Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Favorite Authorial Decision

Since today is the release day for "Scraps" on the web and since it contains one of my personal favorite writing "choices" I thought I would blog about that today. Since the discussion could be vaguely spoiler-y, I'll put it all below the jump.

Beyond this point you may see something which might be construed as spoiler-y.

You have been warned!

Okay... I think that gave everyone room to clear out.

So, if you've already read "Scraps" (And, if you haven't, you could go do that right now. It's under 2000 words, so it won't take you long...) then you'll have noticed that there's a fair amount of downer stuff going on in it. The main character hates the place where she grew up, resents her mother, etc. There's a moment when she's reminiscing about one of her few positive memories of her hometown...
"Her senior prom photo faces her. [...] Will looks good. Will always looked good. They hadn't stayed together once she left for college. That first Thanksgiving, when she was home on break, they had each wanted to tell the other it wasn't working. They'd cried, and laughed, and hugged."
So, they broke up, but on good terms. And the last sentence of this paragraph reads:
"She came home for his wedding two years later, the only time she'd ever happily returned."
But my first shot at that sentence didn't have her coming home for a wedding. It had her coming home for his funeral. (And, needless to say, she wasn't returning happily in that version of the sentence.) But within minutes of having typed that it felt over-the-top to me, like "What more possible misery could I heap on this character?" So I changed it to read as it ended up reading, to leave it as a minor grace note of happiness in the character's life.

It's a minor thing that very well might not have made a bit of difference in anyone's opinions of the story. But every time I think about that decision I'm glad that I took time to think twice about it and go with something which was maybe not quite what would have been expected.

1 comment:

  1. Every now and then, when things are dark, it's kind of nice to have a bit of line shined on things...even just a little bit.