faults in writing. Wrap your ego in armor before you read this one, fellow scribblers.

7 Replies to “I’m not dead yet”

  1. So glad you’re kicking the Plague…

    I had to tell you I’d LOVE to read a book about Teri Litch of CATALYST. I love her too! I think I’m most hopeful for After-CATALYST, though all your books are high on my list. Thank you for the link from Bookavore also — excellent article, and the Willesden Herald controversy was entertaining.

    Love riding your rollercoasters — I’m crawling up the library line to SPEAK — #5 this week!

  2. I’m so glad that you’re feeling better. I have a belated lame joke to share.

    A grasshopper walks into a bar.
    The bartender says, “Hey, I got a drink named after you!”
    The grasshopper says, “You gotta drink named Steve?”

    This is only slightly amusing if you knew that there’s a drink called a grasshopper (creme de menthe, creme de cacao, cream).

  3. I am So Proud to be working in the same library system now as Stephanie S — she rocks so hard and is SO my YA Librarian idol!

  4. I liked Teri a lot. I liked her so much that i wrote you a letter about how much i liked her. Do you remember that? You told me that you liked her a lot too, and you were thinking of someday exploring her more but werent sure if the story would be too raw for a YA.

    The common writing faults helped a lot, particularly the comment on solipsist characters. Takk!

  5. wow i just ready your book speak

    I just finished reading ur book speak and and doing a project on it(Pain) but i really liked ur book. there were some parts i didnt get but its a pretty good book. i also kinda get y my gf wants to take things slower too. anyways loved ur book!

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